When a soldier spoke with Juanita Charles, an Army veteran who serves as a Realtor in the Fort Campbell, Kentucky, area, he thought had his finances figured out.

Rather than put his VA loan to use while on active duty, “he was going to ‘save’ his VA loan for his retirement home,” Charles recalled. A forward-thinking plan, sure, but not a practical one ... the VA loan benefit can be used more than once, in some cases even on more than one home at a time.

Once you’ve paid off the loan in full, your benefit is fully restored and ready for use on your next home. Even if you haven’t paid the first loan off, you may not have used all of your VA loan benefit and can use the rest for a second loan. It also doesn’t come with an expiration date.

And while it cannot be used for vacation homes or for rental properties, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to buy a home while keeping another one, as long as you’ll qualify as a full-time resident in the new home.

This may come into play for older veterans, said Kathleen Ricketts, a Realtor in the Chicago suburbs who teaches the National Association of Realtors’ Military Relocation Professional program. Some may be purchasing a home in a warmer climate but keeping their old home for the summer months ― the new home is a permanent residence, so it’s VA loan-eligible.

As with any questions regarding the benefit, those interested in clarifying their VA loan eligibility for a second property can contact a VA Regional Loan Center.

Kevin Lilley is the features editor of Military Times.

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