SAN FRANCISCO (November 10, 2013) – The National Association of Realtors® honors the brave men and women who have worn the uniform of our U.S. military on Veterans Day and every day by providing housing resources and information to active duty and retired military service members.
“NAR is proud to count more than 20,000 veterans among our members and together we strive to serve active and retired military service members and their families with their unique housing needs,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty, in Villa Park, Calif. “Whether relocating for a change of station or transitioning to a permanent residence, Realtors® build communities and are committed to helping military families.”
NAR recently launched a Military Relocation Professional certification, which provides Realtors® with information and tools to accommodate current and former military service members at any stage of their career and who often need to buy a home under a compressed timeline.
“Service members may have only a few days to see properties, make an offer, and get a home under contract. Others might be deployed during the transaction and need representation,” said Thomas. “Service members can count on Realtors® with MRP certification to understand their housing needs; Realtors® can also help leverage the financing benefits available to military personnel through the Department of Veterans Affairs, such as zero-downpayment loans, which help make homeownership more affordable.”
NAR is a strong advocate for the VA loan program, which is fully backed by the government and has some of the lowest default rates. Since its establishment in 1944, the loan program has helped millions of veterans to purchase and maintain homes with safe, affordable financing. Many types of military clients can qualify for the VA-guaranteed home loan, including honorably discharged veterans, career and active duty military, medically disabled, and some spouses or dependents.
NAR has joined with VA, Quicken Loans, and nonprofit organizations on a series of online forums to answer questions and engage veterans and Realtors® about available housing benefits.
“Many Realtor® members show their deep commitment to helping veterans in need through their professional and personal volunteer efforts,” said Thomas. “Two shining examples of members who are driven to give back to the veteran community are 2013 Good Neighbor Awards honorable mentions, Nick Manis from Manis Realtors® in Dayton, N.J., and Rebecca Moniz with Weichert, Realtors® Cress & Company in East Greenwich, R.I.
Manis co-founded the G.I. Go Fund, a nonprofit that helps returning veterans to transition back to civilian life. Moniz supports military families through The Rhode Island Military Family Programs, which provides housing-related resources for service members, recent veterans, and their families after deployment. She also co-founded the Realtors® Troop Support Task Force and has educated more than 1,300 service members about homeownership, loan modifications, refinancing scams and tax assessments.
NAR has also developed a VA Toolkit for Realtors®, which gives an overview of VA's home loan guaranty program, offers detailed information on VA products, and provides resources to address common misconceptions about the VA loan guaranty.
“In our industry, there is nothing more gratifying than helping a deserving family find a house they can call home,” said Thomas. “We salute those veterans who have served and protected our country’s freedom; and to all of the service men and women currently deployed in overseas warzones, working diligently on bases near and far, or marching in peacekeeping missions before the dust of conflicts have even settled, we wish you a safe return and are eager to welcome you home.”
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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