My Perfect Mortgage
Can You Use a VA Loan for an Investment Property?
5 minute read
·
May 30, 2024

VA loans were created to help veterans achieve their dream of homeownership as a thank-you for their service. These loans, backed by Veterans Affairs, offer many incredible benefits. But what about using a VA loan for an investment property?

Using a VA loan for an investment property isn’t straightforward, but it’s possible.

This article will delve into the essentials of VA loans, how they can be used for investment properties, and what you should consider before taking this step.

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What is a VA loan?

VA loans are mortgage loans issued by approved lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

These loans are designed to offer long-term financing to eligible veterans or their surviving spouses.

They typically feature lower interest rates and more favorable terms than conventional loans.

VA loans often help to make homeownership—or entrepreneurship— more accessible for those who have served our country

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for a VA loan, you must be a veteran, active-duty service member, or surviving spouse.

Specific service requirements must be met, and you need a Certificate of Eligibility (COE).

Benefits of VA loans

VA loans have several benefits, including no down payment, competitive interest rates, limited closing costs, and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) requirement.

Can VA loans be used for investment properties?

Understanding the limitations and possibilities of VA loans is crucial for veterans and service members interested in real estate investments.

Primary residence requirement

VA loans are intended primarily for owner-occupied properties. This means that you must use the property as your primary residence.

However, this doesn’t entirely rule out investment opportunities.

Multi-property families

You can purchase a multi-family home (up to four units) with a VA loan, provided you live in one of the units.

The remaining units can be rented out, offering you rental income while you build equity.

Mixed-use properties

VA loans can also be used for mixed-use properties where the commercial portion is at most 25% of the total floor space.

This provides an investment opportunity, provided the primary use remains residential.

Advantages of Using a VA loan for investment

Leveraging a VA loan for investment purposes has numerous benefits that can enhance your financial strategy and maximize your returns.

No down payment

One of the most significant advantages is the possibility of no down payment.

This can free up capital for other investments or improvements to the property.

Lower interest rates

VA loans often have lower interest rates than conventional loans, which can increase your investment’s profitability over time.

Flexible terms

VA loans offer flexible terms with fixed and adjustable interest rate options.

This allows you to choose a plan that best suits your financial strategy.

No private mortgage insurance (PMI)

Unlike conventional loans, VA loans do not require PMI, saving you hundreds of dollars annually.

How to qualify for a VA loan

Qualifying for a VA loan involves meeting several key criteria to ensure you can take advantage of this valuable benefit.

Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

Obtaining a COE is the first step in qualifying for a VA loan. This document confirms your eligibility based on your military service history.

Proof of Income

Lenders will require proof of steady income to ensure you can meet the mortgage payments. This includes pay stubs, tax returns, and other financial documents.

Credit Score Requirements

While VA loans are more lenient with credit scores, having a score of at least 580 is generally recommended. Some lenders have higher requirements.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

A lower debt-to-income ratio (preferably below 41%) increases your chances of loan approval, demonstrating your ability to manage additional debt.

Considerations before using a VA loan for investment

Before utilizing a VA loan for investment purposes, it's essential to carefully evaluate various factors to ensure they align with your financial goals and investment strategy.

  • Time commitment: Being a landlord requires time and effort. Ensure you’re ready for the responsibilities involved in managing rental properties.
  • Tenant management: Dealing with tenants can be challenging. Be prepared for potential issues and consider hiring a property manager if necessary.
  • Legal obligations: Understand your state’s landlord-tenant laws, zoning regulations, and tax obligations. Compliance with these laws is crucial to avoid legal complications.
  • Maintenance and repairs: Owning rental properties involves ongoing maintenance and repairs—budget these expenses and plan for unexpected costs.
  • Insurance and taxes: Ensure you have adequate insurance coverage for your rental property and understand the tax implications of rental income.

Steps to obtain a VA loan for an investment property

Securing a VA loan for an investment property involves several important steps to ensure a smooth and successful application process.

Find a property

Identify a suitable property that meets VA loan requirements.

This could be a multi-family unit or a mixed-use property.

Meet with a VA-approved lender

Discuss your plans with a VA-approved lender to understand the specifics of the loan process and get pre-approved.

Appraisal and inspection

The property must be evaluated to ensure it meets VA standards and is worth the loan amount.

Underwriting process

The lender will review your financial information and the property details to determine eligibility and approve the loan.

Closing

Once approved, you’ll move to the closing stage, sign the necessary documents, and finalize the loan.

Take the next step with My Perfect Mortgage

Ready to unlock the benefits of a VA loan for your investment property?

My Perfect Mortgage is here to find a lender who will guide you through the process with expert advice and personalized support.

Whether you're a veteran or an active-duty service member, our team is dedicated to helping you achieve your real estate goals.

Our advise is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.