real estate VA loans

Can I Have Two VA Loans at the Same Time?

January 30, 2015

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Can I Have Two VA Loans at the Same Time?

va loansRecently a question came in asking whether it’s possible to have two VA home loans at the same time. While the answer depends on many things, including the nature of the second loan, how much VA entitlement remains and other factors, there are important details a VA borrower should know up front.

Many people thinking about taking out a second VA home loan are thinking about buying more property. It’s true that many are looking at second mortgage options or VA cash-out refinancing programs in order to use the money for home improvements or other purposes–who wouldn’t want to own another home if they can afford to do so?

VA loans depend on the amount of eligibility the borrower has. A first-time home buyer has 100% of their VA loan eligibility available to them. When the buyer closes the deal on a VA home loan, chances are good that they’ve used all their original VA loan entitlement. When the original loan gets paid off, entitlement can be restored at the borrower’s request and the entitlement can be used again.

A buyer who has entitlement remaining can borrow against it, but they will not be approved for a VA guaranty beyond the amount of that entitlement OR the amount of the VA “bonus entitlement” as per the changes made to the VA loan laws in 2008. The loan application will be examined by the lender and the borrower may be required to make a down payment.

VA loansĀ are intended for properties the borrower will live in full-time. Known as the “primary occupancy” rule, the VA loan applicant must certify in most cases that they intend to live on the property as their main address. You can’t get a VA home loan for a summer home, and you can’t have a VA loanĀ on a property intended as a rental unless you occupy one of the units yourself as the primary residence at closing time.

About Joe Wallace

Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association.

11 Comments
  1. William Johnson III

    I'm a buyer who already have a VA mortgage loan and wants to borrow in order to purchase second property back east which will become a primary residence in the near future. If there is one situation where this rule may have an exception, please advise.

    • Joe Wallace

      There are a lot of variables--if the first VA loan has not been paid off chances are good that you wouldn't qualify to get the second loan as you must maintain primary occupancy on the first property and buying a second with a VA home loan would mean having to certify that purchase is your primary residence. A VA home loan that has been refinanced with a new VA mortgage requires only that you certify the property WAS your primary residence. That circumstance would be more favorable for a new VA home loan in most cases--having a refinanced VA mortgage instead of the original one. Also, you would not be eligible for 100% VA loan eligibility because the first property has not been paid off--you would need to have VA loan entitlement restored to get full entitlement for the new loan--unless you want to use only your remaining entitlement if any.

      • D.C.

        purchased existing home with VA loan - paid off existing home - want to purchase a duplex where I will live in one half and rent the other and put the first home that I own up for sale - will I be able to get another VA loan in this situation?

        • Joe Wallace

          You'll first need to apply for restored VA loan eligibility. You can get a one-time only restoration while keeping the paid-off home, but you'll need to furnish proof that the loan has been paid in full.

  2. A.B.

    so what if one has a conventional loan from one home, plans to go with a VA Loan for 2nd home, would I be forced to either rent or sell the home financed thru a conventional loan before I'd be eligable for a VA loan to finance a 2. home. As it stands right now, I am planing to buy a new home thru my VA Loan, 1 time user. I am trying to keep my other home, on which I only owe a very small amount, till I can figure out if I would like to sell our rent it out. However the bank is telling me, I have to either present the lender with a 12 month lease or a sales contract of my home, or the VA Loan would not be approved, due to I could only have one primary residence. Anybody knows anything about that? I am having a hard time here, since got a very good deal on the 2. home and already made an offer.

    • Joe Wallace

      VA loan rules require you to use the property purchased with the VA mortgage as your primary residence. Have you contacted the VA for assistance? Call them at 1800 827 1000 for advice in this specific situation.

  3. Mary

    We bought our first home 5 years ago and didn't use all of our entitlement. We had to move so obviously we don't maintain that as permanent residence, and we have renters in it currently. Can we take out a second loan to use up what's left of our entitlement if we have our other house?

    • Joe Wallace

      It may depend on whether or not you've refinanced the original property and other factors--best advice is to contact your loan officer to discuss your situation and see what restrictions might apply.

  4. David Texada

    I bought some land next door to my existing house and I want to add on to my house to make it bigger. My existing house is already under my VA loan. Can I use a second VA loan to improve my house with 1000 more square feet of living space?

    • Joe Wallace

      Have you considered a VA cash out refinance loan to do this? You can pre-qualify online at www.valoans.com (a private company, not a government agency).

  5. Brian Harston

    I have a VA home loan, but that house is currently for sale because I had to relocate for my job. Can I get a second VA mortgage while I am selling that first house?

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