Valor Place – Affordable Veterans Housing

A shortage of affordable housing often leads to homelessness for Minnesota veterans. According to Wilder Research, 46% of veterans name the shortage as the primary barrier to finding a stable place to live – and they need your help.

Introducing Valor Place … and the Need

The Plymouth Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) is building a twin home in Plymouth called Valor Place, designed to provide stable, affordable, rental housing for U.S. military veterans. Owned and managed by HRA, the two units will be available to vets and their families who meet income and other eligibility requirements. Learn more about the Valor Place project at

Proposed rendering of Valor Place development in Plymouth

To make Valor Place possible, the HRA has teamed up with Charles Cudd Co., Outreach Development Corporation, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans – and we would welcome the opportunity to add your business to our list of partners. 

Help Make a House a Home – by Nov. 1

We are seeking in-kind donations to furnish the twin home. Once complete, each unit will be about 1,800 square feet and feature three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full kitchen, a two-car garage and more. Furniture, household goods, and the like will give veterans an established place to call home without purchasing or finding furniture to fit their new spaces. A list of needed furniture and furnishings is attached.

With a targeted completion date of Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, we need your help to furnish the homes by Nov. 1.

Ways to Give

  • Donate furniture, furnishings, and household items: Please contact me to arrange pick up or delivery of items.
  • Donate online: Make an online tax-deductible donation using the City of Plymouth’s secure online payment portal at
  • Donate by mail: Make your check payable to Outreach Development Corporation (indicate “Valor Place” on the memo line) and mail to: 

Outreach Development Corporation – Valor Place

1605 County Road 101 N., Plymouth, MN 55447

All donations, whether in-kind or financial, are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

On behalf of our team and our military vets, thank you for your support.

Dean Sherman

Vice President, Plymouth Beyond the Yellow Ribbon – 612.743.7591

2020 VA Loan Benefits

2020 VA Loan Benefits

2020 has been a confusing year, to say the least. However, some positives have come out of it too. Especially regarding VA home loans, which at the beginning of the year had some significant changes take place.

These changes came after the Bluewater Act was signed into law by President Donald Trump on June 25th, 2019. This new law brought about changes to VA benefits so that they covered Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to a dangerous chemical referred to as Agent Orange, while on deployment. VA home loans were also changed by the new law as they removed loan limits for first-time borrowers removed, and funding fees changed.

VA Home Loan Changes

The signing of the new law saw the removal of loan limits for first-time borrowers, which allows them to shop for homes in areas that were previously too expensive. However, because these loans are provided by qualified lenders and not the VA itself, each lender has to make sure that the borrower can afford their monthly payments.

As a result, lenders have the freedom to set up their own loan limits, which are not administered by the VA, but rather by the applicant’s ability to make payments on time. Currently, VA Home Loan Centers has a loan limit of $5,000,000 for first-time borrowers who are qualified.

This removal of loan limits does not cover borrowers with more than one existing VA loan. Hence, they are still subject to the loan limit set up by their county. As a result of this new law, county limits across the country were also raised from an average of $484,350 to $510,400. Although some counties have even higher loan limits based on the cost of living.

In addition to these changes for first-time borrowers and second-time borrowers, the new law also brought changes to other groups of people. Native American veterans, for example, are no longer required to limit themselves when purchasing or buying a home on Federal Trust Land.

The new law also brought changes to the VA funding fee, which is a one-time payment that is paid by the borrower to lower the cost of a loan for tax-payers. The changes that took place increased the funding fee that is funded by active duty service members from 0.15% to 0.30%. At the same time, it lowered the funding fee for members of the National Guard and military reserves.

Active Duty personnel who have been awarded the Purple Heart due to their heroism can have their funding fee payment waived. The only requirement is that Purple Heart recipients close on their property while still in active duty. Moreover, the program did not affect disabled veterans who were already exempt from having to pay for the funding fee.

All of these changes to the funding fee are temporary and are set to last until 2022.

VA Home Loans

VA home loans are government-guaranteed loans that are designed to assist veterans, active-duty service members, and eligible spouses become homeowners. Created by an act of congress in 1944 to help veterans returning home from World War 2, buy a home. VA home loans have since helped about 22 million American Veterans but the home of their dreams.

Several eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for the VA home loan, these include military service, property, income, and credit score If an applicant meets all of these requirements, they will be able to purchase a home with some of the best benefits available. These benefits include:

  • Zero money down payments.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payments.
  • No pre-payment penalties.
  • Lower interest rates.
  • No mortgage premiums.

In addition to these great benefits, VA loans also offer the option of having your home loan either be a 15 or a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.


The changes that were implemented at the beginning of 2020 have made an already excellent home loan program even better. By signing this program into law, the government reinforced the notion that they really care about our men and women in the military.

Phil Georgiades is the CLS for VA Home Loan Centers, a government-sponsored brokerage focused on VA Home Loans. With over 22 years of experience working in real estate, Phil and his team of trained agents can help you find the loan that is right for you. To apply for a VA loan, please visit