Hello. We live in a very touristy area and rent our primary residence. We are looking to buy our first rental that we can use for VRBO. We looked at a place that would be great for this (occupancy in this town is pretty great). The realtor suggested that since we were local, we would qualify for special financing. However, this is most likely would be an owner occupied loan. My husband does not want to move into the place temporarily as has been suggested by friends. My question is: How strict are these loans? If we do not have another mortgage and we receive our mail there, could we get by with not living in it? I assume that an FHA would be stricter than another type of loan. I have a contact to call a loan officer but I don't want to let on too much. Thanks for your help. I'm new at this!
@Donna R. - I hate to admit this, but I really don't think they look into this at all. I've never heard as much, but I still wouldn't recommend you take that risk of being that rare case, just because I don't know what the punishment would be.
I would side strongly with your friends (I believe the technicality on OO isn't being there full time, it's like more than X amount of days for 1 year or something.) so I would say maybe not "move in" but make sure you have some stuff to stay there when you have vacancies. But really, in my mind, say you stay there and do some repairs and paint and furniture in the beginning, then maybe some time in between, you might meet those required days.
@Donna R. Any attempt to circumvent owner occupancy agreements - which you will sign at closing - could set you up for a charge of mortgage fraud.
I'm not the world's foremost expert on this, but I do believe that the new home must be your primary residence, including being your mailing address.
Talk with your lender to be sure you understand the requirements.
Thank you both for your feedback. Yeah, if I have to sign something, that would make me very uncomfortable and the word fraud is scary to me in and of itself. I will follow up with the broker and see what she says. Thanks again.