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Overview

The House-a-Vet initiative was developed to give qualified active-military, veterans, surviving spouses, first-responders, and low-to-moderate income candidates an opportunity at homeownership. Blighted homes are revitalized into bright spots within the community. Our process creates jobs, produces responsible homeowners, and shows appreciation to our heroes – It’s a win for all!
The two housing programs under this initiative are:
  1. First-Look Property Purchase Program; and
  2. Mortgage-Free Property Donation Program.
First-Look Property Purchase Program Eligibility
  • Must be an active-military personnel, veteran, surviving spouse, first responders, or a non-veteran low-to-moderate income candidate.
  • Must complete “House a Vet” Intake Application
  • Home must be primary residence and sign owner-occupied affidavit.
  • Must qualify for a mortgage loan.
  • Household income must be at or below 120% of the area median income adjusted by family size according to HUD income limits by area for LMI candidates.
  • Buyers will be asked to “cross-qualify” with a VAREP approved lender partner in order to verify income and protect against predatory lending.
Mortgage Free Property Donation Program Eligibility
  • Must be a veteran (DD214 as proof of service), or surviving spouse.
  • Must complete “House a Vet” Intake Application and home must be primary residence.
  • Must complete $99.00 online financial management and home buyer education classes (This class will be taken after applicant has been selected by VAREP).
  • All participants must have income for utilities, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, Homeowner Association (If applicable), living expenses, and savings account contribution.
  • Must consent to credit and criminal background checks.
  • All participants of the mortgage-free donation are required to participate in a three-year financial and homeownership mentoring/counseling program.
Transfer of Title
  • Depending on the financial institution requirement, there are two options on transferring of title:
    • Option #1: Title will be transferred from VAREP to veteran three years from the date of home presentation.
    • Option #2: A three-year deed restriction from the date of recordation will be placed on title to ensure successful completion of financial mentorship program, successful homeownership, and restricts a title transfer.

Education

House a Vet program participants are required to take an online Home Buyer Education curriculum through eHomeAmerica. The eHomeAmerica curriculum that is based on the nationally recognized eight hour NeighborWorks® America curricula--Realizing the American Dream.
The online curriculum topics include:
  1. Are You Ready to Buy a Home
  2. Budgeting and Credit
  3. Shopping for a Home
  4. Getting a Mortgage Loan
  5. Keeping Your Home and Managing Your Finances
The online course takes approximately 8 hours to complete and requires a registration fee of $99. Participants are able to navigate through the course and its many interactive videos, readings, quizzes and exams. The online course is provided in both English and Spanish. This online education course offered by VAREP is not HUD approved since it is not provided in-person.
After taking the online course, participants will be connected to a VAREP housing counselor. This will ensure that participants receive the one-on-one counseling necessary to empower responsible homeownership.

Mentoring

All House a Vet – Mortgage Free Property Donation recipients are required to participate in the Financial and homeownership mentoring/counseling three-year program. The purpose of the mentorship/counseling program is to provide one-on-one counseling to help donation recipients strengthen their understanding of good financial habits and responsible homeownership.
Counselor’s Roles and Responsibilities.
  • Reviewing your housing goals and your finances; which include your income, debts, assets and credit history.
  • Preparing a Client Action Plan that lists the steps that you and your counselor will take in order to achieve your housing goal.
  • Preparing a household budget that will help you manage your debt, expenses and savings. Your counselor is not responsible for achieving your housing goal, but will provide guidance and education in support of your goal.
  • Neither your counselor nor VAREP employees, agents, officers, nor members may provide legal advice.
Recipient’s Roles and Responsibilities.
  • Completing the steps assigned to you in your Client Action Plan.
  • Providing accurate information about your income, debts, expenses, credit and employment.
  • Attending meetings, returning calls, providing requested paperwork in a timely manner.
  • Notifying VAREP or your counselor when changing housing goal.
  • Attending educational workshop(s) (i.e. pre-purchase counseling workshop) is recommended.
  • Retaining an attorney if seeking legal advice and/or representation in matters such as foreclosure or bankruptcy protection.
The three-year mentoring program is from the date of recordation. Recipients will engage with housing counselor on a monthly call to ensure the Client Action Plan is executed. Successful completion is defined as measurable credit score increases, and reaching saving’s goals as set forth by the Client Action Plan.

Property Purchase

VAREP accepts property donations from financial institutions in order to facilitate military, veteran, first-responders, surviving spouse, and low-to-moderate (LMI) owner-occupied homeownership. Veteran jobs are created during the property rehabilitation process as we try to hire veteran-owned construction crews.
After rehabilitation, properties are marketed for resale to military, veterans, surviving spouses, and first-responders for the first 15 days. Beginning on the 16th day, the property will be marketed to all LMI candidates. Military and veteran buyers will receive up to a 5% discount off of market value in the form of credit toward closing costs.
First-Look Property Purchase Program Eligibility
  • Must be an active-military personnel, veteran, surviving spouse, first responders, or a non-veteran low-to-moderate income candidate.
  • Must complete “House a Vet” Intake Application
  • Home must be primary residence and sign owner-occupied affidavit.
  • Must qualify for a mortgage loan.
  • Household income must be at or below 120% of the area median income adjusted by family size according to HUD income limits by area for LMI candidates.
  • Buyers will be asked to “cross-qualify” with a VAREP approved lender partner in order to verify income and protect against predatory lending.

Property Donations

VAREP accepts property donations from financial institutions in order to facilitate veteran homeownership. Blighted homes are revitalized into bright spots within the community. Our process creates jobs, produces responsible homeowners, and shows appreciation to our heroes – It’s a win for all! Heroes are vetted by an application and interview process.
Mortgage Free Property Donation Program Eligibility
  • Must be a veteran (DD214 as proof of service), or surviving spouse.
  • Must complete “House a Vet” Intake Application and home must be primary residence.
  • Must complete $99.00 online financial management and home buyer education classes (This class will be taken after applicant has been selected by VAREP).
  • All participants must have income for utilities, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, Homeowner Association (If applicable), living expenses, and savings account contribution.
  • Must consent to credit and criminal background checks.
  • All participants of the mortgage-free donation are required to participate in a three-year financial and homeownership mentoring/counseling program.
Transfer of Title
  • Depending on the financial institution requirement, there are two options on transferring of title:
    • Option #1: Title will be transferred from VAREP to veteran three years from the date of home presentation.
    • Option #2: A three-year deed restriction from the date of recordation will be placed on title to ensure successful completion of financial mentorship program, successful homeownership, and restricts a title transfer.
 
 
 
House a Vet Toolbox
Intake ApplicationOwner Occupied AffidavitFirst-Look Program DisclosureMortgage-Free Program Disclosure
Online Financial & Housing Education Program
Cost - $99.00
Eight-hour curriculum includes:
  1. Are You Ready to Buy a Home
  2. Budgeting and Credit
  3. Shopping for a Home
  4. Getting a Mortgage Loan
  5. Keeping Your Home Managing Your Finances
Enrolll Now!