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The Mortgage Underwriting Process Explained - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

The type of property you want to purchase affects the mortgage interest rate you can receive. There are three potential classifications for the property: a primary residence, a secondary residence and an investment property.

Understanding each classification can help you avoid high interest rates and tax implications when purchasing additional properties.

Primary Residence

A primary residence is the main home someone inhabits. Your primary property can be an apartment, a houseboat or another form of property that you live in most of the year.

Primary residences tend to qualify for the lowest mortgage rates. For your home to qualify as your primary property, here are some of the requirements:

  • You must live there most of the year.
  • It must be a convenient distance from your place of employment.
  • You need documentation to prove your residence. You can use your voter registration, tax return, etc.

There are some aspects of a primary residence that are tax-deductible. As of 2018, homeowners can deduct mortgage interest on loans up to $750,000. This amount can include primary and secondary residences. You can also claim your mortgage insurance payments if you purchased your home after 2006. If you choose to include these deductions on your tax return, you will have to itemize your deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction.

You can classify one property as your primary residence. If you’re married, you and your spouse must claim the same property as your primary home.

In addition, once you’ve bought the property, you must occupy it within 60 days following closing. If the loan originates through the VA, and you’re on active duty, your spouse can satisfy the occupancy requirement.

If you plan to turn the property into an investment or rental property within 6 months of closing, you must classify it as an investment property.

Secondary Residence

When purchasing a second home, you may need a higher credit score to qualify, and you might receive a higher interest rate due to increased risk for the lender. Lenders will review your financials and evaluate your loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. Depending on the lender’s LTV ratio requirements, you may need to provide a large down payment.

On the other hand, neither of these things may happen – each situation is different. A second home must have the following characteristics:

  • It must be a reasonable distance from your primary residence. Generally, lenders want it to be no more than 100 miles away.
  • It must be exclusively under your control and not subject to a rental, time-share or property management agreement.
  • You must live there. While someone other than you can also live in your home, some lenders may limit how long a tenant can live there as opposed to the owner.

The property must be accessible by car year-round. Although it’s cool, your Dr. Evil-style lair that’s built into the side of a volcano and reachable only by helicopter won’t qualify.

You can rent it out for up to two weeks and keep the income tax-free. If you rent for 15 or more days, you’ll have to report the income, but you may be able to deduct certain things, such as rental expenses. It’s important to note that either your lender or the investor in your mortgage may place special limits on how often you rent the property.

At Quicken Loans®, the property may qualify as a second home if it’s rented out for no more than 180 days in a calendar year. You must stay in the home for the larger part of the 180 days or for 10% of the days when you would otherwise rent out the home.

Second homes also qualify for the mortgage interest tax deduction, although if you’re renting  out the home, you have to be careful. In order to qualify for the deduction, you must use the home for more than 14 days or more than 10% of the days when you would normally rent it out, whichever is greater.

For example, if you rented out your home in Florida for 6 months – or about 180 days – between May and October (inclusive), you would still be able to classify your home as a second home for tax purposes if you stayed there for more than 18 days. That would be more than 10% of the days you rented it. A time-share used in this way also qualifies for the tax deduction.

Investment Property

An investment property is a property you plan to use as a rental or to generate income. It  has the following characteristics:

  • The property can be a condo, house or a multi- or single unit.
  • It typically requires a large down payment and more LTV restrictions.
  • Mortgage rates tend to be a lot higher than for other properties, due to the higher risk the lender must take on.

Investment properties can be the most challenging properties to finance.  Guidelines for approving an investment property loan can vary by lender. It’s important to compare all your mortgage options and identify the best lender for your loan.

You must report all income generated from your rental property on your tax return. The owner may also deduct expenses such as the cost of materials to maintain the property, interest and taxes.

How to Convert a Property to Your Primary Residence

You may assume that to change your primary residence, you can simply move into your investment property or secondary home and call it a day, but that’s not the case. With the tax advantages that primary properties offer, the IRS wants to make sure to get a cut. If you decide you would like to move into your investment property, know that many property owners choose to complete a 1031 exchange.

