Skip to content

Learn About the Many Benefits of VA Loans in Florida

This last week, I was craving comfort food, and I've heard great things about Foxy Brown in Fort Lauderdale. I took a trip over to check it out, and I thought that it was cool that a patty melt and milkshake inspired this place because they are so much more than that. Foxy Brown markets itself as a comfort food spot with a twist, and I couldn't agree more.

I went a little lighter than usual, but I had to start with the French onion soup. It had great flavor and plenty of cheese. I typically like the onions a little more marinated, but this soup hit the spot and felt like I was having a bowl of soup in Boston. I didn't want to over-indulge, so I went light with a grilled chicken caesar salad. It was a delicious Caesar salad; trust me, I've had a lot in my lifetime. It was great, but I would like a few more anchovies.

Overall, this place followed through on all the great reviews that they have. The atmosphere was great, the service was on point, and it was an overall clean restaurant. Foxy Brown lived up to the hype of their great reviews, and FoodiePhil rates them at 8.3! I will be back!

Banner Foodie Phil - 114-min

Send me your recommendations!

In this week's newsletter, we will discuss the many benefits VA loans offer to current service members, veterans, and reserves. We will focus on the documents needed for underwriting, the requirements, and general information for this beneficial loan to those who qualify.

  1. Required Documents
  2. Eligibility Requirements
  3. General Information

1. Required Documents

Like any mortgage, acquiring a VA loan involves a series of steps. First, obtain a pre-approval letter from a lender. Next, A VA-approved lender will issue a certificate of eligibility upon verification of your service eligibility for the loan. To obtain a certificate of eligibility, you may need to demonstrate your proof of service in the military by submitting several documents. For instance, if you're in active service, you'll need a statement of service signed by your unit commander or personnel officer. Alternatively, veterans can submit DD Form 214 verifying their lawful discharge from the service. You can also obtain a certificate of eligibility by making an online request to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Next up, make an offer on a property, and have the lender order the VA appraisal once the offer has been accepted and you have given the intent to proceed.


2. Eligibility Requirements

A valid proof of service in the military is just one of the many eligibility requirements for a VA mortgage. In addition, lenders may verify your income and credit score and ascertain your property condition before approving your application. Government-backed mortgages have a stringent occupancy requirement for the type of property you may buy. Generally, the property you wish to buy using a VA Loan must be your primary residence within 60 days of acquiring the home. Thus, you may not use the loan to purchase a vacation home, secondary residence, or investment property. The Veteran Affairs Department doesn't cap a credit score for potential borrowers. As a result, lenders apply different limits for credit scores. Your DTI shows how much of your gross monthly income you use to pay your debts. Although the VA Department doesn't have a limit for DTI, some lenders might consider your DTI in determining your ability to repay the loan. A DTI not exceeding 41% is generally safer regardless of the lending institution.


3. General Information

The VA loan limit is the maximum amount your lender can extend to you without a down payment. Since 2020, VA loans have had no borrowing limits for veterans and service members entitled to full VA benefits. However, loan limits may apply if you have an existing VA mortgage or defaulted on a previous mortgage. If you have an existing VA mortgage, you can apply for and get another loan. A common myth in the VA world is you can only use a VA Loan once, which is not true. A VA Loan is not a one-time lending deal; hence you can reuse your loan benefit to get another primary residential property. Some benefits of a VA loan are zero down payment is required, there is no mortgage insurance, and they have very competitive interest rates.


Having a place to call home after your military service is a significant investment you should consider. However, the challenge comes if you have a lower credit score, high DTI, and no substantial money to put down upfront. You'll need to reduce your debt bill and improve your credit score to negotiate better loan terms.

Despite the complexities in mortgage lending, VA loans now offer flexible terms for veterans and active service members. You can have your dream home in any VA-approved neighborhood without a down payment. Additionally, the government's guarantee on VA loans means eligible members can enjoy lower interest rates, closing costs, and zero equity during loan refinancing.

Interested in learning about becoming a resident in Florida or moving there? Read more.


We Want to Help You Buy Your Home Efficiently!
Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card When Fully Approved


Become a World's Most Trusted Realtor:


There are many factors to consider when getting into the home-buying process. It’s best to evaluate all options and to really make sure that now is the right time to buy a home. If you’re only focused on the purchase price and interest rate, you’re simply not ready to buy and need to evaluate more to make sure you are not wasting your own time. If you plan on expanding your family, do consider getting a home larger than you originally thought as it will pay dividends in the long run!

Got a question? Contact me today to chat with a financial advisor or discuss your next steps. 

Find The Right Mortgage

For more than 20 years, Phil have been helping customers achieve their home purchase and refinance goals by providing them with invaluable resources and support.

Schedule a FREE Consultation
Phil Ganz

Subscribe to Get Your First Time Homebuyer Checklist

Sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest real estate market trends, loan news, and so much more!