Mortgage program for veterans

Veterans will be able to apply for a mortgage and receive special benefits due to the recently announced Homes for Veterans Program given by the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) and the New York State Division of Veteran Affairs.
Through the program, eligible veterans will be able to go through M&T Bank exclusively to discuss their mortgage. The program features interest rates that are 0.5 percent lower that SONYMA’s standard interest rates and no points or origination fees. Closing cost assistance will be available up to the greater amount of $5,000 or five percent of the requested loan amount and the borrower will only need to provide one percent of the home purchase price and an additional two percent can come from other suitable sources.
Another feature of the program is that the veterans, their spouses or co-borrowers do not need to be first-time homebuyers. As of December 2006, Federal law let SONYMA waive this requirement for veterans. According to SONYMA spokesperson, Tiffany Berns, this feature will need to be renewed every year.
SONYMA has put $10.6 million to the program.
To be eligible for the program, veterans will have to show DD214-Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (as long as they were not discharged dishonorably), the last three years of signed Federal tax returns, and Military Veteran’s Eligibility Affidavit which is required only if those applying are not first-time home buyers. Any veteran who served active duty in the military, navy, or air service can apply.
“We are not aware of any other programs in the country like this one and we hope our veterans here in New York will take advantage of these mortgages as this year’s home buying season begins,” said Berns.
The program has already begun and will continue depending on demand. Eligible veterans can look for homes anywhere in New York. In Queens, it will depend on the purchase price and the income limits as to where one can purchase a home. The mortgages are determined on a case-by-case basis.
“This is a wonderful program that provides much deserved assistance to those brave men and women who have so selflessly served our country,” said Queens 23rd District Assemblymember Audrey I. Pheffer.
Those interested in the Homes for Veterans Program can call 1-800-382-HOME (4663) or visit SONYMA’s website at www.nyhomes.org.

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