A 1031 exchange allows rental property owners to purchase another rental property with the proceeds from the sale of a previous rental. Essentially, this is exchanging one rental for another.

This helps the owner minimize capital gains taxes and depreciation rapture taxes. To receive any gains exclusions, you must own the property for 5 years and live in it for 2. Then, the property owner can move into the property and start the process of converting the home into the primary residence.

You will need to contact your mortgage lender to see if someone is required to live in your current residence while you live in your rental. If so, you will need to find renters to use the property.

Keep in mind, if you decide not to do a 1031 exchange, you may end up paying more capital gains and depreciation taxes. It’s important to work with a tax professional to help you determine the best strategy for your situation. Converting properties can be complex. Having an expert by your side will help you avoid penalties and additional tax burdens.

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering a purchase of additional properties, make sure it makes financial sense. Work with a tax professional and a lender to determine the best direction to pursue.

Are you considering the purchase of a property for a rental? What are some of the obstacles you have encountered? We want to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.

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This Post Has 150 Comments

  1. So have a question regarding primary residence. I work in the St. Louis metro area and we sold our house here this summer. My wife moved to Duluth in May and we are closing on a home in Nov. I need to work for another year and will then move to Duluth. My wife will move in immediately upon closing. I understand from a mortgage perspective the new home is considered a second home

    Can the Duluth property be primary for her and secondary from me? Does that make an different from a mortgage or homeowners insurance purposes. She changed voter and car registration to MN already.

    1. Hi Joseph:

      From a mortgage perspective, I’m going to recommend you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts. I absolutely want to make sure you get the correct information. It may depend on whether you’re on the loan. You can get a hold of them at (888) 980-6716.

      For many homeowners insurance perspective, I would imagine that since she’s living there full-time, it mitigates a lot of risk. However, you would have to consult the carrier on their policies to be sure.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  2. I recently purchased a house as a primary residence. It has been almost 2 months now and I haven’t moved in yet. Due to the nature of my job, I am always gone and I thought I was going to get a transfer but here I am not being able to occupy my house. is there anyway I could change the status of my property from a primary residence to an investment in less than a year? what are the major changes in my mortgage ? will that requires refinancing ?

    1. Hi Salma:

      Whether or not you can convert your property into a investment property before reaching the one-year mark is something you can discuss with your lender. That would be my recommendation. It’s sometimes possible to do a conversion after you lived there for a certain amount of time into an investment property while keeping the same rate as if it were a primary property. However, since you’ve never moved in, I’m not sure how realistic that is. If you do a regular refinance to make it an investment property, it requires having a higher amount of equity in the property than you would for a primary purchase. Your rate will also be slightly higher because investment properties represent increased risk to the lender and investor in your mortgage. If you ever get in trouble, your payment on your primary property will come first. These are just some of the things you’re going to have to think about. Good luck.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  3. We are moving to the Florida Keys next summer (2018) prior to the start of the 2018/2019 school year from Wyoming. We have not yet identified/purchased property but I have sold a home in Wyoming which will allow a down payment of 25% of our expected max home cost, and my husband expects to sell our current home that we reside in just prior to the move (hopefully) so that will also help, but not in time to help with any down payments since we will be needing that house until the day of the move.

    The next available time we can make it down there to physically look at property will be Christmas Break 2017-2018. I assume during this time we’ll put an offer on a property and hopefully move forward as we see plenty of listings from our realtor but it sells quickly and we do not want to buy sight unseen.

    With limited property and rates going up, we fear we’d be priced out by the time we make it move, and renting a property before buying is not ideal in our situation bc the cost would exceed a mortgage payment after storage is paid for. Credit is excellent / DTI not in the range to allow us the loan we want, but we expect that to improve drastically as a settlement is allowing us to pay down/off most big monthly payments.

