Renting out a VA Home to Buy a New Home

Can a Veteran Home Owner Rent out a His/Her Current Home and Buy a New Home With a New VA Loan?

Using a VA loan to purchase your home is one of the smartest things you can do as a home buyer.  I have said time and time again that anyone that is entitled to a VA home loan and does not use it has got to be very uneducated when it comes to understanding his/her VA benefits.

One place where Veterans have tried and keep trying to use their VA benefits and are struggling, is when it comes to buying a rental or investment property or when the veteran is not able to sell his/her current home and wants to rent it out in the meantime and then go buy a new home.

Perhaps the most constant guideline that all lenders have when it comes to VA loans, is that the home most be intended as your primary residence and that you can only have one VA loan outstanding at a time per veteran.  The reason this VA loan guideline is pretty standard for all VA lenders is because it is an actual VA program guideline issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I will attempt to layout some examples in the following table:

Veteran’s Question About the VA Loan and it’s Usage

Simple Answer

Suggestions for Veteran

Can I buy a home with a VA loan and rent it out to someone? NO If you are buying a multi-unit property like a duplex or 4-plex and you are going to occupy one of the units then you could essentially buy a home with a VA loan and rent it out
Can I rent my current home that has a VA loan on it to someone else that is a NON-Veteran? Yes You will not be able to buy a new home with a VA loan until you refinance the home that is now being rented into a loan that is NON VA.
Can I have more than one VA loan at a time? NO Some exceptions to this rule are possible.  If two veterans are married and one veteran had a VA loan on a home prior to getting married, then the two try to buy a home together once married; this could happen if the veteran that has not used his/her VA loan before is able to qualify.
Can a Veteran use a VA loan more than once? Yes It is possible to have unlimited access to your VA home loan eligibility. As long as you are able to sell your current home with a VA loan on it, then you can always buy again with a new VA loan.


There are always cases or questions that may not have been discussed in this post, and I hope you find the little bit of information I have shared useful. Should you need more details or have a specific question, I certainly hope you can find it on or that you will feel free to submit your question to our Contact Us page.

80 thoughts on “Renting out a VA Home to Buy a New Home

  1. If i was to purchase a multifamily home with aVA loan and intended on living there at the time of purchase in one of the units. If after purchase I was unable to move into one of the units…would I be able to rent that unit as well. What is the penalty?

  2. yes you would as long as your intention was to occupy the property as your primary residence

  3. My fiance purchased a home with a VA loan 3 years ago. I am about to purchase a home under my name only that we will make our home once we are married. We just don’t know what to do with his house? Can we rent it out? That would be ideal in our eyes. He lived in it for 3 years. He is also now retired from the army national guard. I don’t know if that makes a difference.

    We’ve been told we can rent it out without penalty, but then we’ve been told that’s only true if you’re still in the military and forced to move due to that. We are so confused. Please help.

  4. My husband and I have lived in our VA loan financed house for over 3 years and have recently refinanced it using a VA refinance loan. We are receiving military orders to another state and will now need to rent the house. Is there a penalty for doing this? The time difference between the refinance and our leaving is less than 3 months.

  5. My wife and I currently own our home with a VA loan using my certificate. My wife is also retired military. Is it possible to rent out our current home and purchase a new home with my wifes VA certificate?

  6. absolutely! Give us a call and we can get this started right away. This is called JOINT ENTITLEMENT and you are ready to go after a new home

  7. Hi, my wife and I own a home in Florida. It’s totally paid off. I’m a veteran, and was wondering if I could purchase a home in Texas with a VA loan and spend about 3-6 months a year there?

  8. My husband is 100% through the VA and we have our current home that was purchased with his VA certificate. We need a new home because we have grown out of the one that we bought in 2008. As we all know, the market is crap so to sell our house may put us in the negative a bit. Would we be able to rent this house out and buy a new one on his certificate too since everything says that we are VA qualified for 417000. I have heard that you can and heard that you can’t but I just don’t know. Do you know about this?

  9. THis is a bit more tricky but we have VA loan officers that can help. Regardless of the 417K this does NOT mean you can get another VA loan. It will all come down to how much entitlment is left and we can help you determine that. Other options would be to refinance the house you have now into a FHA loan and free up your entire VA loan for the new house. Give us a call

  10. i was just told u can not rent out a home if you get the fha loan..i was gonna try to free up our va loan to do that like u said.

  11. Give me a call directly at 801-341-7023 so I can assist you. I am not sure who told you what but I want to help.

  12. My husband is going to be transferred to another part of the state. Transfer is not military related. We aren’t able to sell right now because of the market. We were told after we lived in the house for a while it’s ok to rent it out. (By the time we’d need to rent it out we will have lived in the house for 3 years). I have also heard of people fighting with the va when they rented it out after 1-2 years of living in it. Do you know what the va deems a reasonable amount of time to occupy as the primary residence?

