usa flag in distance

Can You Use a VA Loan for a Second Home?

Explore your mortgage options

NMLS #3030

*Connect with a mortgage specialist

We teamed up with Rocket Mortgage to help you get house-hunting sooner. Answer a few questions and an agent will reach out to discuss your options.

Get Started by selecting an option below

What kind of loan are you interested in?

What to expect

Tell us what you need and a representative from Rocket Mortgage will give you a call. You’ll have support at every step.

What kind of property do you want to purchase? What kind of property do you own?

Why we’re asking

Rocket Mortgage® can provide a more accurate rate estimate if they know what kind of property you’re interested in.

NMLS #3030
How do you use your property? How would you use this property?

Why we’re asking

Having a little more information upfront helps Rocket Mortgage® provide a personalized rate faster.

NMLS #3030
When are you planning to buy?

Still House Hunting?

Hope you find your dream home soon! In the meantime, it’s never too early to know your rate.

NMLS #3030
Are you a first-time home buyer?

It’s all good:

Whether it’s your first – or second property – Rocket Mortgage® can provide you with a rate estimate.

NMLS #3030
Do you have a second mortgage?

It’s all good

If you have a second mortgage, it’s no problem. Letting us know helps to customize your rate.

NMLS #3030
What is your credit score?

Don’t know your score?

Don’t sweat it! Make your best guess. Credit scores range from 300 (low) to 850 (excellent).

NMLS #3030

Tell us a bit more about you

What happens next?

A representative from Rocket Mortgage® will be in touch to discuss your commitment-free, personalized rate. Then you can decide whether you’d like to lock it in!

NMLS #3030

Enter your contact info so Rocket Mortgage® can get in touch!

By providing your contact information and clicking the "Agree & Send Information" button below, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You also expressly consent by electronic signature to receive telephonic sales, promotional, marketing and other calls and text messages, including any calls and messages sent by any automated system or other means for the selection or dialing of telephone numbers, or using an artificial or prerecorded voice message when a connection is completed, from Rocket Mortgage, its Family of Companies, our partner companies and our marketing partners at the telephone number you have provided, even if that telephone number is on a corporate, state, or national do-not-call list or registry. Your consent and agreement to receive such calls or text messages is not a condition of purchasing any property, goods or services from us, our Family of Companies or any of our partners.

NMLS #3030

A Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan is one of the best ways active or veteran military service members can secure a mortgage. With a VA loan, veterans can get the money they need and not have to make a down payment.

And your VA loan is a benefit you can reuse. You can use your VA loan to purchase a second home – but you’ll need to meet certain requirements we can help you navigate.

Can a VA Loan Be Used for a Second Home?

Yes, you can use a VA loan to buy a second home, but it’s important to know what qualifies as a second home. According to the VA, the home must be your primary residence, a property you “intend to personally occupy” as your home. The home cannot be used as an investment property. 

If the point of the property is to generate income, the VA won’t consider the property a second home. The only exception to that rule is if you buy a multifamily or multiunit property with up to 4 units and live in one of the units. 

Understanding Your VA Loan Entitlement

If you qualify for a VA loan, you qualify for a VA loan entitlement. That’s money the VA will guarantee up to $36,000 or 25% of the conforming loan limit in your county, whichever is higher.[1] This entitlement lets the lender forgo the down payment on your primary residence or second home.

Of course, whether you can use the entitlement to purchase a second home will depend on the situation. 

Some veterans may use their full benefit, while others may use a portion of their benefit. Some may never use their entitlement.

Full vs. Remaining entitlements 

If you want to use a VA loan to buy a second home, it is important to understand how much of your VA entitlement is still available to you.

The standard VA loan entitlement of $36,000 or 25% of your county’s conforming loan limit is available to every qualifying veteran. But your use of the entitlement becomes a bit more complicated when you are buying a second home.

If you want to use your entitlement to buy a second home but you used your entitlement (or part of it) to buy your first home, you won’t be able to take advantage of the entire entitlement amount. You can only use your remaining entitlement balance.

Restoring your VA entitlement

Also, you’re not allowed an unlimited number of uses for your VA entitlement. If you already used your VA loan entitlement, you can “restore” your entitlement once, allowing you to reuse your loan.

To restore your entitlement, you must fill out VA Form 26-1880.[2] If you qualify, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility, and your entitlement will be restored.

How you might lose your VA entitlement

You may lose your VA entitlement if you’re facing foreclosure or a short sale on your first home.

In some cases, you may lose your entitlement forever. In other cases, the entitlement can be restored, but the process can be challenging and lengthy.

Getting a VA Loan for a Second Home

Now that you understand how the entitlement works, you may be wondering how to get a VA loan for a second home.

Getting a second VA loan will be similar to getting your first VA loan. To qualify for the loan, you must be in good standing with the VA and meet their basic requirements for a Certificate of Eligibility. You’ll also want to consider the following:

The impact of the VA funding fee

After you get your first loan from the VA, you may pay a higher VA funding fee.

If you’re buying a home with a VA loan for the first time and make a down payment that’s less than 5%, you’ll pay a VA funding fee of 2.3%. If you are a repeat VA loan user, the funding fee will be 3.6%.[3]

Let’s say you’re a first-time home buyer, and you found a $400,000 home you want to purchase. Your VA funding fee (which would be 2.3%) would add $9,200 to your closing costs. If you buy a second home at the same price, you would pay a 3.6% funding fee, which would add $14,400 or $5,200 more. 

Because the VA funding fee is a percentage of your total loan amount, it could create a high financial hurdle for some home buyers. Fortunately, if you can’t or don’t want to pay the fee upfront, you can fold it into your mortgage.

Credit score

The VA has no minimum credit score for VA loan users, but many lenders do require higher credit scores for a second home compared to a primary residence. At the very least, improving your score might reduce the interest rate you’re offered.

Down payment

As a rule, lenders prefer a higher down payment for a second home compared to a primary residence. Even with a full entitlement, making at least a partial down payment may be necessary to qualify for a VA loan on a second home. At the very least, it improves your chances of getting a better interest rate. 

A Second Home Remains Within Reach

You need to jump through a few hoops to get a second home loan from the VA. But every successful leap will be well worth its reward. 

Take the first step toward buying a home.

Get approved. See what you qualify for. Start house hunting.

The Short Version

  • VA loans cannot be used to purchase investment properties
  • The standard VA entitlement is $36,000 or 25% of your county’s conforming loan limit, which is the amount the VA will cover if you default
  • Generally, if you used your entitlement to purchase your first home, you may not be able to use your full entitlement when you buy a second home
Back to top of page

  1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “VA Home Loan Limits.” Retrieved November 2022 from

  2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “About VA Form 26-1880.” Accessed November 2022 from

  3. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “VA Funding Fee and Closing Costs.” Retrieved November 2022 from

You Should Also Check Out…

Our team of financial experts write, review and verify content for accuracy and clarity.