    What kind of loan should we plan on organizing if we intend to close potentially as early as February or March of 2018, but not move down until June? We have people that will rent the property from us, but once we get down there, it will be our primary. However, I feel like it will not qualify within the occupancy timeframe needed to be a primary. I realize we can refinance but to do that so quickly after closing on the initial loan seems like it would be throwing away money.

    Can you help define what type of loan we’ll need to organize and if there is any way around calling this an investment or secondary property when all we are doing is trying to get in while we have the time to look/buy and not when we arrive and start new jobs/school etc? Any timeframes longer than 2 months will require us to rent it out.

    1. Hi Cat:

      The only good solution I can see for you is to wait until at least April to close. You have to occupy the property within 60 days. That’s the best advice I can give you.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  4. So, I have a home with seller financing. I just closed and have the sellers living there paying rent through the end of the year. If I want to try to refinance as a primary residence, do I need to plan to live there withing 60 days of the refinance, as it would for a regular mortgage, or is there more flexibility?

    1. Hi Justin:

      You would have to move into the property within 60 days of closing, but one way to handle this might be to time the refinance with when the sellers plan to move. You have two months, so there’s a window there for you definitely. When it gets closer to that time, we could help you if you give us a call at (888) 980-6716.

      Thanks,
      Kevin

  5. Hello all,

    We have a primary home in Colorado and had purchased a cabin in Wisconsin; presume this was documented as a secondary home which we also have a loan for.
    Due to some changes to our situation we are looking to relocate back to Wisconsin; but need to purchase another home prior to our selling off our cabin which we have up for sale at the moment.
    Is this even a possibility to have 2 secondary home mortgages in Wisconsin and maintaining a primary home in Colorado? My significant other would be living in the potential 2nd home in Wi while I spend 75% of time in Colorado at the primary residence.
    Do lenders refrain from approving mortgages if we have more than one home in this instance?
    Also, in one years time we will be selling our primary house in Colorado and would like to invest our proceeds into the new home in Wisconsin. Is there any tax implications there or things to be aware of?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Jennifer:

      It’s possible to have more than one second home. Quicken Loans and other lenders would just have to consider all your house payments in your debt-to-income ratio. In terms of tax implications, you can only deduct the mortgage interest on one second home. You should be able to reinvest the profits from the sale into your new home, but you may have to pay capital gains tax. We recommend talking to a financial planner or tax expert in your area for guidance. If you’d like to talk about your mortgage options, one of our Home Loan Experts would be happy to work with you. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 980-6716. Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  6. We just closed on a home we currently live in and have been renting for 2 years. My husband was recently promoted and relocated to TX. He has to live there 75% of the time so we need to buy a true 2nd home in TX.

    He will be back and forth to AZ and TX every other week since we have children in school here and just closed on this house. The promotion was not something we expected but it’s one could not say no to, it was a game changer.

    Both kids will be in college very soon but we are still keeping this home in AZ since our kids and families are here. Again, we will both be bouncing back and forth weekly.

    So my question is; can you have two primary residences? How much would a down payment be for a 2nd home that we will be living in in TX? Also, not sure how all this works in regard to claiming both on taxes. His pay checks are taxed as a resident of TX btw.

    Thanks for your help

    1. Hi S Stacy:

      I’m going to suggest you speak with one of our Home Loan Experts about this to see how you could handle this situation in a way that makes the most sense for you financially. You can only have one primary residence. This is also true for tax purposes. If one becomes a second home, the minimum down payment is 10%. The best way to get in touch with one of our experts is to fill out this form or call (888) 980-6716. I hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  7. Hi, Kevin

    A few months ago, we purchased a secondary home with the intent of having a place to stay when we visit our children and grandchildren. We absolutely love the interaction, home and area while we’re there. We do not rent or lend out the home.

    Due to rising home values, we are selling our primary home now that it is finally “above water” and thankfully will be able to pay off some debt with the proceeds. We are also moving into a nearby rented apartment so we can continue to work at our current jobs.

