4 States to Find Untapped Land & Housing Benefits

land and housing state benefits for veterans

4 States to Find Untapped Land & Housing Benefits

Veterans and members of the military community often overlook state benefits.  If you are from, or live in, one of the following states, then you may be underusing some really great state veteran benefits dealing with land and housing.

Alaska

The senior director of Alaska’s Office of Veterans Affairs, Verdie Bowen, stated that Alaska offers a land discount/purchase preference that can only be used once. “Veterans do not pursue this program thinking they will save it for later and then never use this valued benefit.” The program gives eligible veterans a 20% discount off the purchase of state residential/recreational land, and the land is offered under a “Veteran exclusive opportunity” wherein the sale is appraised at fair market value. I just purchased a home in northern Virginia and would have loved to have a 20% off the price! If you live in Alaska, please do NOT pass up this discount.

Indiana

The Hoosier state offers Veterans many different property tax deductions:

  • There is a $14,000 deduction for veterans that served during peacetime, or the surviving spouse of a service member that was killed in action or died on active duty. The veteran must be totally disabled or must be 62 years old with a 10% service-connected disability rating. Learn more here.
  • There is a $24,960 deduction for wartime veterans with at least a 10% disability rating. There is no assessed value limit for this benefit. Follow this link to learn more.
  • A veteran who served during a period of war and is at least 62 years old with a 10% disability rating OR has a permanent and total service -connected disability rating at any age, AND whose home assessed value is $200,000 or less, can receive both property tax deductions for a total of $38,960. Learn more about this great benefit.

Mississippi

The most underused benefit in this state is the Veterans Home Purchase Board (VHPB), which provides low-interest mortgage loans in amounts up to $250,000 for eligible veterans and unmarried surviving spouses. The funds can be used to purchase a home or construct a new one. In their mission statement, the VHPB claims that, on average, a veteran will save $103,695 on a $250,000 home loan over 30 years by taking advantage of this benefit. Those are remarkable savings!

New York

If you are a disabled veteran from New York, please do not miss this benefit. The state hosts an Access to Home for Heroes, run by Homes and Community Renewal, that provides financial assistance to make dwelling units accessible for low- and moderate-income veterans living with a disability. It offers assistance with the cost of adapting homes to meet the needs of those disabilities and enables veterans to live comfortably in their residences instead of in an institutional setting. This can include wheelchair ramps, lifts, handrails, roll-in showers, and the widening of doorways.

Also, don’t forget about the VA Adapted Housing Grants we reported on not long ago.

Oregon

“Oregon has been offering a state home loan to veterans since 1945,” declared Cody Cox, an Oregon Veteran Home Loan manager. Veterans are eligible for this benefit, which offers interest rates considerably lower than market rates. Also, this benefit can be used up to four times over the veteran’s lifetime. The Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) services all of these home loans, so the loans will never be transferred once they’re closed. That means that the rates stay the same over the life of the loan.

Conclusion

If you live in any of these states and you haven’t taken advantage of these great opportunities, please check out the programs I’ve linked in each section.

To be clear, these are not the only states with land/home benefits; these are just the states who reported that these benefits are the most underused in their state. The survey reporting that information can be found here.

(Image courtesy of Hong Qi Zhang via www.123rf.com)

 

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About the author

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Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.