Getting to Know Virginia Housing
An Interview with VHDA Business Development & Training Manager Dan Kern
1. How long has VHDA provided service to REALTORS® and consumers in our region?
Virginia Housing has been an influential part of Virginia’s housing finance community for 46 years. We work to make homeownership a reality for thousands of Virginians and encourage affordable rental development. We’ve also provided free homebuyer education classes to more than 200,000 consumers.
"Real estate agents and consumers should know that we are truly invested in their long-term success."
2. Discuss VHDA’s history of involvement with NVAR.
Virginia Housing shares a long and rich history with NVAR. Our partnership spans over 30 years and includes sponsorship of the Hispanic REALTOR® Forum, the Vietnamese REALTOR® Forum, the Small Broker Forum, the Finance Summit, and NVAR’s annual convention.
3. What makes Virginia Housing stand out from the competition in Northern Virginia?
Flexibility, creativity, and sustainability are what set Virginia Housing loan products apart from others. A great example is our Virginia Housing Loan Combo, which is composed of an affordable mortgage, plus a combination of our other homebuyer programs, which may include:
- Our Free, HUD-approved Homebuyer Education Course is available in classrooms or online, and empowers consumers to make healthy financial decisions and know what to expect during the homebuying process.
- A Virginia Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate, or MCC, converts 20% of the mortgage interest a homeowner pays each year to a dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit. Once the MCC is issued, the tax credit is available for the life of the 30-year mortgage as long as the property is used as a primary residence by the borrower.
- Virginia Housing’s Down Payment Assistance Grant helps eligible first-time homebuyers by providing funds for the down payment, and the money never needs to be repaid.
- Our New Virginia Housing Plus Second Mortgage Loan offers up to 101.5% financing with low or no mortgage insurance (MI). This product allows potential homebuyers to make stronger offers and keep more of their savings for home-related expenses while maintaining an affordable monthly payment.
- Virginia Housing’s Closing Cost Assistance Grant (CCA) is for eligible veterans and rural residents. This grant enables first-time buyers using Virginia Housing’s VA or USDA loan program to obtain 2% of the sales price in closing cost assistance funds. Like our Down Payment Assistance grant, this money never has to be repaid, and lower income limits apply.
- The Community Heroes Grant is a limited engagement grant providing $8,000 to eligible first-time homebuyers in the law enforcement, public education and first responder communities to be used for down payment, closing costs, and/or pre-paid items. We partnered with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta to make this grant possible. There are 125 grants available, and specific income limits apply. Lenders who use this grant must be participating Virginia Housing-approved lenders as well as members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta network.
4. Describe any public service programs that connect you to the Northern Virginia community.
Virginia Housing associates embrace a variety of charitable efforts and volunteer opportunities each year. For example, we have a Volunteer Council that serves as a clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities. Our associates have participated for many years in blood drives with Virginia Blood Services, holiday gift giving with the Angel Tree program, as well as Habitat builds and home repairs for the elderly and disabled. These are just a few ways Virginia Housing associates provide community services.
5. Anything else that Northern Virginia REALTORS® or consumers should know about Virginia Housing?
Real estate agents and consumers should know that we are truly invested in their long-term success. As a self-supporting organization, we contribute a significant portion of our net revenues each year to help meet Virginia’s most difficult housing needs. Our Down Payment Assistance Grant for first-time homebuyers and our Community Homeownership Revitalization Program (CHRP) are two examples of programs funded through our net revenues. Real estate agents should also know about our Real Estate Agent Connection on VHDA.com. This portion of our website gives consumers access to a list of real estate agents who have taken Virginia Housing’s Real Estate Professional Training class and have a sound understanding of how our programs can help their clients obtain the dream of homeownership.