    That being said, circumstances have changed since we closed escrow on our second home (sensing God calling us into a new direction for our lives, a recent accident, continuing health challenges, missing not having more frequent involvement in our grandchildren’s lives, and a serious discussion at a funeral of a friend) are causing a great deal of reflection and serious rethinking (more and more every day) about what’s most important and the future. Considering whether retirement should happen sooner rather than later.

    Under what circumstances and in what period of time will the government allow us to move into our secondary home and turn it into our primary home? I asked that questions of our mortgage broker (no, we didn’t go through Quicken, unfortunately), who said we might want to wait 5 years or refinance into another type of loan sooner than that. Since hearing that, I’m now perplexed — I can’t move into our home full time since it’s classified as a secondary home and I cannot rent it out due to the way the contract is written.

    Once we decide to transition the secondary home into a primary one, do we need to explain our situation to the lender? Ask for a reclassification? Ask to refinance? Contact an attorney to ensure we’re not making any moves that will cause us to breach the contract? Or simply move in, pay the mortgage on time and stop worrying that our circumstances and priorities have changed?

    Thank you

    1. Hi DK:

      It depends on how the contract is written. Mortgage companies typically have a clause that says you have to be in the loan for a certain amount of time. That said, it’s typically a year or two. Five seems like a long time, but I would check your contract. The other option you have is to move in and start making the payments as you said. I don’t necessarily recommend that from a financial standpoint. You’re paying a slightly higher rate because it’s classified as a second home right now. Ideally, you should be able to refinance and turn it into your primary property. I would start by telling the mortgage lender or servicer your situation, ask what kind of occupancy and other documentation they would need and go from there. Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  8. Hi!
    I loved the article, but find a few of your comment responses contradictory. For example, you state in the article that “Second homes also qualify for the mortgage interest tax deduction, although if you’re renting it out, you have to be careful. In order to qualify for the deduction, you have to use the home for 14 days or more than 10% of the days when you would normally rent it out.For example, if you rented out your home in Florida for six months between May and October (inclusive), you would still be able to classify your home as a second home for tax purposes if you stay there more than 18 days. (For convenience sake, I’m assuming six months is 180 days.) A timeshare used in this way also qualifies for the deduction.”

    Then, in some of the comment responses you state that you cannot rent your second home for more than 2 weeks, or else it will not be considered a second home:

    “mark
    February 10, 2017 at 4:26 pm
    how many weeks can a 2nd home be rented to qualify as a 2nd home per fnma guidelines ?
    Reply
    Kevin Graham
    February 10, 2017 at 8:17 pm
    Hi Mark:

    The property can only be occupied by someone other than you and your family two weeks per year.

    Thanks,
    Kevin Graham”

    Which is correct?

    1. Also – I just realized the example I gave for your comment response was to do with Fannie Mae Mortgages, so maybe not a great example, but what would the situation be with a Quicken Loan Mortgage?

      1. The comment responses are a bit contradictory in part because two different questions are being addressed. It’s also important to note that the guidelines for second homes have changed since some of these responses were made. With that in mind, here’s the most up-to-date clarifying information.

        With regard to the mortgage interest tax deduction, those guidelines are set by the IRS and haven’t changed recently. That’s just for tax purposes though.

        As to what’s considered a second for actual mortgage purposes, if you get a conventional loan through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (this applies to most second home loans we originate), you can rent the home out for 180 days or less provided you stay in the home for 14 days or 10% of the days when the property would otherwise be rented out, whichever is greater. I hope this helps!

        Thanks,
        Kevin Graham

        1. Wanting to confirm your comment as to the most recent lender rules. We are buying a second home at the beach away from our primary home. We are initially paying cash (to win a bidding war), then will do a cash out refi maintaining over 35% equity in the home. We are using quicken loans.
          We will visit this home more than 14 days per year but hope to rent to friends less than 4 weeks to cover taxes and dues.
          Can we still maintain this as a second home for refi purposes? Your comment above states less than 180 days ,but elsewhere it says only two weeks.

