VA policy change makes buying home in MI easier for veterans

Posted at 11:42 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 15:33:47-04

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Things just got a lot easier for veterans in Michigan looking to buy a home.  A big announcement in Traverse City talked about a change in the Veteran’s Affairs policies regarding financing for military veterans in the state.

Tuesday’s announcement clears the way for veterans to have full access to affordable financing on all types of homes. This comes after efforts to clear up what many called confusing policies from the V.A. when it came to what’s called ‘Site Condos’.  That’s why Congressman Jack Bergman, the Michigan Home Builders Association and Chemical Bank, joined forces to find an easier way.

“Bottom line is, this change means that every home buying benefit earned by Michigan veterans can now be used here for single family home purchases, site condo or not," says Bob Filka, CEO of The Michigan Home Builders Association.

“I would like to tell any veteran thinking about buying a home to check into the VA because the major hurdle to most of us is now gone,” says Charles Stefanich a Marine who served in the Vietnam War.

Before the announcement, the V.A. considered some homes to be ‘Site Condos’ which is defined as a single family dwelling that’s totally detached from any garage or shared buildings. But under their terminology and policies the word condos was making financing more complicated and in some cases veterans couldn’t use their full V.A. loans and were losing out on housing because they couldn't get other conventional funding and loans.

“The V.A. loan itself is a zero down loan with no mortgage insurance and you have to be an honorably discharged veteran," says Jeff Potter, a US Navy Veteran & vice president of Chemical Bank. “It was such a struggle for veterans to use their benefits with site condos and veterans were missing out on the opportunities to buy these homes.”

The big change has been a year in the making and it cuts through a lot of red tape, making the home buying process much easier for veterans.

“It’s a great, great day for veterans. It’s going to be a blessing, a major blessing to veterans and their families," says Stefancih.

Congressman Jack Bergman is a retired US Marine Corps Lt. General and is part of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee.

If you’re a veteran or know one who’s looking for housing call Chemical Bank at 616-255-1600.