VA Loan Occupancy Requirements: A Reader Question
VA loan rules are very clear on the issue of occupancy. The borrower is required to certify that he or she will take possession of the property and occupy it as the primary residence, “within a reasonable time” which is defined by the VA as “usually 60 days”.
An exception can be made based on individual circumstances on a case-by-case basis but the borrower must work with the lender and the VA in such cases and occupancy can only be delayed for a certain amount of time–12 months is the maximum the VA will allow the borrower to delay occupancy.
When it comes to other family members residing in the home purchased with a VA mortgage on the borrower’s behalf, only a spouse or in the right circumstances a dependent child may occupy the home on behalf of the borrower.
No other family members can meet the borrower’s occupancy requirements, so unfortunately in the case of this reader question, the answer is no, the borrower cannot purchase a home without occupying it. A parent cannot meet the occupancy requirement for the borrower.
You can learn more about the VA loan occupancy requirements in Chapter Three of the VA Lender’s Handbook, which is a downloadable .pdf file made available from the VA official site.
Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.