Overview

Since its establishment in 1944, the VA home loan guarantee program has helped millions of veterans purchase and maintain homes. NAR believes this program is a vital homeownership tool that provides veterans with a centralized, affordable, and accessible method of purchasing homes as a benefit for their service to our nation.

Small tweaks are needed to make this program accessible to all eligible veteran borrowers. In 2014 VA celebrated the 70th anniversary of the GI Bill and the creation of the VA home loan guarantee.  NAR 2014 President Steve Brown celebrated this event with the VA at a special event during the Annual meeting.

NAR continues to work with VA to provide more flexibility in their policies. Currently, VA limits the fees which a veteran can pay. While this is designed to protect veteran purchasers, it places them at a disadvantage in multiple bid situations or when buying REOs. NAR is working to ensure veterans are not paying unnecessary fees, while ensuring they are able to purchase the home they wish.

Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

None at this time.


In-Depth

Find NAR's letters, testimonies, bill updates, and more on the NAR Federal Issues Tracker


Legislative Contact(s):

Megan Booth,
mbooth@realtors.org
202-383-1222

Joe Harris,
jharris@realtors.org
202-383-1226

Regulatory Contact(s):

Sehar Siddiqi,
ssiddiqi@realtors.org
202-383-1176

What is the fundamental issue?

Since its establishment in 1944, the VA home loan guarantee program has helped millions of veterans purchase and maintain homes. NAR believes this program is a vital homeownership tool that provides veterans with a centralized, affordable, and accessible method of purchasing homes as a benefit for their service to our nation.

NAR continues to work with VA to provide more flexibility in their policies.  Currently, VA limits the fees which a veteran can pay.  While this is designed to protect veteran purchasers, it places them at a disadvantage in multiple bid situations or when buying REOs.  As a result, in November 2014, the VA issued new guidance that allows veterans to negotiate the payment of wood destroying insect inspection fees in select southern and western states. While pest inspection fee payments will not be allowed in all states, this policy change is a step in the right direction.  NAR will continue to work with the VA on a larger rule affecting Veterans’ ability to negotiate fees and charges.

NAR continues to work with the VA to create rehabilitation loan program similar to the FHA 203k program.  Veterans are often the perfect candidates to buy a rehabilitation home, as they may have skills learned through their service that can help them take advantage of these types of loans.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

VA loans provide zero-downpayment financing for veterans and surviving spouses.

NAR Policy:

NAR is a strong supporter of, and REALTORS® are a major participant in, the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program.

The VA Home Loan Guarantee program has guaranteed more than 20 million loans to American veterans, with a total loan volume over one trillion dollars.  This program is a vital homeownership tool that provides veterans with a centralized, affordable, and accessible method of purchasing homes as a benefit for their service to our nation.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

NAR is working with Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs to enhance the program. NAR continues to work to ensure that veterans are able to negotiate all reasonable and customary fees as part of the real estate transaction. Today's veterans are losing out on some home sale purchases due to their inability to pay certain fees like pest inspections or certifications. We are working with the VA to provide more flexibility to veteran borrowers.

NAR continues to work with the VA on the creation of a rehabilitation loan program similar to the FHA 203k program. That FHA program allows borrowers to purchase a home and include the costs of rehabilitation in the loan.  This would be a great benefit to our nation's veterans.

NAR is also working to ensure that veterans in all communities are able to buy a home of their choice. In 2016, the House passed H.R. 3016, “Veterans Employment, Education, and Healthcare Improvement Act”, sponsored by Rep. Wenstrup (R-OH), which included an amendment added by Rep. Zeldin (R-NY) in Committee that would allow veterans to purchase a home in high cost areas, by eliminating the maximum loan amount on VA loans.  As stated in the accompanying report, "The Committee is confident VA's current strict underwriting standards and low foreclosure rates will ensure that veterans still have the required good credit and income to qualify for the loan, and that this change will not result in a significant increased amount of foreclosures.”  NAR has long supported the VA home loan guaranty program, and believes that as an entitlement program, our nation’s veterans should have the freedom to purchase a home wherever they choose to live.  This legislation did not move through the Senate, and NAR will work with the 115th Congress to see it move forward.

NAR Committee:

Federal Financing and Housing Policy Committee

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