VA Deployed Vets Moving Into Home

VA Post Close Occupancy

When an Arizonan purchases a new primary residence the mortgage gods typically require that the proud new homeowner occupy it within 60 days from the day they closed in order for the home and the mortgage used to finance it to be categorized as a primary residence.  Check this out for more information on how soon a buyer needs to occupy their new home and why: Occupancy Rules.  VA mortgage rules do not require all veterans to move in immediately.

However, what if the Phoenix area buyer is a military veteran that is serving our great country in a land far far away when they close on a new home?  Are they expected to rush back home and occupy their new residence 2 months after closing on it?  The answer – absolutely NOT (if they used a VA loan to purchase the home).  A VA mortgage is a benefit/reward that is offered to the brave men and women that defend our nation.  With that in mind, the VA has constructed mortgage guidelines that cater to real life scenarios that veterans often find themselves in.  The VA provides a little “flex room” for veterans in a mortgage world that, well let’s just say hasn’t isn’t known for its flexibility.  Before we jump into the VA alternatives to occupying a new primary residence within 60 days of closing, let’s check out what the core guideline for VA occupancy states:

the veteran must occupy the home themselves in order for the transaction to be considered an owner occupied scenario and in order for the veteran to be able to use a VA mortgage to finance the home

Now that you know the rule, let’s explore how we can bend it:

1. A veteran may take up to 12 months to occupy a recently purchased primary residence as long as an acceptable written explanation is provided (i.e. veteran is currently deployed)
2. A veteran’s spouse may take the place of the veteran and occupy the recently purchased primary residence

Option #2 essentially allows a veteran’s spouse to act as a placeholder for the veteran and it eliminates the requirement for the veteran to occupy the home within 60 days (standard rule) or within 12 months (exception).

With these alternatives, veterans using a VA loan to purchase a new primary residence do not necessarily need to occupy their new home immediately after they close.  Please call me if you have any questions.  We are here to help!

By Jeremy House
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