The VA occupancy guidelines state that military borrowers must certify that they will occupy the property within 60 days of closing. Many military families may pass up the opportunity to take advantage of the zero-down, no PMI home loan benefits because their VA-eligible borrower is serving overseas and can’t meet the occupancy requirement.
However, some may not have to wait until they return from duty to purchase a home with their VA loan benefits.
MYTH: A veteran serving overseas can’t buy a home with a VA loan because it’s impossible to satisfy the occupancy rule.
FACT: Military members who are deployed overseas or away from home and wish to purchase a house with a VA home loan may receive a special occupancy extension of up to 12 months. A military spouse may also satisfy the regular rule by moving in within 60 days of closing.
Borrowers away on temporary duty usually can’t move into the homes they purchase right away – the VA “gets that.” So, the department grants special extensions of up to a year for these deployed, VA-eligible borrowers.
So, potential VA borrowers who can validate a move-in date within 12 months of closing may still meet the occupancy requirement for the VA guarantee. Even if the VA borrower is deployed again, he or she can still satisfy the occupancy rule by returning at least every three months to live in the home as a primary residence.
Deployed VA borrowers who are married can simply satisfy the rule if a spouse occupies the home. A “spouse in the house” means no special extension is necessary.
The VA occupancy requirement applies to all VA-backed loans except Streamlines. Streamline refinance borrowers need only verify that they previously occupied their homes.
For more information about VA occupancy extensions, contact an experienced specialty lender.
Ashleigh Downing is the Social Media Director for iFreedom Direct. She has been working with and writing about veteran’s benefits and issues for the past three years.
iFreedom Direct is a top national VA lender that specializes in assisting active members and retired veterans of the Armed Forces with VA loans.