          1. Hi Karen:

            This post needs updating. It’s on my to-do list for this morning. Our current second home rental guideline is as follows:

            You may rent out your home for 180 days or less. The only other stipulation is that you also have to use the home yourself for at least 14 days or 10% of the days you might otherwise rent the property, whichever is greater. Hope this helps. I’m going to get the actual post updated soon.

            Thanks,
            Kevin Graham

  9. We recently went through the pre-approval process. Then we were stopped in our tracks. The home we would like to purchase is 4 hours away from my employer (u.s. army) however we decided to attempt to move my wife and kids closer to her family. My wife would be the co-borrower but we are told that i would have to take out a loan as an investor even though my wife(co-borrower) will be living in the home full time, however i will not be due to work and deployment.
    What are my options if any?
    I see if the loan is originated by the v.a. the spouse can met occupancy requirements. Does “originated” just mean v.a. loan? The home will not meet v.a. requirements so we were looking into a conventional 97. Not sure if this applies but i read on on a fha site the occupying co-borrower can meet primary residence standards. Please give us insite. The lendeer didnt have any option besides 20% down and “investment property”

    1. Hi Paul:

      To actually go over your options, you should speak with one of our Home Loan Experts to go over your situation in detail. That being said, I’m going to try to answer as many of your questions as I can here.

      If a loan is originated through the VA, it means it’s a VA loan. However, spousal occupancy only applies for primary residences if you’re currently on active duty, so that may or may not work. The same active duty requirement applies for getting an FHA loan. It would probably be better to go with a conventional loan anyway because the down payment could potentially the lower and mortgage insurance may be removed once you reach 20% equity in the home. That said, I think the best thing to do next would be to talk over your options with one of our Home Loan Experts. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 980-6716. Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  10. My husband and I have a small second home (cabin/camp) in Arkansas. He stays there about 2 months of the year. We need insurance but not sure if it would be classified as a second home, cabin, camp or whatever. It is not big and is debt free, what should we do as far as insuring it? Just not sure what direction to go in?

    1. Hi Cindy:

      It’s definitely a second home. Beyond that, the insurance company will talk to you about the types of activity on your property in order to determine the level of insurance you need. But for the purposes of classification, it doesn’t matter whether it doesn’t matter how the property is constructed or laid out. The classification of it being a second home is based on the amount of time spent there.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  11. Hi Kevin,

    I learned a lot from this article, thank you.

    My question is that my wife and I are interested in purchasing a two story home in Hawaii. I am in the military. Ideally, we desire to live on one floor of this home and rent out the other floor to a tenant. Seeing as this would be our primary residence, but we would also be generating income from the tenant much like an investment property, would we still qualify for a VA loan? From my research, VA loans only apply for primary residence purchases.

    I appreciate your assistance with this.

    1. Hi Drew:

      Thank you for your service! I’m glad you found the article helpful as well.

      You’re correct that the VA only allows primary residences. However, you can get a multiunit primary residence. As long as you are living in one of the units, you can rent out up to three others.

      I’m going to recommend you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts to go over this. You can reach them at (888) 980-6716.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  12. Question. My grandmother just passed away and we want to purchase her home. We won’t be living in it though, as we are military and have orders to Japan. How would that house qualify? Not a second residence, as we don’t currently own a home. Not as an investment property, as we won’t be renting it. So it’s a bit confusing. Any help you can offer would be great. Thanks.

    1. Hi Tara:

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother’s passing. That’s a great question. You have a very unique situation. I want to make sure you get the correct answer. I think the best solution for you would be to talk to one of our Home Loan Experts. We have a great many licensed bankers that are used to dealing with military issues. They will be able to give you better advice than I can. The easiest way to get in touch with them would be to call (888) 980-6716. If you are currently deployed overseas, use our international line at (888) 855-1822. Good luck with everything in Japan.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  13. We are thinking about transferring to Florida to be our primary residence, but we want to keep a second home in California. what are the tax we will have to pay owning a second home in California?

