Mortgage savings plans launch

Published 8:15 pm Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Hampton Roads Realtors’ Association this week touted the benefits of a new law designed to help Virginia residents save money toward the purchase of their first homes.

The First-time Homebuyer Savings Plans, which the association referred to as its “2014 signature legislation,” helps Virginians prepare for homeownership, reminds them how important it is, and is designed to improve the long-term health of the housing market, officials stated in a press release.

Virginians will now be able to invest up to $50,000 in financial institutions like credit unions and banks or directly in mutual funds, brokerage accounts, or almost any other financial vehicle and declare them first-time homebuyer savings plans.

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The gains or earnings on the investment are free of state taxes, and the funds can be used for down payments and closing costs on first home purchases in Virginia.

“The need for these plans has become clear,” said Virginia Association of Realtors President Bradley J. Boland. “Issues such as tighter mortgage loan requirements and increasing student debt are making it more difficult for young adults to enter the world of homeownership. We knew we needed to be proactive.”