Follow the obits. Right now, it is the only way the panel opens.
But, make your application. The application, at least in the Denver Office is kept on file for year. Follow along and update each year. Sooner or later there will be an opening.
Borrowers lately are going back to their local banks. Local banks with more experience with VA are causing an increase in VA loans. There is not enough increase, however, to warrant increasing the panels.
Next time at your CE class, take a look at the VA appraisers. If they seem a little green around the gills, cross your fingers.
VA still is under the "old" system and have not gone through all the changes FHA has. Just wondering, are they having the same problems that other segments of the industry are with foreclosures, etc. It would be interesting to hear if anyone knows.