On Feb. 10, NAR 2016 Vice President Sherri Meadows testified before the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity at a hearing entitled, "A Review of VA's Loan Guaranty and Specially Adaptive Housing Grant Programs (SAH)." The testimony focused on long-term REALTOR® support for the VA home loan guaranty and the benefits it provides our nation's veterans. According to the 2015 NAR Homebuyer and Seller Survey, one in five buyers was a veteran or active duty service member. NAR recommends all REALTORS® ask their clients if they have ever served, as this program provides zero-downpayment loans and favorable terms to eligible veterans.
In the testimony, Sherri asked for 3 enhancements to the program, to make it even more useful for veterans: 1) increase the loan limits for VA. VA is not just another loan program - it’s an entitlement. Veterans should not be prohibited from using their guaranty in high cost areas; 2) ease restrictions on what the veteran can pay in the mortgage transactions. Veterans are often disadvantaged when bidding on a home, due to their inability to negotiate certain fees; and 3) incentivize lenders to offer an FHA 203k-type product for veterans. This type of loan includes the costs of rehabilitation and repairs, and could allow veterans better access to homes that need some work.
NAR also supported increasing efficiency in the specially-adapted housing (SAH) grant programs, and urged the Committee to make the VA loan as useful as possible for all our nation's veterans, so it may be a real benefit to those who have so bravely served our country.