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Occupancy Requirements for VA Loans

The iServe Blog

When you or your loved ones are considering purchasing a home and have a service member in the family, VA mortgage loans are a great way to secure the funding you need. But what about occupancy requirements from the VA? If your loved one is deployed overseas, will that cause problems with the mortgage? What if you're getting ready to retire and want to purchase a retirement home in anticipation of leaving the service? A VA home loan or VA refinancing of your home can have some confusing language when it comes to occupancy, so here's what you need to know in plain English.

Occupancy Requirements for VA Loans

Who can meet the occupancy requirement?

In addition to the service member who qualifies for the VA loan or VA refinancing loan, their spouse may move into the home to meet the occupancy requirement. After the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 was passed, this requirement was extended to the dependent children of service members, providing additional options for our military families. However, in the case of dependent children, the child's legal guardian, attorney or attorney-in-fact makes an occupancy certification for the dependent child.

How long do I have to move into the home?

In most cases, you or your family member must move into your home within 60 days, considered by the VA to be a "reasonable time" following the closing. However, there are some exceptions to that rule. If the home you're purchasing requires repairs or renovations before occupancy, you can request delayed occupancy through the VA. In this instance, you will still need to certify that you will begin occupancy as soon as possible. Retirement is another instance where you can delay occupancy, as mentioned below.

What if I'm deployed away from my permanent duty station?

When you're deployed, you are considered to be under a temporary duty status. Whether you, your spouse or a dependent child occupies the home during this time or not, you're still considered to be in compliance with the occupancy requirement. 

Can I buy a retirement home more than 60 days before my retirement date?

Yes, you can, but only when you have a specific retirement date. In this instance, you can buy a retirement home up to 12 months prior to that date without having to meet the occupancy requirement. You'll need to apply for an occupancy delay and provide proof of your anticipated retirement date when you apply for the loan.

Though the occupancy requirements for VA mortgage loans can seem confusing, this information should help make it easier to make sure you're in compliance with them before applying for a VA home loan or VA refinancing loan. If you'd like more information on VA mortgage loans, our VA loan facts page can help, or if you need more information, our experienced associates are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us today for assistance or to get started on a VA home loan application today.



iServe Residential Lending, LLC is not affiliated with or acting on behalf of or at the direction of the VA or the Federal Government.

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