As we enjoy our long weekend and time spent with family and friends, it is important during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend to remember those that gave their lives fighting for our country and all the veterans that served our country, as well as the active servicemen and women. These individuals made countless sacrifices in order to protect our nation and our families, and we should keep them in mind year-round. Service members and veterans are eligible for a number of home loans and programs that they may not know about that can make home owning significantly more affordable.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides home loans that help provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help buy, build, repair or retain your home. The loans are provided through private lenders, while the VA guarantees a portion of the loan, allowing the lender to provide a competitive interest rate and more favorable terms. These benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • A lower interest rate - VA loans have the lowest average interest rates of all loan types
  • Typically, no down payment is required
  • No mortgage insurance required       
  • Foreclosure avoidance advocacy – there are dedicated staff members to advocate on behalf of homeowners to find alternatives to foreclosure
  • Assistance for disabled veterans that are purchasing an adapted home or modifying their existing home to account for their disability

Visit the VA website http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/index.asp for more information and to apply.

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The State of New Jersey Treasury Department also provides an annual deduction on property taxes for veterans and/or their surviving partners, which is administered by the local municipality. That can be claimed through this form. http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/other_forms/lpt/vss.pdf Totally and permanent disabled war veterans and their spouses are eligible to be fully exempt from property taxes, which is also administered by the local municipality. That can be claimed through this form. http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/pdf/other_forms/lpt/ dvsse.pdf

We are all eternally grateful for the service of our veterans and active service members, and keep them in mind especially over the upcoming holiday. Maureen would be glad to assist in any way if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a home. Feel free to contact Maureen Illanovsky at (908) 391-9295 or millanovsky@kw.- com, and visit her website NJCastle.com for more information.