Agent

Top hurdles to qualifying as a first-time homebuyer

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Q: I would like to move to California and buy a house there, which I would live in as my full-time residence. I have two homes outside California, which I own in my name, but I live in them only when they are vacant. Is it possible for me to be considered a first-time homebuyer in California? A: Many buyers will benefit from the top-level takeaway from your question and my answer, which is that the term "first-time homebuyer" is not a literal one, in the real estate and mortgage industry. In fact, based on the scenario you present, many programs would consider you to fit the definition of a first-time buyer. 1. Know the basic definition of first-time buyer. Most local and state programs define a first-time homebuyer as a person who has not owned a home in the jurisdiction covered by the program within the past three years. That means if you owned a home years earlier in that place, but sold it or lost it to foreclosure at least three years ago, you become a virgi...