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RISMEDIA, Oct. 14, 2008-Veterans across America now have expanded homeownership opportunities, thanks to the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008. Friday, President George W. Bush signed the bill into law, which includes housing provisions for veterans who are already homeowners and those who aspire to homeownership, according to the National Association of Realtors(R).

“As the leading advocate for housing issues, Realtors(R) have a long history of supporting homeownership and affordable housing for veterans,” said NAR President Dick Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif. “Our members appreciate the efforts of the president and Congress, and the leadership of Sens. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., in making sure this law was passed. This will go a long way toward helping veterans buy and keep their homes.”

Three provisions in the legislation are critical to help veterans during the current housing turmoil. The law will make it easier for veterans who have fallen victim to risky subprime loans to refinance their loans into safer, more affordable loans backed by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. The legislation also extends the VA loan limit increases through 2011, which will help veterans living in high-cost areas. In addition, the VA can now offer adjustable-rate mortgages to veterans. That would make homeownership more attainable for military families and personnel who often have to move more frequently than their civilian counterparts.

“We need to support and protect those who serve our country,” said Gaylord. “Helping ensure that every veteran who can afford to own a home and wants to do so will have the opportunity and that everyone who responsibly owns a home is able to keep it is part of that commitment.”

For more information, visit www.realtor.org.

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