VA Loan Reader Questions: Two VA Home Loans At Once?
A reader asks, “I purchased a home in 2009 for 121k using my VA. It now has a remaining balance of $115k. I now find I need to move to another town and would like to buy a new home there for my primary residence AND keep my existing home…Can I get a second VA loan for a new primary residence? And will I be required to make a down payment? Will all the same fees be assessed on a new loan or will they be totally different requirements?”
The first thing we need to review for questions like this is the VA law on occupancy, which is found in VA Pamphlet 26-7, Chapter Three. Let’s review the VA loan rules for occupancy found there:
“The law requires a veteran obtaining a VA guaranteed loan to certify that he or she intends to personally occupy the property as his or her home. As of the date of certification, the veteran must either:
• Personally live in the property as his or her home.
• Intend, upon completion of the loan and acquisition of the dwelling, to personally move into the property and use it as his or her home within a reasonable time.”
Chapter Three also adds, “The above requirement applies to all types of VA guaranteed loans except Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loans (IRRRLs). For IRRRLs, the veteran need only certify that he or she previously occupied the property as his or her home.”
Additionally, Chapter Three states that while a veteran is not required to maintain a daily presence in the home purchased with a VA mortgage, there are other requirements that must be met:
• The veteran must have a history of continuous residence in the community.
• There must be no indication that the veteran has established, intends to establish, or may be required to establish, a principal residence elsewhere. (Editor’s note: emphasis ours.) Use of the property as a seasonal vacation home does not satisfy the occupancy requirement.”
While this seems to be the final word from the VA on the matter, Chapter Three does encourage borrowers in the reader’s circumstances to get in contact with the Department of Veterans Affairs to see if there are any exceptions that might be available. Chapter Three instructs the lender, “Discuss unusual circumstances of occupancy with the appropriate VA office…”
When in doubt, discuss things with a VA representative or a loan officer.
Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.