What Are the Qualifications for First Time Home Buyers?

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From time to time, programs are available for first-time home buyers to take advantage of special mortgage programs or receive tax credits for buying a home. Government programs at national, local, or state levels can access lower interest rate money or grants that encourage lower income individuals or families to buy homes instead of renting in order to increase home ownership in areas to stimulate the economy or improve neighborhoods.

General First-Time Home Buyer Qualification

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a home for three years prior to signing a contract to buy a home.

Marital Status

In the case of a married couple, if one of the partners has never owned a home independent of his or her partner, the couple qualifies for the first-time home buyer designation, as long as they have not owned a home in the last three years. Single parents and displaced spouses who have not owned a home themselves will also qualify as first-time home buyers.

Current Home Owned

People who own and live in mobile homes or manufactured homes not affixed to a foundation qualify for the first-time home buyer designation. People who live in homes that are in violation of local building codes or whose homes would cost more to fix than to buy a different home also qualify as first-time home buyers. However, homeowners who live in prefabricated homes that are assembled on site do not qualify for first-time home buyer programs.


About the Author

Jackie Johnson is a published writer and professional blogger, and has a degree in English from Arizona State University. Her background in real estate analysis prepared her for objective thinking, researching and writing.

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