VA requirements

Can I Purchase a Boat or RV With My VA Loan Benefits?

February 3, 2019

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Can I Purchase a Boat or RV With My VA Loan Benefits?

va loanOne common question about VA home loans involves the purchase of properties other than suburban homes. VA loan benefits allow buyers to purchase a condo, mixed-use property, multi-family units, manufactured or modular homes and many other options. Not all lenders offer loans on these properties, but VA loan rules do permit them when a lender does choose to offer the loan.

Some buyers want to know about the possibility of a VA-guaranteed loan for a houseboat. After all, a VA loan is possible for a mobile home, so why not a boat?

Unfortunately, VA loans for boats–houseboats or otherwise–are not allowed. The reason for this has primarily to do with the fact that a boat can’t be considered “real property” or real estate under the law. The lack of a permanent foundation prevents the boat from being considered under the VA loan program. There’s a precedent set for this under the rules for VA loans on manufactured homes.

“To be eligible for a VA loan term of 30 years, a manufactured home must be

  • classified and taxed as real property
  • properly affixed to a permanent foundation
  • substantially conform with VA MPRs, and
  • conform with applicable building code and zoning requirements for real estate.”

That’s according to Chapter 10 of the VA Lender’s Handbook. The same consideration would also apply in cases where the borrower wants to purchase a recreational vehicle or RV with a VA loan. Since there is no permanent foundation possible with such a structure, it couldn’t be classified as real estate and would not be eligible for a VA appraisal as real estate. While an RV may be considered by some as being similar to a mobile home, VA loan rules are clear:

“The manufactured home unit must be properly attached to a permanent foundation system which is constructed to withstand both supporting loads and wind-overturning loads, and is acceptable to the building authority having jurisdiction.”

Any dwelling, mobile or not, which lacks a permanent foundation would not be approved for a VA loan.

Do you have questions about the VA loan process? Ask us in the comments section.

4 Comments
  1. Bill Ferris

    What do we need to know about older homes in order to obtain VA financing. For example...does Va consider foundations of rock and mortar? Are there any age requirements for furnaces, electrical panels, etc. We are thinking of looking in town for a property which would have city water and sewer. Is there any problem with that? Also, is there any particular property/lot size? I would appreciate any information you may give. Thank you, Bill.

    • Joe Wallace

      VA appraisals don't just take the VA minimum property requirements into consideration--the home must live up to state and local building codes as well. There are many issues which could factor into an older home being approved or denied. Acreage is often dependent on how much the lender is willing to approve. Some lenders might approve five acres, others might have different standards. When it comes to electrical systems and other crucial parts of the home, age isn't as much of a concern as safety, condition and whether the systems meet local code. For specific information on a particular type of home or conditions in that home that could affect the approval of a VA loan, your nearest VA Regional Loan Center would definitely be a good resource--find yours at http://www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans/rlcweb.asp

  2. Harold J Lyda

    I am checking to see if a VA loans is available for this type of home which my wife and I will be using as our permanent home. This house is completely set up in a r.v. park in Lincoln City,Ore. These homes are considered as rv's and Also heard that the v.a. department is going make loans available for veterans to get loans for these park model homes. Thank you

    • Joe Wallace

      VA loans aren't available for any property that can't be classified as real estate, it must have a fixed permanent foundation.

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