Sunday, August 10, 2008


Tom Gleason said it best: “They put their lives on the line to take care of us. It’s an honor to be able to do something for them.”

OK. Who’s Tom Gleason, and what’s he talking about? Gleason is the Executive Director of MassHousing, the state’s quasi-public/quasi private first time home-buyer’s agency. The “they” he’s referring to are Massachusetts veterans, and the “something” he’s referring to is a new mortgage program recently introduced by MassHousing called “Home for the Brave” (“HFTB”, for short.)

This new program makes no-downpayment mortgages available to Massachusetts:

§ Veterans of the U.S. Armed Services
§ Active-duty military, and
§ Spouses of members of the military killed while on active duty

Moreover, the program is being offered in conjunction with the U.S. Veterans Administration, so that disabled veterans can also get grants to upgrade the home they buy so that it is handicapped accessible

Like all MassHousing loans, Home For the Brave loans are available through approved community banks and other Massachusetts lenders approved by MassHousing. Unlike most MassHousing loans however, borrowers need not be first time homebuyers. Additionally, HFTB loans offer MassHousing’s “MI Plus program”, which covers a borrower’s principal mortgage payments for up to six months if they become unemployed, or in the case of their military deployment.

While the Home For the Brave loans do have income restrictions, these restrictions are fairly lax (135% of the median income in the city/town in which the borrower is purchasing a home, up to $111,240 annually). Additionally, to qualify for an HFTB loan, borrowers must:

· Purchase a primary residence.
· Demonstrate they have good credit.
· Have a total housing debt ratio of less than 38% and a total monthly debt ratio of less than 45%.
· Take and complete a home buyers counseling course if the borrower is seeking a no downpayment loan.
· Borrowers may also purchase 2, 3 and 4 family homes using the Home For the Brave program, but additional restrictions do apply on such loans.

Given how much they do for all of us, it truly is a shame that we, as a society, don’t do more for our veterans. Thankfully, MassHousing’s Home For the Brave mortgage program is, at least, a step in the right direction. So, in conclusion, these two points. First, we at “The Money Show” and WTKK join MassHousing in thanking all veterans their for your service to our country. Second, if you’re a Massachusetts veteran looking to buy a home, be sure to explore the possibility of qualifying for a MassHousing Home For the Brave loan. For more information, check out the “Quick Links” section of MassHousing’s website, at .[In the interest of full disclosure, we should let you know that MassHousing is a sponsor of the BestMoneyinfo website (to access the site, go to homepage and click on the “Best Money Info” icon)].