The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is taking a bow for the insertion of a VA lending provision that was included in the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act
signed into law earlier this week by President Trump.
The primary focus of the new law extends disability compensation for Vietnam War-era military personnel with medical conditions related to the chemical herbicide Agent Orange who served off the coast of South Vietnam. Previously, only former ground troops were eligible for Agent Orange-related disability claims. The new law also covers veterans who served in the Korean Demilitarized Zone between September 1967 and August 1971 as well as children with spina bifida born to veterans who served in Thailand between January 1962 and May 1975.
Within the new law is a provision that revises the VA's home loan guaranty program to adjust loan fee rates and eliminate the limit on guaranty amount that is based on Freddie Mac’s conforming loan limit, which is currently $484,350 for most counties. The new law also allows the VA to permit a VA-approved appraiser to make a housing loan appraisal based solely on information gathered by a person with whom the appraiser has entered into an agreement for such services.
NAR claimed credit for the inclusion of the VA loan provisions into the veterans’ health bill, stating that it “had been actively engaged in Capitol Hill negotiations to ensure veteran health benefits could be extended without increasing unrelated VA home loan guarantee fees.”
“As we aim to ensure our nation’s veterans have every possible opportunity to achieve the American Dream of homeownership, the National Association of Realtors has remained a strong supporter of the VA home loan guaranty program,” said NAR President John Smaby, a broker at Edina Realty in Edina, Minnesota. “This vital tool encourages private lenders to offer favorable home loan terms to qualified veterans and provides a much-needed resource to those who have sacrificed so much for this country. Realtors support efforts to boost veteran participation in this program, but we also believe VA loan guarantee fees should be based on the risk of the loan made, not the costs of other VA programs or benefits.”