On November 8, the Arizona REALTORS® 2018 President-Elect Patrick Lewis hosted the Facebook Live event “Housing News for Veterans” with REALTORS® George “G-II” Varrato, MVHC and his wife Lori Klindera, CRM. Below are some highlights.

Part One: VAREP & NAR Committees + VA Loan Application

Patrick: In observation of National Veteran and Military Families Month, we’ll be talking about veteran’s programs and things that can benefit military families.

G-II: Thanks a lot, Patrick. Being the gentleman that I am, I’m going to let my wife introduce herself first.

Lori: I’m Lori Klindera with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. We’ve been with Coldwell Banker for 30 years and we just love what we do.

G-II: And I’m G-II Varrato. I’m also the Arizona State Director and the National Legislative Committee Chairman for VAREP (Veterans Assn. of Real Estate Professionals) and this year I am also one of 60 NAR (National Assn. of REALTORS®) Diversity Committee members…along with two other members of VAREP; Yeimalis Acevedo-Rasmussen (Diversity) and Bill Process (Finance).

VAREP has an inside track at NAR and we’re going to discuss ways to help the real estate community become better stewards of the VA Loan product. There are about 22 million veterans and about 1.4 million active duty service men and women. Of that number, less than 10 percent take advantage of the VA Loan product.

Patrick: So, there are all these programs out there that are available for veterans and…only ten percent are really taking advantage of these programs. What are some ways that we can expand that awareness?

G-II: It’s a good question. Since 1944, the VA Loan Application hasn’t had a requirement for the lender to ask the applicant, “Have you ever served?”

Lori: The new loan application (URLA, Uniform Residential Loan Application) will give the lender the opportunity to (ask) the applicant…has he or she ever served in the military?

G-II: Under current federal law, lenders have an obligation to explain to a qualified applicant the difference between an FHA and a conventional loan, (but) there is no law that presses upon the lender to make that additional comparison of the VA loan. VAREP (Veterans Assn. of Real Estate Professionals) has a piece of legislation in Congress that will actually add that as a legal requirement.*

Portions of this transcript may have been edited for clarity.

Next: VA Loan Limits?

Related articles:
*New Veteran-Friendly Mortgage Loan Application – Arizona REALTORS® Blog
Ten Things Most Veterans Don’t Know About VA Home Loans – U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

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