Recently a bill was signed into law that allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to back loans that exceed the conforming loan limit. The bill, H.R. 299, enables homebuyers using a VA loan to borrow above the 2019 limit of $484,350 for most counties, without any downpayment. A VA spokesperson told HousingWire that the loan limit will be lifted for loans that are guaranteed or appraised on or after January 1, 2020, and that guidance for lenders would be coming ahead of this date, published on the VA home loan circular page of its website. The VA also clarified other changes that will go into effect as a result of the bill. In addition to alleviating limits for veterans looking to purchase a home, H.R. 299 temporarily increases rates for certain loans by 0.15-0.30%, the VA said. The slight bump in loan fees is intended to help finance health care costs for veterans who are suffering the effects of Agent Orange exposure as a result of their service. Additional changes to the VA’s loan guaranty program include the elimination of funding fee differences for borrowers who are veterans versus those who are members of the Reserve. It also removes the loan limit for the Native American Direct Loan Program, exempts Purple Heart recipients from paying loan fees, and authorizes VA-designated appraisers to rely on third parties for appraisal-related information.