A Special Salute to Our Military ‘Hero’ Homebuyers

May 23, 2024

May is Military Appreciation Month, a time we set aside to honor and recognize the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women who have served and are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

In addition to Armed Forces Day (Saturday, May 18, 2024) and Memorial Day (Monday, May 27, 2024) this month we’re celebrating Silver Star Banner Day (May 1), VE Day (May 8), Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 10, 2024), and Maritime Day (May 22). 

Using Your Entitlement

One benefit of military service is the VA home loan, a type of mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and issued by private lenders. For those able to qualify, VA home loans offer three distinct advantages for buying or refinancing a home:

  • No Down Payment — with a VA home loan you can put zero down (although there may be advantages to making a down payment)
  • Lower Payments — VA loans offer competitive interest rates with no private mortgage insurance (although a funding fee is required unless the applicant meets certain conditions)
  • Easier to Qualify — VA loans can provide homeownership opportunities for veterans and servicemembers who might not qualify for conventional financing

In addition to saving money with a VA loan, you can often qualify for down payment assistance that can be used in a multitude of ways to make buying a home more affordable.

Finding Assistance

Down Payment Resource maintains a database of all 2,300+ assistance programs that can be searched for free. Within this extensive resource, about 40 programs include options for active-duty servicemembers, 51 target veterans, and 13 are open to surviving spouses. 

Each program is unique in how financing is structured and what you’ll need to qualify. For most programs you’ll need a minimum credit score of 620 or higher and an income that meets the program’s requirements. Many programs also consider your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which is the percentage of your gross monthly income you use each month to cover the cost of auto loans, credit cards, student loans and other recurring debt.

Some programs are restricted to first-time buyers, although this requirement is often waived for servicemembers and Veterans, and many will require buyers to complete a homeowner education course.

A Closer Look at Three Programs

To give you an idea of what’s available, we looked at representative programs from our database, targeting segments of the military.

Active Duty

The City of Greensboro’s Housing Connect GSO’s Homebuyer Assistance Program is a source of financial assistance for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers. One of its subprograms focuses on assistance for Public Service Heroes, including active duty servicemembers and veterans, National Guard members and those in the Coast Guard. To qualify, you do not need to be a current resident of Greensboro (NC) but you must be purchasing a new or existing home within the city limits. Additionally, your income needs to be above 80% and below 120% of the area median income. Accepted applicants receive up to $15,000 toward their home purchase, with a $10,000 bonus available to those buying in a designated reinvestment or redevelopment area. 

For more information, visit the program website.


The City of Westlake (FL) Housing Assistance Purchase Program is an affordable and workforce housing assistance purchase program to maintain the economic and social sustainability of housing supply within the city limits at various income limits. Veterans, defined as those who served in the active military and honorably discharged or released, can qualify under this program for a 10-year deferred loan of up to $60,000 in assistance based on income, plus they may qualify for additional 3% of the purchase price to be used toward the home purchase. There is no maximum home price but buyers may have incomes of no more than 140% of the HUD AMI.

For more information, visit the program website.

Veterans & Surviving Spouses (Veterans, Active Duty & Gold Star Family members)

The Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) renovates properties to sell to low- to moderate-income homebuyers. Its Veterans Program offers up to $15,000 in homebuyer assistance toward the purchase of affordable new and newly renovated homes in the Atlanta region. These homes listed for sale have a two-week “first look” period when only offers from veterans or active duty buyers are accepted. To qualify, you must not own another home and purchase the ANDP home as your primary residence. You do not need to be a first-time buyer. You will need an income at or below 120% of the AMI and to complete a HUD-approved homebuyer education course. Veterans interested in purchasing a home through the ANDP Veteran Program are required to use one of the program’s approved lenders. 

For more information, visit the program website.

Looking to purchase a home?  Find down payment programs in your area today and see if you’re eligible!

Find the right down payment program for your needs.