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VA Loans and Renting: What Are the Requirements?

VA Loans and Renting: What Are the Requirements?

As a veteran, you’re entitled to use a VA home loan to buy a house as long as you’ve fulfilled the basic requirements. While most people tend to live in the homes they buy for years, sometimes, you may not be able to. When this happens, you’ll likely feel tempted to start renting the property out to another tenant. So, can you? Here’s what you need to understand about VA loan requirements and how they influence your ability to rent out your home.

You’re Expected to Live In the House

When you buy a house with a VA home loan, you’re expected to use that house as your primary residence. Further, you must move into the home within 60 days after closing on the property unless you receive an extension from the VA.

This is known as the occupancy requirement. If you’re using the loan to buy a house that you plan to live in as your primary residence, you’ll be in good shape. If you’re looking to buy a house explicitly to rent it to a tenant, you’ll need to apply for a traditional mortgage.

There Are Exceptions

The occupancy requirement is a hard and fast component of the VA loan requirements you agree to by accepting the loan. However, the VA doesn’t expect you to live in that house forever. You just have to prove that you used it as a primary residence for a set period of time.

Most VA home loan agreements stipulate that you occupy the house for at least 12 months. At the end of that 12 months, you’ll likely be able to rent the house to a tenant, even if they’re not affiliated with the military.

The only way you can rent out a property immediately after buying it is to buy a multi-family property or duplex. You must live in one of the units and use it as your primary address, but you’re free to rent out the other units to tenants as you see fit.  

You Can Buy with a VA Loan and Rent

It is possible to buy a house with a VA loan and rent it out as long as you fulfill the full list of VA loan requirements. If you’re ready to buy and want to start looking at loan options, don’t wait. Apply for your VA loan online and don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for clarification or advice.