  13. You can rent your house out no problem at all on a VA loan as long as you lived in the home when you bought it. You can even take advantage of the streamline. We do streamlines all the time for Vets renting out their homes. feel free to call and speak to me directly at 801-341-7023

  14. I bought a house in another state and want to rent out my VA loan house to my son, which the payments will be same as the mortgage payment. I have lived in this house for 14yrs. Will I have any problems?

  15. Me and my husband have lived in our home for 3.5 years. We just recently refinanced it with a VA streamline loan…no cash out just an intrest rate reduction. My husbands job is in jeapordy of being lost due to downsizing with the police department he works for. If he loses his job it will take him months to get a new one, if he can get one at all, so we have choosen to relocate for another job rather than stay here and risk him losing this one. He has been in the process of another job for 4 months, and is pretty certain to get it but it is 1800 miles away. We cannot sell our home because we are about 40k upside down (the economy being as it is) and we wanted to rent it out. I was told we could do this if we had lived in the home more than 3 years, but do we start that three years over at the point we refinanced it? We are not going to be renting it for a profit…we had to refinace it so that we could get even close to the mortgage payment when renting…we are going to lose about 250.00 a month. Is the VA going to get nasty with us about this? I havent been able to get a straight answer. Also, what are the chances we will be able to buy another house when we move. We don’t want a crappy rental forever and I don’t see the market getting any better anytime soon. We have good credit / our current house is in god standings. Thanks

  16. There is actually no rule at all on how long you have to live there. You are fine to rent it out right away and the VA has nothing to do with that.

  17. Eric,
    I am going to be in the same situation with having to rent my current home wich is under a VA loan also. I just moved in to my new home in January 2011. I am currently working overseas in Iraq since I retired in 2006 and may be going home soon. I have a great possibility of getting a new job in Jacksonville, Fl but my current home is in TX. I am looking at renting out my home in TX which is under a VA loan and moving to FL. I can see from earlier posts that there is no rule at all on how long I have lived there. I was just wondering what kind of nasty mail the VA would send out if I do this?

  18. The VA couldn’t care less and would actually never know. It is nothing at all to worry about. It is very common. We would love to help you get a new home in Fl so please look us up! You can stay in touch via or just bookmark this blog. thanks for your service/

  19. My wife and I are separating (amicably) with possible divorce down the road. Our plan is she will stay in the house (paid for, no VA loan used) and I move out. I have an opportunity to buy a small house and a VA-loan experienced broker friend is confident that a VA loan will not be a problem. While in the house I plan to make improvements that I am certain will increase its value. This is where my first potential problem comes up. My marital separation may reverse. If it does, I don’t want to remain in the second house waiting to sell simply because the VA says I have to live there. If I do sell immediately, potential exists for a profit and I don’t want the VA coming after me thinking I bought the house to flip. If I don’t sell immediately, I would want to rent versus just leaving it empty. Again, I don’t want the VA coming after me thinking I bought it simply to rent. Advice requested. Thanks.

  20. The VA will have no idea or even care if and when you move out of the home. All that matters is that your intent was to live there when you bought it. Tons of VA loans are on home that were once lived in by the Vet and no longer are. There is absolutely no issue at all on this.

  21. I am a reservist on military orders (back in the military full time) for 3 more years. My wife and I plan on retiring to S. Cali. Is it possible to purchase a home in S. Cal with a VA loan (we do not own a home at this time), have my wife live in it for a period of time (we’re renting in N Cali right now) and then rent the home out until we can all move to S Cal together?

  22. My wife and I purchased a home in Nov 2009 with a VA loan. We are both Active Duty but I used my benefits to purchase the house, as far as I know. We have been considering moving to a different location that would benefit our son and which schools he would attend. Are we able to rent out our current home and purchase a new home with her benefits? We would like to sell, but don’t think we will get the right price in this market.

  23. I am in the same situation as some of the above. I bought my current home on a VA loan in 2008. I got out of the military this year due to medical and other reasons. I refinanced my home earlier this year under the VA to get a lower rate. I then took a contractor job in afghanistan and rented out my home. The renters are suppose to be in the home at least 2 years so when I return from afghanistan my wife and I are looking to get another home. I read above about doing the FHA refinance which should free up my VA loan. The only reason I ask is I am now a disable Veteran (70%) and have been told and read that I am exempt from the VA funding fee, which would be what I would want to use to get a home for me and my wife and keep my first home rented out. I was recently told I would not get approved for a loan because I am a contractor and there is no guarantee of my income can you explian that to me thanks.

