I am in the military and purchased my first home using a VA loan. I understand the purpose of a VA loan is for the eligible borrower to use the purchased property as his/her primary residence. I did find a blurb on the va website that defined primary residence as the place you live for at least 6 months and 1 day out of the year. I can understand how this would make renting a primary residence implausible, but I'm curious about using something like Airbnb. I feel like I could make the argument that I am living in a home for 6 months and 1 day out of the year and renting it out on Airbnb for the rest of the time. However, in my area, I feel like it might be difficult to cover all expenses and make a profit comparable to a rental property in just shy of 6 months of Airbnb renting. Would renting on Airbnb for more than 6 months in fact remove the primary residence classification?
This is most likely a question I will pose to a VA authority or local lawyer as well, but I'm just curious if anyone has any experience in this area. If not Airbnb, are there other legitimate ways to use a VA loan to invest in real estate without converting your previous properties into conventional mortgages?
The easiest way to "invest" with the VA loan is through buying a duplex, triplex, or quad and renting the other rooms while you occupy one. You could AirBnb a room, or have roommates that pay you rent, but I would not recommend playing with the fire of living elsewhere while renting out the entire thing.
Mortgage fraud isn't fun, but more importantly, we don't want to abuse this awesome benefit and risk it getting stricter, or disappearing.
That being said, you have to INTEND to live in the property for a reasonable amount of time (generally expected to be one year). If the military moves you, then you can rent it out immediately. There are ways around the primary residence, but don't use it strictly to buy a property for investing, this will backfire.