Many veterans unaware of great VA mortgage plans You can spend the holidays in your new home Home shoppers are excited about buying and closing on their next home in time to decorate for the holidays. Thanksgiving comes first, and many hope to have everything ready in time for the biggest family event of the year, even bigger than Christmas. Because many family members won't be back for Christmas, the new owners want their trees and outdoor decorations in place for the Thanksgiving gathering. Housing authorities are helping to make this an exciting time. They agree that home prices will probably never be lower and interest rates are very favorable. Further, the increasing number of homes on the market offer plenty of options. VA-guaranteed loans If you have ever served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, National Guard, Marines or Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the Veterans Administration has very helpful offerings for mortgages. But about 68 percent of veterans and service members don't know about them, says The Wall Street Journal. One mortgage company vice president says its loan officers across the country are being trained to first ask clients, "Are you a veteran?" More than 1,500 lenders, from big banks to local credit unions, offer VA-guaranteed loans. Now, veterans can buy more expensive homes without borrowing on jumbo loan terms. If a veteran borrows less than $417,000, no down payment is required and mortgage insurance requirements are waived. In areas where home prices are higher, the limit can reach $625,000 or more. If they borrow more, they make a down payment of 25 percent on the amount between $417,000 and the actual price of the home. On a $575,000 home, they made a down payment on $158,000. The interest rate is less than 4 percent on their 30-year mortgage.