NAR 2022 Chairman testifies before House of Veterans Committee – RISMedia


National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) President Leslie Rouda Smith testified today before the House of Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunities at her hearing titled “Removing Barriers to Accessing to the property of veterans ”. Rouda Smith, real estate agent for 36 years, spoke about NAR’s efforts to improve the home buying process for veterans and military personnel and offered policy recommendations to help more veterans make the dream come true. American.

“NAR has a tradition of service. Twelve percent of our members are veterans or have a spouse or partner who is a veteran. It’s about 180,000 people, ”said Rouda Smith at the hearing. “Our veterans and military face unique challenges when buying a home, especially in a hot market.”

Rouda Smith stressed the importance of strengthening the VA home loan guarantee program, citing its benefits for borrowers and its role in bridging the racial gap in home ownership.

“The VA Home Loan Guaranty program offers many unique benefits, including a zero down payment requirement,” said Rouda Smith. “VA loan default rates are lower than FHA loans and comparable to conventional loans. With over 90% of Veterans choosing a no-down option, this program shows that careful underwriting and service are essential.

“Sixteen percent of black Americans received funding through the VA in 2018, compared to 9% of white Americans. Obviously, the obstacles faced by VA borrowers will have a disproportionate impact on home buyers of color. And, unfortunately, many elements of the VA loan program designed to protect veterans and military personnel are rather keeping them on the sidelines in today’s housing market, ”added Rouda Smith.

Rouda Smith went on to describe the solutions offered by REALTORS® to help the heroes of our nation. The first is to provide greater flexibility to make VA loan borrowers more competitive, noting that one of the biggest drawbacks of the VA program has been the fee limitations. The second solution is to oppose any increase in finance costs to offset the costs associated with non-housing expenses. The third is to ensure that veterans and the military understand the benefits of a VA home loan through a more robust marketing program. The final solution offered by Rouda Smith is to improve the home renovation and rehabilitation program.

“The main theme of our policy solutions is to provide every veteran with the opportunity to build wealth through home ownership,” said Rouda Smith. “We look forward to working with the subcommittee and the VA to move these efforts forward. “

Along with NAR, representatives from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Veterans United Home Loans and the American Legion were in attendance.

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