  24. Eric we recently purchased a multifamily house, we also just found out we have another baby on the way. Can we rent out our unit and upgrade to a large house. We have lived in the multifamily house for about 2 months.

  25. I want to purchase and build a 10 unit condo building. I will be living in one unit when complete and want to rent the others out. Is this to many units or can I still qualify for a VA Loan.

  26. I am a military member currently overseas and looking to buy a house in PA. I would like to use my VA loan but do not know if I will qualify because I’m overseas. Also what if you allow someone to stay there rent free? This would be done to maintain the home.

  27. you cannot do a VA loan on more than a FOUR plex so that will not work for a VA loan

  28. You will be required to show two years of tax returns to prove your income. Your VA disability income can be used to qualify too. I would assume you have a taxable income on your tax returns? Many times you an also have more than one VA loan at a time, it is called dual entitlement. Give us a call when you are closer to buying

  29. Live in current VA loan home. I am a veteran who is primary borrower. My wife is a veteran who is secondary borrower. we want to rent our current home and buy a new one closer to work. Can we simply make my wife the primary VA borrower and me the secondary borrowe on the new home and have two VA loans at the same time since it is two seperate veterans who are the primary borrowers on each VA loan?

  30. What are the rules on dual use property? My husband and I have lived in the home for over 30 years. He is a retired vet and we were told we would be elgible to refinance with a VA loan. However, although the home is our primary residence we also run a bed and breakfast out of the home. The rules on dual use property seem to be unclear on this. I found this info online…is this correct? Are the rules difference for a refinance?

    The VA does allow non-residential use—whatever that may be—but caveats that by saying it must not “impair the residential character of the property”. Non residential use of a property bought with a VA home loan can’t exceed 25 percent of the floor space of the home.

    In a nutshell, the answer is yes—a buyer can operate a money-making concern from the property, but only if the space is used as a home first, business second. That said, it’s important to double check the latest guidance from the Department of Veterans Affairs when in doubt—new guidance may change or negate language found in previous edition of the rule book.

  31. We recently relocated and are interested in purchasing a 4-plex utilizing my husband’s VA loan. Our thought is to invest now with the hope of securing a retirement income for later. We plan to live in one unit and lease the remaining ones to tenants. My husband is employed full time while I would be managing the property. How is the rental income taken into consideration when determining the loan amount we’d qualify for? When we relocate once again, is it permissible to keep the property and hire a local management company to oversee it?

  32. This seems fine from what we can see in the handbook on VA loans. Do you have a VA loan now on the home? call us to discuss

  33. I am an 80% disabled veteran that would like to use a VA loan for the first time to buy a multifamily property. I would intend on making this my primary residence, but rent out the other units. The trick is that on this property is a 3 bedroom single family house(in the backyard) and a three unit apartment building(in the front yard). It is all the same physical address and all on the same plot of land. Would I be able to live in the single family home, while renting out the 3 apartments, or would this disqualify me from using a VA loan? (The two buildings cannot be sold separately)

  34. You can absolutely do what you are asking! Give us a call 866-569-8272

  35. I purchased a home a little over a year ago using my VA Home Loan but since then my family size has increased dramatically. My boyfriend, his two kids, and our new baby are now living in this 3br home. He is getting a house built using his VA but I have been told that I need to check and see if I am able to rent out my home. I guess there was a 5yr rule at one poit where you couldn’t rent a home till you had lived there 5yrs and I am wondering if this still holds true or what thus guidelines are.

  36. I am currently married and living in Missouri. My husband is a vet and we purchased a home over 10 years ago and now we are renting it out. It was purchased using his VA eligibility and I am not on the loan anywhere. I am now being transferred to Texas which is a community property state. I am also a vet and was wanting to use my VA eligibility to purchase a home and I was told I could not because my husband has a government loan already and you can only have one government loan at a time. Is there anything I can do about this because I do not have the down payment for the home I was going to buy using my VA eligibility.

  37. This is false. you can have a va loan in your name and he can have one in his. Give us a call

  38. I purchased a home in 2006 in Nebraska (VA loan); since that time we have PCS’d to California and are currently renting our house out. We would like to purchase another home here in CA. Is it possible to finance a home using the FHA without refinancing the house in Nebraska? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  39. can i rent out my home if im a va and i have a va loan on it right now and move to an little place it in florida

  40. My brother and I have discussed buying a house. He is a veteran who is out of the military and I am still on active duty. First off would I even be able to cosign for him and secondly if I was able to would the VA require us to both occupy the residence to avoid penalty?

  41. My husband and I have a conventional loan on our current home. Would we be able to lease out this home and buy a second home with va loan? This second home would be our primary residence.

  42. this is a tricky one. You are best off to give us a call. But the short answer is yes you can do this and one of you must occupy the home.

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