Why a Chicago Realtor should ask, “Are you a Veteran?”

November 11th, 2014 by: relatedchicago

Whether you are a homeowner or not, have you ever been asked by a Chicago Realtor if you’re a veteran? gold-coast-homes-signs-sellMillions buying a home in Chicago who have served our country are not aware of certain benefits available to them as veterans. A majority of housing professionals do not think to ask a potential home buyer if they are a veteran. Most importantly, veterans do not always disclose that they are veterans. This said, earned benefits are being overlooked and missed altogether. There are significant financial benefits available to veterans when purchasing a home that are now more readily available than ever before.

Veterans are not required to make a down payment, unlike others buying a home in Chicago, nor are veterans required to pay PMI and certain closing costs. There is a funding fee, but this fee can be financed and applicants are eligible for up to 103.3% financing as a result. Depending on a veteran’s Certificate of Eligibility and specific entitlements identified by the Veterans’ Administration this funding fee may be waived. Sellers are often times willing to provide closing cost credits to veterans to help to make their purchase more affordable (max seller credit is 4%).

There are loan programs available to veterans that are not VA loans, but that provide comparable benefits. Specifically in Illinois, the Illinois Housing Department Authority (IHDA) offers Welcome Home Heroes, a program that provides eligible veterans with up to $10,000 in down payment assistance with no PMI options, via conventional financing and VA financing. FHA financing is also available, but conventional financing is key when purchasing a condo in non-VA approved buildings in Chicago.

For more information on VA programs, VA approved properties, and how to become a Certified Military Housing Specialist, refer to the links below:

http://www.ihda.org/homeowner/gettingLoan.htm#WelcomeHomeHeroes
http://www.va.gov/statedva.htm
https://vip.vba.va.gov/portal/VBAH/VBAHome/condopudsearch
http://www.usacares.org/

Homeownership – and freedom – tops the American dream charts. If you’re a Chicago Realtor or lender, ask all of your clients “Are you a veteran?” and encourage him or her to take advantage of their entitlements and financing benefits. There is no better way to thank a Veteran, today and every day.

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