The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking steps to improve services for active and former military service members who are ready to buy a home, according to officials from the VA Home Loan Guaranty program at an agency briefing during the Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo.
The agency is going through a massive transition to make its loan process more efficient for buyers and housing industry professionals, such as Realtors and lenders. For example, an automated underwriting system is being evaluated to help make credit risk assessments more seamless, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Zaneta Jones, VA supervisory loan specialist, discussed the agency's new full file loan review system, which enables VA to cull and analyze data and identify systemic obstacles that should be reformed.
During the meeting, Realtors expressed concerns that some of the VA loan requirements, such as pest inspections, may dissuade sellers from accepting offers that could potentially create additional fees, which cannot be paid by the home buyer.
VA staff attorney Erica Lewis said the agency is studying the impact of the fees and may propose alternative regulations to amend the current structure. She also suggested that Realtors request a waiver from the contracted property's nearest VA field office to excuse the buyer from a particular fee restriction if the parties believe it is a local requirement.
Now that demand for the program is increasing, the VA is looking to build up its pool of appraisers so that transactions won't be held up over scheduling delays, says NAR.
The VA Home Loan Guaranty program has guaranteed more than 20 million mortgages to American veterans, with a total loan volume of over $1 trillion.