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Can I buy the second home with a VA loan?

Fantastic question! My name’s Evan Kaufman and I’m your VA loan originator. Let’s figure it out.

Let’s say you saw that beautiful home on the beach or in the mountains, and you’re somewhere landlocked or whatnot, and you want to get that next home that you can go enjoy and be with your family.

While you can definitely do that with conventional loans, and you can go get a second home and have a little bit lower down payment and slightly better interest rates than investment property, you cannot do that with the VA loan.

The VA loan has to be your primary residence.

Second homes are kind of like close to investment property, not quite. The rule on that typically is that you’ve got to be able to reside there at least 14 days on a second home. But the deal with a VA loan is it needs to be your primary residence, so the majority of the year being in there, that is the deal with the VA loan and that’s a big difference, right?

So, you’ve got to be there for a long time – plan on it being your full home that you’re going to live in. Typically want to make sure that’s where you get your mailing address, all that good stuff too.

Now here’s the deal though, you can purchase a home as your primary residence and then let’s say you happen to move after that. Especially, we work with almost entirely military families PCS-ing and making their moves all over the country and Veterans doing the same thing.

And they decide, hey I own my home and let’s say it’s somewhere in California and it was a nice home that they really loved, beautiful weather down south, southern California or something like that, and then they decide they want to move and keep that home, you can do that.

You can then buy that home in California as long as it was going to be your primary residence, you were living there full-time, and then when you happen to move away, you can still keep that VA loan on that house and that is okay.

Now that’s going to limit if you’re going to keep it, it might limit some of your ability to use a VA loan in the future and we have some other really good videos on that, on calculating VA county loan limits and how your loan limits apply when you have multiple outstanding VA loans.

Because remember if you have no outstanding VA loans or you’re selling your house that has a VA loan, and then you’re going to free up all your VA eligibility, there is no 0% down loan limit on a VA loan, which is just incredible.

We’ve helped folks with one, two plus million homes VA loans, 100% financing, pretty crazy. But on second home concept still, you can’t really use it to go buy that second home.

Let’s say you’re living in Texas and you want to go buy that house up in the mountains or down on the beach as a second home, can’t use your VA loan there unless it’s going to actually be your primary residence and you intend on living there the majority of the year.

So, can you use a VA loan for a second home or even like a vacation rental kind of deal?


Then little asterisk is if you happen to have bought it as a primary residence and you live there, the VA likes to see you live there for at least a year – unless you have some kind of circumstance that change that, job changes, kids, you have to move for some particular reason, it’s usually okay.

But if you don’t have that, they want to see at least a year and then if you happen to move from then and rent it out or keep it as your second home that you go to, that’s okay. But the deal is originally it’s got to be your primary residence with you intending on living there.

My name is Evan Kaufman again, your VA loan originator. Please feel free to reach out, we help active-duty military and Veterans all across the country win a home with a VA loan. Take care.

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2024 VA Home Loan Guide

VA Guide

This short guide is designed to provide you the most important details of the VA Loan in an easy-to-use format. Print it out and read at your leisure.

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