VA Loan Owner Occupancy Requirements

9 Replies

Hi BP folks,

My husband is in the military and we are planning to begin our real estate investing endeavors with an owner occupied multi family unit somewhere in East bay (Bay Area, CA). Assuming, of course, that I can find a deal in this market!

We're planning to use a VA loan (hence needing to owner occupy)

Welcome to Biggerpockets!

You found the place to be! You will find no better place to build a solid platform than bigger pockets. The one thing we all agree up on is that we invest in real estate. Beyond that everyone has a different niche and we love to talk about it! 

We got started with a VA loan! My husband is active duty navy. We bought a fixer upper but it was the way to go. A lot of sweat equity but the "real estate bug" bit us.

You might enjoy podcast 103 where I had the please of discussing our investment philosophy of turning our transient lifestyle into a great investment platform!

We are buy and hold investors who invest in class A properties self-managing from a distance while working full time. So we do work on furthering our careers. We live very frugally allowing us to live off of one income and save the other. We have further our career and used the W2 income to leverage our real estate portfolio.

I highly recommend you also check out- the blogs, forums and listen to the podcasts. If you see a post you enjoy check out the persons signature. Make sure you don't miss out on networking is by filling out your signature, profile and pming people with questions.

Thanks, Elizabeth Colegrove Can you comment on my two questions about the va loan?

The OP must be asleep too, there are no questions, LOL.

You won't be buying a multi-family with a VA loan, 1-4 attached residential properties are single family properties, you can buy a 1-4 with a VA. Due to comparable sales needed, a 4 plex is generally difficult. a tri-plex is as well, a duplex is much easier to swing in the appraisal process.

You need to live in the unit for at least one year, then you can move on.

You can obtain another VA loan based on your entitlement and qualifications.

Usually the most asked questions about VA loans. :)

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

oh my goodness, the BP app cut off half my post! @Elizabeth Colegrove sorry for that!

@Bill Gulley  say you can on podcast 103 but again, haven't found any actual documentation of that.

I was referring to a 4plex when I said "multi-family".  Good to know that a tri or 4 is more difficult. I will still try though!

Thanks again!

Occupancy requirements are usually set in the note, but simply state owner occupied, that definition is determined through laws dealing with mortgage fraud and intent of a borrower. Owner occupancy requirements are one year.

With all notes, the occupancy requirement is waived when unforeseen events occur such as death, divorce, economic changes or things beyond the control of a borrower that cause a hardship. VA accepts any change of duty station as a valid exception, that isn't an issue.

You'll need to show that, or it should be determinable that any event was not something that you had knowledge of. Knowing you will be changing duty stations in 6 months and taking a loan can be an issue as to your intent. They need to see that your intent was to owner occupy and not use the loan with a commercial intent.

I've not heard or seen that podcast, there are some sharp folks who may do a podcast or put information out that aren't fully informed, grazing over some finance topic may give implications that may not be completely true, finance is like that, it goes much deeper than what is generally described, even in official documents as they use terms such as "owner occupied" without going into detail. Much will be undefined and some aspects are as to what is generally accepted, what has been defined by agencies in bulletins or announcements. Not "dissing" a podcast I haven't heard, but loan compliance is a full time job, the internet isn't that best the best place to find information unless you're on an official site. :) 

Medium logoscopiccroppedblue2Bill Gulley, General Real Estate Academy | https://generalrealestateacademy.com

@Jessica Skupien  

If you were to PCS you can totally rent out your home/unit even if you have a VA loan. I currently have 2 VA loans, one being on my rental property in El Paso, TX. I purchased in December of 2013 and received orders for Recruiting duty up here in the Bay Area. I rented the El Paso home out, and used my VA benefits to purchase another SFH up here.

What service?

@Jessica Skupien  One year residency requirement. And yes you may use it as many times as you can, as long as you're within your entitlement limit. Good luck on your 4plex hunt in Nor Cal!

Originally posted by @Jessica Skupien :

Hi BP folks,

My husband is in the military and we are planning to begin our real estate investing endeavors with an owner occupied multi family unit somewhere in East bay (Bay Area, CA). Assuming, of course, that I can find a deal in this market!

We're planning to use a VA loan (hence needing to owner occupy)

 Update? Were you successful in finding something?