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VA Loans: Can They Be Used for Buying a Second Home?

Planning to buy second home from VA loan?

VA loan is a good option that a veteran has in order to invest in property at an age when his income is not good enough to take loan from other financial authority. Because of the repayment risk, not all the leading financial institutions are keen to provide loan to veterans.

However, when a borrower applies for VA loan, the first criterion is that the loan needs to be taken for the borrower’s primary residence. Usually the loan is not provided if the borrower already has a primary residence. However, as with any process, there are certain exceptions in this as well. Let us look at all the exceptions and loopholes which exist for VA loans:

  1. There is an option that a third party can assume the VA loan through the means of buying or selling the mortgaged property. In this case, the party that is going to assume the loan is not required to be a veteran and it is not necessary that the property they are going to assume is their first property.
  2. There are exceptions for military family as well. Since there are high chances that a military family movers more often than a civilian family, the rules in case of military veteran is much more relaxed. They can buy a property using the option of VA loan even if the property is not there first property. However there is a catch to it. The buyer needs to be occupying the house for more than 6 months in a year.
  3. VA also lays down the guideline that the owner needs to occupy the second house and make it their primary residence within a reasonable time frame. Reasonable timeframe is a variable factor and for various buyers, this time frame is different. However, as a baseline, reasonable timeframe is considered to be around 1 year.

Second homes which are eligible for VA loans:

For second homes to be qualified for VA loan there are certain criteria that need to be fulfilled. These criteria’s are:

  1. Buyer may buy the house to be used as vacation homes. This kind of property does not qualify for VA loans.
  2. As mentioned above, the buyer has to spend considerable amount of time in a home every year to make it eligible for VA loan.

It is very important for the buyer to consult with a recognized VA loan advisor before going for the loan.

There are also certain rules around the occupancy of home and relocation in case of military service. In case of a military person who is currently active in service, there are high chances that he will be moved around more often. With every movement, the primary residence of the serviceman will change. In such case, if a serviceman takes a VA loan, his spouse is allowed to continue staying in that home. However, apart from the spouse, no other family member is allowed to avail this.

If the house is vacated by both the serviceman and the spouse because of any transfer owing to military orders, the loan needs to be paid by either reselling the house or refinancing. More information on this can be obtained by contacting the VA authority.

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