Can You Use a VA Loan for an Investment Property?

Can You Use a VA Loan for an Investment Property?


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Can you use a VA loan for an investment property?

When it comes to using VA loans for investment properties, the straightforward answer to our main query is: No, you can’t directly use a VA loan to buy a property solely as an investment. However, as any seasoned investor knows, there’s often more beneath the surface. And with VA loans, that holds true. There are workarounds and nuances that might allow you to indirectly benefit from investment opportunities. In the world of real estate investing, leveraging opportunities is key.

VA Loan History

VA loans are more than just a financial tool; they are a tribute to the sacrifices made by our military personnel. Established post-World War II, these loans were designed to aid veterans in homeownership.

The Investment Angle of VA Loans: Multi-Unit Properties

Here lies the crux for real estate investors. While VA loans demand the borrower to occupy the property, they allow the purchase of multi-unit properties, up to a quadplex. The catch? You need to reside in one of the units. This can be an investor’s gateway to generating rental income from the other units, indirectly aligning with investment goals.

Research Insights: A study by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) highlighted that multi-unit properties, especially in growth regions, tend to offer robust ROI potential, making them a favored choice for real estate investors.

Strategizing with VA Loans: Steps for Investors

  1. Spotting Potential: As a real estate expert, I’ve always emphasized the importance of location. Ensure the multi-unit property lies in a growth region, which can guarantee higher occupancy rates.
  2. Ensuring Compliance: Familiarize yourself with the VA loan guidelines. The VA mandates that you occupy the property within 60 days of closing.
  3. Maximizing Returns: Optimize rental pricing based on market trends. Utilize platforms like Zillow or Redfin to gauge rental benchmarks in your chosen location.

Benefits of VA Loans Tailored for Investors

Zero Down Payment: Unlike traditional loans that demand a hefty down payment, VA loans stand out, aiding veterans who might not have large reserves.

Competitive Interest Rates: Historically, VA loans tend to offer lower interest rates compared to conventional loans, optimizing your long-term ROI.

No PMI with VA loans: Private Mortgage Insurance, a staple in many loans, is absent in VA loans, further cutting down your costs when you don’t put 20%+ down at closing.

Caveats to Consider

Real estate investments are all about insights and foresights. It’s essential to be aware of potential pitfalls.

Funding Fee: VA loans might not have PMI, but they do have a funding fee, which varies depending on your service type and down payment amount.

Occupancy Requirements: The need to reside in one of the units might not align with every investor’s strategy, especially those eyeing properties in distant locales.

Real Estate Investing with VA Loans: Real-Life Example

Let me share a tale of a veteran-turned-investor, Robert. Leveraging the VA loan, Robert acquired a triplex in a burgeoning neighborhood in Austin. Occupying one unit, he refurbished the others and put them up for rent. Within a year, the rental income not only covered his mortgage payments but also generated a tidy profit. This completely changed the financial trajectory of Robert’s life, and helped get him started in real estate investing, providing him with experience and the opportunity to get started.

The world of real estate investing with VA loans is intricate but laden with opportunities. While the VA loan may not be a direct ticket to investment properties, with the right strategy, it can become a pivotal tool in an investor’s arsenal.


If I have an existing VA loan on my primary residence, can I still purchase a multi-unit property? Absolutely. The VA allows for having multiple VA loans under specific conditions, often termed as “Second-Tier Entitlement.”

How does the VA view temporary rentals like Airbnb? The VA doesn’t specifically address short-term rentals. However, given the occupancy requirements, using a primary residence (bought with a VA loan) solely for short-term rentals can be a gray area. Always consult a VA loan expert.

What’s the best approach to refinancing a VA loan on a multi-unit property? Consider the VA Streamline Refinance program, also known as an IRRRL. It’s designed for properties purchased using VA loans.

Are there property condition requirements for VA loans? Yes, the VA has Minimum Property Requirements (MPRs) that homes must meet. It ensures the property is safe, sound, and sanitary.

How do VA loan limits work for multi-unit properties? The VA doesn’t cap how much you can borrow, but there’s a limit on the VA’s guarantee. This can be higher for multi-unit properties.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.