(FHA Loan) can I also live somewhere else?

34 Replies

Hi everyone Quick question. I know if I get an FHA Loan it must be my primary residence for a year but I was wondering if I could also live somewhere else? I'd have all my stuff in my property but also share an apartment with my girlfriend. Ideally I'd just move into the duplex with my girlfriend but she does not want to live on that side of town so I was thinking about occupying both? Does anyone have any experience with this? If so let me know!

I was thinking about doing the same exact thing. Move my belongings into the property and stay with my girlfriend most of the time. I don't see why that would be a problem as long as your mail is going there. I'm not 100% sure but I just don't see why not

No experience with it, but as long as you kind of live at that place a majority of the year, you should be fine. To be safe, I would just make sure I slept there a majority of nights to make sure you are complying with the rules of the FHA Loan. Then again, how would they know where you really sleep or stay during the day? Depends with how closely you want to follow the provisions in your contract. Either way, as long as you don't rent it out, they probably wouldn't notice.

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Hey Christian,my wife and I are doing the exact same thing for us to start our first rental portfolio. It's a great way to use the FHA loan. Just like the other guys said kind of do it secretly as long as the mortgage that lend you the loan don't know. I know it's bad thing to stay,but we won't be the first or last people to do it.

@Cristian Samayoa , you have received extremely bad information here.

Telling your loan officer that you will live in the property as your primary residence while actually not living there or even intending to live there is mortgage fraud, and it is a felony.

The FHA loan is for owner occupants who intend on living in the property for at least one year.

@Tavaris Little , @Account Closed

listen to @Mindy Jensen . Signing documents saying that you will live in the property and then not doing so constitutes mortgage fraud, as she mentioned.

The rule, as I understand it, is that you must live there as your 'primary', which means at least 51% of the time for the first year.

I would listen to @Mindy Jensen and @Jeff Brower on this, especially since you publicly made your intentions known. The FHA loan is really intended to help more people become homeowners and not really for investors to game the system. If you go the FHA route, owner occupy the property for the specific time frame and then move out if that's what you want to do.

@Chris Mason , is there a specific amount of time you have to live in a place for it to qualify as your primary residence? 

I know there is leeway, in that you do not have to sleep in a property for 365 straight nights, but does FHA specify anything?

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :

@Chris Mason , is there a specific amount of time you have to live in a place for it to qualify as your primary residence? 

I know there is leeway, in that you do not have to sleep in a property for 365 straight nights, but does FHA specify anything?

 Hi Mindy,

Primary residence isn't defined down to that level of granularity that I've seen. So, if it came down to it, it might be a judgement call on the part of... a judge, in court. Or perhaps there is some legal precedent. 

My personal non-legal opinion would be that if you're sleeping at the FHA property during the week and with the GF on weekends, you're probably fine, but if it's the reverse then perhaps not.

@Cristian Samayoa

The penalty for lying on an FHA mortgage is a Federal crime punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. And as @Mindy Jensen said its just not worth it.  For the property to be your personal residence, you need to actually live there and sleep there more than half the days of the year, like 367 days plus.  You need to have those utilities in your name, your drivers license and owners registration need to be that address, your voter registration needs to be that address, your Federal and state income tax returns need to be that address, etc. etc. etc.

Don't play games or you could be a felon

FHA mortgages are only for owner occupied properties, up to 4 units, you must occupy one for at least 1 year, after that you can move.

There's other ways to legally have low down on an investment property, seller second being just one method.

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Originally posted by @Tavaris Little :

Chris Mason does the USDA loan have the same requirement as far as the one year occupancy?

 Not many rural areas in the Bay Area so I've never done one, but my understanding is that the owner occupancy requirement is the same. I could be totally wrong though, never personally done a USDA.

@David Krulac

David so if I understood you correctly, once you have lived in a FHA financed property for at least one year you can move out. But does this mean that you can live in another location full time and say rent out the property. Or are you required to owner occupy the residence until the end of the loan (or after you refinance out of it)?

@Daniel Lopez

After the first year you can move anywhere else, and rent out the FHA house for as long as you like. So on a 30 year FHA mortgage, you need to occupy the first year then you can rent it for the next 29 years while still having an FHA mortgage.

Thanks @Cristian Samayoa for asking this question and @Mindy Jensen for monitoring these forums. Great work. I just posted this exact question in a new forum. My wife and I are in an apartment and want to use this strategy but our lease ends in 10 months. We're curious on whether we just need to wait through our apt lease before we dive into a multi-family FHA deal.

So I helped my sister moving into a apartment by getting on her lease but I don’t live there.

If I were to buy myself property back by an fha loan would I run into problems even though I’m attached to her lease but I don’t live there and I’m willing to live in the fha back home as my primary residence 

Again I dont live at the apt but I’m on that lease for 8 more months.

None of the bills are in my name either.