The Homefront. That’s us, the civilians who keep the home fires burning while our soldiers fight for our way of life. The Homefront is what our military pledges to defend: Our land, our families, our homes, …Therefore it is fitting that Homes on the Homefront names a program which rewards soldiers with homes.
On the Homefront: Going Wayyyyyy Beyond the VA Program
Homes on the Homefront is a program that goes beyond the Veteran’s Loan Program which we blogged about last week.
First begun in 2012, Homes On the Homefront is a program that brings amazing home-ownership opportunities to veterans.
A Valentine Thank You from Palm State to our Vets
With Valentine’s Day this week, it seems appropriate that we utilize this blog to honor this program. We send them a shout-out for the love the program shows our returning military. However, Homes on the Homefront is not a free ride.
There is an old parable that goes something like this: “Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, he’ll always eat.”
Here at Palm State Mortgage Company, we believe that Homes on the Homefront also knows this philosophy.
Since the program began in 2012, more than 650 veterans have benefited from the Homes on the Homefront (HOTH) program. The program is more than a key to a free home.
A Tour of the Home on the Homefront Program
Our teaching a man how to fish analogy becomes clear as soon as you investigate the HOTH program.
1. Under its auspices, the program provides veterans with the opportunity to move into an Operation Homefront (OH) home.
2. The veteran will work with Operation Homefront caseworkers and counselors. They financially mentor veterans on financial planning for home ownership. “Veterans accepted into the HOTH program include honorably discharged or retired veterans and service members currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves.”
- The counseling might include such help as Debt reduction and emergency savings.
- Veterans also learn Credit score improvement guidance.
- The counselors also give the veterans homeownership guidance and communication skills for community integration.
3. After successfully ‘graduating’ from the program, Operation Homefront participating veteran receives the deed to the home, mortgage-free.
A Home From the HOTH Program Symbolizes More than A House: New, Civilian Financial Responsibility…
Operation Homefront in a Nutshell
Anyone knows there’s more to owning a house than the mortgage payment itself. In this program, HOTH picks up the tab on case management, financial counseling and any major home repairs the selected home might require. Read on to see where the house comes from…
Meanwhile, the Veterans Do Their Part
Recipients of the program cover such homeownership responsibilities as property taxes, homeowner association fees, and home warranty. Likewise, they must contribute to closing costs and routine home repairs, as well as renter’s insurance. Now, do you remember what we said at the beginning of the article about teaching a man to fish? We think it applies in all such cases, as the veteran learns to cope with civilian life and financial responsibilities. Completing the program and attaining that prized deed to the house usually requires about a year or two.
How Operation Homefront (or Homes on the Homefront) Works
If you are interested in the mortgage industry, you might be wondering how on earth this program works. AARP reported, “The program is one of a few in which banks, such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America, donate foreclosed houses to nonprofits, which then pair the properties with wounded veterans and their families.”
Angela Vander Werf, real estate owned community development manager for Wells Fargo, stated, “When a lot of veterans come back home, they have a lot on their plate.” And she adds, “Not just housing. “it’s finding a job, getting an education.” She explained that Operation Homefront gave families special freedom.
Having a home meant they could retrain for a good civilian job. It gave them the time and wherewithal to zone go back into school or hunt for a good job, without the anxiety-fighting financially to literally stay off the street.
Financial Institutions on the Homefront: So What Did the Banks Give to the Program?
We have to give applause for the amount of money invested in this program by lenders such as Wells Fargo. Not long ago they contributed 30 million dollars to the program. That amount included homes and renovations. In some cases, they contributed redesign dollars to reshape a home for Veterans with disabilities. “We are really picky about the homes we choose,” Vander Werf says. “We are choosing some of the best properties that we could easily sell.”
Kudos to Some Big Lenders on the Homefront
Bank of America and Chase each have pledged to donate 1,000 Homefront homes. As a matter of fact, according to Chase, they have already “donated more than 690 houses whose value and renovations exceed $104 million…”
The Value of Homes on the Homefront for Veterans’ Families.
Since 2012, the Homes on the Homefront program has provided mortgage-free homes to military families since 2012. During that time they have accrued $77 million in associated Home Equity.
Operation Homefront (Homes on the Homefront) has placed more than 650 families. That statistic means they have created homes for at least 1,089 children, across the U.S.
Homes on the Homefront: Champions of Inspirational Goals
We highly commend Homes on the Homefront for their financial assistance for our honored vets. And we honor this program for their goals of three special services:
- “Relief during a crisis,
- A way to regain resiliency and a little bit of recognition.”
- And “recurring support for a life of sacrifice…”
We know that often the key to all three of the above goals is a home. Thank you for reading our blog at Palm State Mortgage Company, and we hope you enjoy a Happy Valentine’s Week.
Although we know it is a much commercialized little holiday, it’s still fun to honor the special people in our lives with a little love. In our next blog, we plan to reveal the secrets of a pre-approval for your loan. If you are greeting the first days of early spring with a little house-hunting, you won’t want to miss it.