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Houseboat and RV that are ineligible for VA loan

Are VA Loans Available for Boats or RVs?

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The VA loan is a mortgage program designed to make it easier for service members and Veterans to access homeownership.

With a VA loan, Veterans, active duty service members and surviving spouses can purchase homes with little to no down payment, making it an attractive home financing option.

Another benefit to the VA loan is that it is often more flexible than a traditional mortgage, with the opportunity to purchase several different property types without the need for great credit.

With this much flexibility, you may be wondering whether you can use a VA loan to purchase an RV or boat, so let’s break down the requirements.

Can You Use Your VA Loan on an RV or Boat?

Unfortunately, you cannot use a VA loan to purchase a boat or RV. This is because RVs and boats fail to meet one of the basic guidelines for VA loans—they must be classified as real property and have a permanent foundation.

VA Loan Property Requirements

All properties purchased with a VA loan must meet the VA’s minimum property requirements.

Some of which include:

  • Have a proper and permanent foundation
  • Be classified and taxed as real property
  • Meet real estate building code and zoning requirements
  • Be safe, sound, structural and sanitary

Some could argue that an RV is similar to a mobile home, especially if you intend to park it permanently and live in it. However, the VA rules go on to say that a manufactured home must have a permanent foundation that can withstand supporting and wind-overturning loads. Unless the home is classified as real property and has a permanent foundation, it cannot qualify for a VA loan.

Using a VA Cash-Out Refinance to Buy an RV or Boat

While a VA home loan will not finance boats and RVs, Veteran homeowners could potentially tap into their home equity with a VA cash-out refinance and put the proceeds towards those items. This is a new loan with a new rate and terms.

Cash-out refinances let borrowers extract cash from the property’s equity. Those funds could then be used to purchase the boat or RV you have your eye on.

Of course, you still need to meet your lender’s criteria before you can obtain a cash-out refinance. Every VA-approved lender will have different rules and terms, so be sure to consult with them first.

Qualifying for a Cash-Out Refinance

If you're a Veteran interested in a VA cash-out refinance, some guidelines you might need to meet include:

  • You’re eligible for a VA loan
  • You have sufficient equity and have seasoning on the loan
  • You occupy the home you’re refinancing as a primary residence
  • You meet the lender’s requirements for debt-to-income ratio, credit score and any other VA and lender requirements

The good news is that as long as you meet your lender’s requirements, there aren’t any restrictions on how you can spend your cash after a refinance.

Final Thoughts on Using a VA Loan to Purchase a Boat or RV

While technically you can’t use a VA loan to purchase a boat or RV, it doesn’t mean that you cannot use VA financing at all. Homeowners with sufficient home equity could use a VA cash-out refinance to free up funds to make those purchases a reality.