Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.'s)
What is Soldier Next Door?
Is there an application fee?
Are there any up-front fees?
Is there a fee for using the Soldier Next Door Program?
Who is eligible to participate?
Do I need a DD-214 / Certificate of Eligibility?
What programs are available?
Is Soldier Next Door a lender?
How do I know what program(s) I qualify for?
Do Soldier Next Door Grants have to be repaid?
Can I only buy certain homes?
Can I buy with NO Money Down?
Can I put more money down if I choose?
Will I have to pay mortgage insurance?
Are there any income restrictions?
Do I have to live in the home for a certain period of time?
What If I’m a First Time Home Buyer?
Do I HAVE to be a First Time Home Buyer?
Can I use the program to refinance?
Do you offer a non-qualifying refinance?
Do you offer a qualifying refinance?
What will my interest rate be?
What is a risk factor?
What is a compensating factor?
Can I get a high interest loan?
Is Soldier Next Door a government agency?
How does the Free Home Buyers Service Work?
Do I have to use a Soldier Next Door Realtor?
What if I already have a Realtor?
What is the next step?
What is Soldier Next Door? Soldier Next Door is a complete home buying program and was designed to increase home ownership among current and former members of the U.S. military. Additionally, it is our directive to support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination. The program is intended to eliminate confusion by streamlining the home loan and home buying process and by matching the individual with the best program available, based upon the specific needs of the eligible buyer and their family. Your Soldier Next Door agent will help you locate the right home and negotiate the lowest price possible. We handle all of the purchase, finance and closing paperwork for you. Top
Is there a fee for using the Soldier Next Door Program? NO. There are NO FEEs at all for using the program. In fact, you can expect to save money based upon lower fees charged for the various programs we offer. Plus, you may receive additional discounts on title insurance, home inspections and other services. Top
Who is eligible to participate? The program is available to ALL active and former members of the U.S. Armed Services, Department of Defense and their families. This includes Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves. Top
Do I need a DD-214 / Certificate of Eligibility? NO. As long as you meet the above eligibility requirement, you are not required to have a DD-214 / Certificate of Eligibility to participate in the Soldier Next Door Program and receive grants and other benefits. However, without a Certificate of Eligibility, your loan may not be a “V.A. guaranteed” loan. Top
What programs are available? For home purchases, there are many different Federal, state and local programs available to members of the military, including the Soldier Next Door Housing Grant Program, free home buyer representation, special VA financing, the State Housing Initiative Program (SHIP), Keystone Challenge Fund, USDA Rural Program and other specific programs available through VA, HUD, FHA, USDA, Fannie Mae and other local agencies. Soldier Next Door financing is provided by our preferred lenders. Soldier Next Door Grants are funded from our Realtor Partners proceeds at closing and may be used toward your closing cost. Top
Is Soldier Next Door a lender? NO. Soldier Next Door utilizes two national preferred lenders, Peoples Mortgage (License No. NMLS6274) and ENG Lending (License No. NMLS 418481). Soldier Next Door does not collect, store or have access to your personal financial information and we do not receive compensation from mortgage loan transactions. Top
How do I know what program(s) I qualify for? Your Loan Officer will help place you in the appropriate program and guide you through the process based upon your individual circumstance including credit, down payment (if any) and the location of property. Top
Do Soldier Next Door Grants have to be repaid? NO. Soldier Next Door Grants never have to be repaid. Top
Can I only buy certain homes? NO. You may purchase ANY home on the market as long as it’s within the guidelines of your loan approval. Top
Can I buy with NO Money Down? YES. In most cases, with the Soldier Next Door grant and the VA loan program through our preferred lender, you may purchase a home with no down payment. If you do not have a Certificate of Eligibility, our lenders may have other programs available in your area that offer 100% financing.
If you are not eligible for the VA loan or other zero down programs, the typical minimum out of pocket expense is approximately three to three and a half percent (3 – 3.5%) of the purchase price. This typically includes down payment and other fees such as insurance, appraisal etc. This may come in the form of a gift or 401(k) disbursement. Your Loan Officer can explain additional options. Top
Are there any income restrictions? NO. However you must make enough to cover the required payment ratios. Top
What If I’m a First Time Home Buyer? No Problem. Many of the programs available include first time home buyers. Although, contrary to popular belief, being a first time home buyer will not entitle you to a lower interest rate, since underwriters may view first time home buyers as a slightly higher risk. Top
Do you offer a non-qualifying refinance? YES. Streamline refinance as well as V.A. Interest Rate Reduction (IRL) loans and the Federal HARP refinance program, which could assist you if you are under water on your current mortgage, are available through our preferred lenders. Top
What will my interest rate be?
Interest rates are posted daily on our home page based upon the national averages for Fannie Mae Conforming Conventional loans with 20% down. Soldier Next Door's preferred lender will provide you with the lowest possible rate for your loan based upon your individual loan application and loan program. Your interest rate will be adjusted by the Federal underwriting guidelines based upon risk factors, as well as compensating factors. Top
What is a risk factor? As with insurance, underwriter guidelines contain upward adjustments to the interest rate based upon risk factors. These may include: low credit score, high loan-to-value, first time home buyer, no rental history, short time on the job, etc. Top
What is a compensating factor? Whenever possible, underwriters use compensation factors to counter other risk factors to help keep the rate low. These may include, high credit score, long time on the job, recent college grad, good rental history, large down payment, etc. Top
Is Soldier Next Door a government agency? NO. The Soldier Next Door Program is administered by Teacher Next Door, PLLC. (License No. FLCQ1044110) It is a private organization, licensed Real Estate brokerage and licensed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD License No. NAID-TCHRNX832) to sell HUD homes and represent buyers in the purchase of HUD homes. Top
How does the Free Home Buyers Service Work? Once approved, one of our licensed Realtors will work with you to help find a home in your area. We will let you tour the inside of the homes, negotiate the purchase contract and handle all of the paperwork for you. Top
Do I have to use a Soldier Next Door Realtor? YES. In order to use the Soldier Next Door Program, you must be exclusively represented by a Soldier Next Door Realtor. Our agents are all highly trained, state licensed professionals and members of the National Association of Realtors. Upon loan approval, we will assign one of our knowledgeable agents in your local area who will work directly with you to find the right home and handle all of the paperwork. Top
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