    1. Hi J:

      You would have to pay property tax for sure. As to the specifics, you’re better off talking to a tax professional in California. Every state has different tax codes in place.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  14. Hi Kevin, great article.

    I am purchasing a 2nd home in NH, I live in MA. Although I plan to keep my MA home, I will quickly make NH my primary residence since I home office and can save on state income tax. I understand and will meet the requirements of residency.

    My question is, the seller has rented the property for three weeks this summer and has asked us to honor that commitment. So do I need to categorize this as an investment property when I apply for loans? Or can I apply as primary residence?

    OK

    1. Hi Owen:

      This is a tricky one. Two weeks is typically the longest that someone other than you can occupy a second home. I also definitely don’t think the seller can make you honor the commitment if he no longer has the property. That being said, I’m going to recommend you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts about this. They’ll be able to give you better information than I can and go over your options. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 728-4702.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

      1. Respectfully, I just did a huge investigation concerning how a homeowner can live in his own property (primary residence) whether paid or mortgaged and rent it out at the same time or. According to the IRS, you can call your home your primary residence if you live in it. Passing the tests which are provided online. If it’s fairly close to your work, as your residence in IRS docs, driver’s license etc. Of course you don’t have to be enslaved inside your home 365 days a year. It says in the IRS documentation the you can rent it out when on vacation. They can be periods of time longer than two weeks. The two weeks rule based on the Master’s golf tournament in Georgia allows you to rent out your home for 14 days, (anytime during the year; even 3 days here, two days there etc) going caps…. WITHOUT PAYING TAXES ON THE INCOME. That doesn’t mean you can’t rent it out for more than two weeks. But when and if you do, say 21 days or 60 days, all income has to be reported. You may also count some deductions from the expenses. However, The Master’s tournament “special rule” cannot be used for yours or your previous owners tax reporting, in your situation. Those days you are on vacation or renting it out are ok to count as your lived in 730 days in 5 years ownership rule before selling and avoiding high income tax on the sale. Down the road it’s good to know. All this is on the IRS site.

        1. Hi Michael:

          Thank you for bringing this up. In fact, we use many of the same guidelines you mentioned the IRS uses in determining whether a property is your primary residence. I will say that lenders and mortgage investors like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, etc. may use different standards than the IRS when determining the amount of time a property can be rented out when you go to initially originate the loan. You’re not wrong. There are just different policies in place for doing your taxes than when you actually get the mortgage.

          I hope this clarifies things!

          Thanks,
          Kevin Graham

  15. Hi Kevin – Great article! Here’s my question….I want to purchase an investment property out of state. I intend to rent it out until I retire in 8 years when I plan to occupy it full time. If purchasing as an investment property do I need to do anything with the mortgage loan to treat it as my primary property in 8 years? I want to avoid refinancing at that time if the rates are then higher than my current loan. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mary:

      You don’t have to necessarily do anything with the mortgage. In order to claim it as your primary property for tax purposes, you would have to sell your current primary property and then claim it as a homestead. I wouldn’t try to project rates eight years from now. No one has any idea what’s going to happen. Since you’ll be getting a slightly higher rate for an investment property, there’s the chance that it could make sense to refinance at that time. No one really knows. That said, if you want to go over your options for purchasing the property, I’m going to recommend you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts. You can get in touch with them by filling out this form or calling (888) 728-4702. Hope this helps!

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

    2. I want to purchase a condo and let my son live there paying only real estate taxes and maintenance fee. Since I do have a separate primary residence is this doable? Thanks.

      1. Hi Sharon:

        It’s doable. You should know it will be considered an investment property because you’re not living there at all. I’m going to recommend you speak with one of our Home Loan Experts to go over your mortgage options. You can do that by filling out this form or calling 888-728-4702.

