Certain Veterans are eligible for a VA Grant up to $81,080 to purchase, build, or modify a home.
“Setting You Apart”
That’s right. Up to $81,080 that never has to be paid back!
In the previous two modules we discovered how huge the Veteran and military homebuyer market actually is, as well as the significance of the VA Home Loan benefit to the borrower and the Veteran Real Estate Specialist’s potential income. In this module, we are going to gain a working knowledge of the VA Specially Adapted Housing grant program, and explore how to utilize this benefit in your marketing to boost Veteran interest in your services.
Now Hear This: Understanding this program and marketing yourself as the “go to” agent for the grant information results in goodwill for our heroes and also stimulates interest in your services.
The mission of the Hometown Hero Project is providing quality resources, products, and services to the men and women who have made great sacrifices for our country.
Many of these volunteers returned home having suffered severe service-connected injuries, and for these men and women our country bestows VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grants. See Specially Adapted Housing Grants For Disabled Veterans handbook for specific details.
The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) program offers grants to certain service members and Veterans with severe service-connected disabilities to assist them in building, remodeling, purchasing an adapted home, or applying the grant against an existing mortgage. These grants are not available for minor disabilities, like hearing loss, and generally can include – but not limited to:
- Ramps allowing entrance to, or exit from, the Veterans/Servicemembers primary residence;
- Widening of doorways to allow access to essential lavatory and sanitary facilities;
- Raising or lowering kitchen or bathroom sinks and/or counters; Improving entrance paths or driveways in immediate area of the home to facilitate access to the home by the Veteran/ Servicemember;
- Improving plumbing or electrical systems made necessary due to installation of dialysis equipment or other medically sustaining equipment in the home.
The intent of these grants is to give the service-connected Veteran the increased freedom or residing in their own home or a home owned by a family member by providing money for modifications to suit their particular disability.
Just as with the VA Home Loan benefit, few Veterans are aware of these grants and even fewer real estate professionals are capable of providing the necessary information.
Boot Camp Tip #3: Disabled VA borrowers may also be exempt from some State real estate taxes. The amount of exemption depends on their disability rating by the VA, and each individual State.
The VA has three grants, not loans, of up to:
- $81,080 to create a wheelchair accessible home
- $16,217 when the grant will assist the Veteran with mobility throughout the home because of blindness, or loss of or loss of use of both hands
- $35,593 to Veterans temporarily living in a home owned by a family member.
*These grants are evaluated each year to adjust to construction costs.
Disabled Veterans Are Eligible For The VA Loan
Disabled Veterans who have VA Loan entitlement are absolutely eligible for VA home loan, and they can start on their VA home loan application immediately.
There is nothing about a Veteran’s disability rating by itself that is going to negatively affect his or her chances. In fact, VA lenders can count disability income as effective income toward a mortgage, and borrowers with a service-connected disability are additionally exempt from any funding fee – a mandatory cost the VA applies to every purchase and refinance loan to help cover losses and ensure the program’s continued success.
As of 2017, the service-connected compensation for a Veteran or service member rated at 100% is just under $3,000 tax free income per month.
Disabled Veterans Can Use Both Benefits
The eligibility for the VA Home Loan benefit and the VA Specially Adapted Housing grant programs are separate and distinct, and can be combined for the purchase of a home that will require disability adaptations.
For example, let’s assume that a VA Loan eligible disabled Veteran has found the house of her dreams, but will require alterations to make the residence wheelchair accessible.
As her Veteran Real Estate Specialist, you can advise and guide her to obtaining VA loan financing as well as the resources for the VA Specially Adapted grant for the necessary alterations.
Market Yourself Accordingly
There’s a old cliché that says “honey attracts more bees than plain water”. With that in mind, let’s take a look at two versions of a sample Real Estate ad intended to be displayed on a Veteran-Centered medium.
This first version simply promotes the company as a service provider in Residential, Resale & New Construction, with notation to Homes, Land, and Investment Properties. The ad goes on to give the necessary contact information, website, and contains some pretty basic graphics.
Note that there is no mention of the target audience, or any specialties or focus on the Veteran community.
This second version is the same basic ad with several changes to the Services section to:
- Veteran Real Estate Specialist
- Lenient VA Loan qualifications
- Veteran Grants up to $81,080
- $0 Down $0 mortgage insurance
And, the only other addition is the prominently displayed certified Veteran Real Estate Specialist badge.
Imagine being a Veteran and seeing these two advertisements for a local real estate company.
The second version is offering specific benefits to the Veteran – the target audience. These benefits include $0 money down, $0 mortgage insurance, and the possibility that the Veteran may be eligible for free grant money.
Which advertisement do you think will attract the most interest? Point made?
Military boot camp is about tearing old beliefs down, and then rebuilding new ones. There is still much to learn as you go into the field. You are now ready for Into Action I. Good luck.
The Hometown Hero Project encourages agents to adhere to Fair Housing guidelines in your location as limited areas may interpret military status as a protected class. Agents in Massachusetts should not inquire about military status, instead should allow clients to self-identify. We may share customer information with our trusted partners. Veterans News Network is not affiliated with any government agencies, including the VA. We may share customer information with our trusted affiliates to assist you with your home search. Veterans News Network fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act | 7400 N. Oracle Road, Suite 310, Tucson, Arizona 85704