Military mom being welcomed by her family at home

Will the VA allow you to purchase a home with renters?

For the brave men and women who have served our country, the VA loan presents a golden opportunity to step onto the property ladder.

But what happens when the property you’re eyeing is not an empty shell awaiting your arrival, but a home occupied by renters? This scenario poses a unique question: Will the VA allow you to purchase a home with renters?

Yes, a tenant-occupied property can be purchased with a VA loan under certain conditions.

The key condition is that you must intend to occupy the new home as your primary residence. The property purchased must be your primary residence, not a second home or investment property, to be eligible for a VA loan.

The Primary Residence Requirement for VA Loans

One of the foundational stipulations of a VA loan is the primary residence requirement. This mandate is central to the VA loan program’s purpose, which is to assist veterans in purchasing a home for their own personal occupancy. But what does this mean for those looking to buy a property that’s currently tenant-occupied?

Decoding the Primary Residence Rule

At its core, the primary residence rule requires that borrowers with VA loans must certify that they intend to occupy the home as their main living place. The VA is focused on helping service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners, not investors or absentee landlords. This rule ensures that the benefits of the VA loan program are used as intended—to provide stable housing for those who have served our country.

When purchasing a tenant-occupied property, buyers should carefully consider their move-in timeline.

If the property has a lease in place, they need to respect the terms of that lease, which may affect when they can take occupancy.

What is the VA occupancy rule?

The VA requires that the borrower move into the property as their primary residence within a reasonable time after closing on the loan.

The standard time frame that the VA mandates is within 60 days of the loan closing.

This requirement is in place to ensure that the program benefits veterans seeking homes for their own use and not for investment or rental purposes.

Multi-Unit Property Requirements

For homes purchased as multi-unit properties (like duplexes or four-plexes), the veteran is expected to occupy one of the units as their primary residence while they may rent out the additional units.

Related article: Can a home with a VA Loan be rented out?

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