How Long Do I Have to Occupy My VA Loan Home?
How long do you have to occupy your home after a VA loan?
The Veterans Administration doesn’t require a minimum length of time that a borrower must occupy a home purchased with a VA-backed loan.
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The general rule for occupancy after purchase with a VA loan is that the borrower must certify that they intend to personally occupy the home as their primary residence within 60 days of the loan closing date. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, which we will discuss in more detail below.
There are a number of reasons why borrowers may not be able to occupy their home within that 60-day window. In some cases, the property may not be move-in ready on the day of closing due to renovations that are still in progress. In other cases, the borrower may have to relocate for work or other personal reasons before they can move into their new home.
whatever the reason, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations around occupancy for VA loans before you sign on the dotted line. Keep reading to learn more about what you need to know.
The Answer: It Depends
The answer to this question depends on a few different factors, including the type of loan you have and the purpose of the occupancy requirement. For most VA loans, the borrower is required to occupy the home as their primary residence within 60 days of loan closing. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, so it’s important to talk to your lender about your specific situation.
For instance, if you are taking out a VA loan to purchase a multi-unit home (such as a duplex), you may be able to rent out the other unit(s) and still meet the occupancy requirements. There are also some circumstances in which you may be exempt from the occupancy requirement altogether, such as if you are a member of the military who is being deployed or transferred.
In general, though, the answer to this question is that you will need to occupy your VA loan home within 60 days of closing on the loan. If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of your VA loan, be sure to talk to your lender. They will be able to give you all the information you need to make sure you are in compliance with the terms of your loan.
Factors That Determine How Long You Must Occupy Your Home
The Veterans Administration has a rule that borrowers must “occupy” or move into their home within 60 days of loan closing. However, life happens and there are often extenuating circumstances that arise after closing that may make it difficult to do so. The following are a few examples of what may allow for an extension of the occupancy requirement.
The type of VA loan you have
One of the most important factors that determines how long you must occupy your home is the type of VA loan you have. If you have a regular VA loan, also called a direct loan, you must live in the home as your primary residence for at least one year. However, if you have a VA-backed loan, such as aCalVet Home Loan or a VETERAN Home Loan, you only need to certify that you intend to live in the home as your primary residence. There is no minimum occupancy requirement for these types of loans.
The occupancy clause in your loan contract
The occupancy clause in your loan contract dictates how long you must occupy your home after closing. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doesn’t dictate a minimum occupancy period for VA loans, but most lenders require that borrowers occupy their homes within 60 days of loan closing.
If you need to move before occupying the home, talk to your lender. Some lenders may restrict when you can move or may require that you reapply for the loan.
There are a few other factors that may influence when you must occupy the home, including:
-The type of VA loan product you’re using
-The purpose of the loan
-Your unique circumstances
If you’re using the VA Cash-Out Refinance Loan, there’s no occupancy requirement. You can use this loan product to refinance an existing home loan and take cash out for any purpose. However, all other VA loans do come with an occupancy requirement.
For example, the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL) can only be used to refinance an existing home loan – not to purchase a new home. But because this is a refinance product, there’s no occupancy requirement. You can use the cash from this loan for any purpose and don’t have to live in the home to qualify.
VA Purchase Loans are intended for buying a primary residence, so these loans always come with an occupancy requirement. Borrowers must certify that they intend to live in the property as their primary residence within 60 days of closing.
When You Can Sell Your Home After Occupancy
The VA doesn’t have a minimum occupancy requirement for your home. You can sell your home as soon as you’d like after buying it with a VA loan.
There are a few things to keep in mind if you plan on selling your home shortly after purchasing it with a VA loan. If you have a down payment of less than 25 percent, you’ll need to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI). You can avoid PMI by waiting until you have more than 25 percent equity in your home before selling.
Another thing to consider is that you may not be able to sell your home for as much as you paid for it if market conditions have changed or if repairs are needed. It’s important to make sure that you have the resources available to make any necessary repairs before listing your home for sale.
If you have any questions about selling your home after occupying it with a VA loan, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
The bottom line is that you’ll need to occupy your home for at least a year before you can consider renting it out. There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re in compliance with the VA’s occupancy requirements, such as getting a home inspection and keeping documentation of any repairs or renovations you make to the property. You may also want to consult with a real estate attorney to make sure you’re taking all the necessary steps to comply with the VA’s rules.