        Thanks,
        Kevin Graham

    1. Hi Mark:

      The property can only be occupied by someone other than you and your family two weeks per year.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  16. We are currently renting and want to move to Seattle. We want to buy a home there. My husband will live there immediately after the close. I will be here untill I can move in 90 days.

    Thanks,

    Reen

    1. Hi Reen:

      The requirements may be different depending on what type of loan you get. I want to make sure you get the right advice. If you call (888) 728-4702, one of our Home Loan Experts will be happy to talk it out with you.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  17. We are considering buying a house in the city our children’s college is in. It is 30 miles from our primary but we would like to buy a house with a few extra bedrooms to rent out in this college town. can we buy as a primary since we will have 2 children living there for the next 4-8 years?

    1. Hi Chris:

      What you’re describing is a kiddie condo. Unfortunately, if your children are going to be living there and you won’t be there, it’s considered an investment property. You cannot consider it your primary residence. Hope this helps clarify things.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  18. If my fiance and I each own a house, and after marriage I intend to still intend to live in my house for at least part of each month (due to work location and being in the office a week every month), can my house still be my primary residence?

    1. Hi Nora:

      Unfortunately, this would really be considered a second home. For it to be considered a primary residence, you have to live there the majority of the year. Hope this clarifies things.

  19. Hello Kevin,
    I am about to refinance my primary residence in a few months, I also want to move away for a job offer, but only temporarily; however temporarily could be 12 months. It will be more than a full time job at a distance to far to commute. I plan on roughing it out by renting a meager share rental or small efficiency. I’ll return more qualified to obtain my dream job and so far plan on retiring in my primary residence. What would be the lawful and least financially painful way to proceed? My brothers and family would be taking care of my house while I am away. Thank You!!

    1. Hi Mike:

      I’m going to recommend you talk to one of our Home Loan Experts who can go over this in detail with you and figure out the right way to do this. If you could please fill out this form or call (888) 728-4702, we’ll be happy to give in contact.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  20. Hello!

    I own a property (my name only) which was my primary address up until July 2016, when I purchased a 2nd property (with a co-borrower). If I decided to not rent my first property anymore and move back, leaving the co-borrower at the 2nd property…I would be able to switch my primary residence address…correct?

  21. I currently reside in one state and I own a house in another state. My home owners insurance is not being renewed due to the house not being owner occupied. What type of insurance do I need to get to replace it? The house is currently occupied by my daughter and there is no lease/tenant agreement.

    1. Hi Jay:

      I would talk to your insurance company to be sure, but since you’re not occupying the property and your daughter is, they probably consider it an investment property. Odds are they’ll want you to get a different type of policy. You’re probably going to need some sort of tenant agreement to prove occupancy.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  22. I plan on buying a home to be my primary residence in 6 months to a year, and I just want to have it there ready for when I move. Could I still classify it as primary residence if I cannot move in for 6 months to a year after closing? What would I have to classify it as if it will be unoccupied for 6 months to a year before I move in? I currently rent in a state different from where I will be moving into the house.

    1. It would probably be considered an investment property. In order for it to be classified as a primary property, you have to move in within 60 days of closing. If it’s going to be totally unoccupied, it’s not a second home either. However, I really think you should talk to someone about this by filling out this form or calling 888-728-4702.

  23. Hello,
    We are looking to buy a home as our primary residence, but I am currently working for the Army as a federal employee overseas in Stuttgart Germany where we rent a home. My wife will take occupancy of the house later in the year while I finish my 3 year assignment here in Germany. I am retired military disabled vet and will be financing using a VA loan. Can you confirm that I will be able to count this as a primary residence even though I’m living overseas? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jason:

      I don’t know the answer to that question from one of our Home Loan Experts would be able to help you if you call 888-728-4702.

      Thanks,
      Kevin Graham

  24. I just bought an investment property 2 blocks away from my primary residence. My plan is to spend 3-6 months to renovate the house and either resale it or use it as a rental. Is there any tax benefit that I can get from this house while it’s under renovation?

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