Am I considered a first time home buyer/owner?

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He bought the house 2 years after we were married. My name was never on the mortgage or the deed. I lived there for 17 years, then we divorced. Up until that time we filed joint taxes, but never itemized. Post divorce, he kept the house. I’ve been on my own for 1 year and am looking at buying a house. Do I qualify as a first time home buyer/owner? Thanks for any replies.

  1. Reply
    Adriana Vera
    October 26, 2011 at 2:09 am

    If your ex never entered your name on any of the papers, such as property tax and the original contract, than maybe you would qualify. However, some states have laws that you are a co-owner and responsible for the house even if he bought it BEFORE you were married and you lived there less than a month (or not at all). This is a good question to clarify with a lawyer, or maybe ask a realtor – it’s not their area of specialty, but they MIGHT know such stuff.

  2. Reply
    October 26, 2011 at 2:53 am

    The term “1st time home buyer/owner” is defined in each program where any special deal is offered. Each definition might be different. The old tax credit that is no longer available would have required you to have not owned a home for at least two year- but there are exceptions and loopholes. Whatever program you are looking at – you should have someone explain it to you in detail and get help if you think it is not black and white clear to you.

  3. Reply
    October 26, 2011 at 3:48 am

    It depends on whether or not you lived in a community property state. If so, you will not be considered a first time buyer for 5 years from your divorce decree. If not, you can be considered a first time buyer today.

    If you live in a community property state it makes no difference whether or not you were ever on title to the house because in the eyes of the law, you had an equitable interest in the house through what are known a dower and curtsy rights.

  4. Reply
    richard t
    October 26, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Sounds to me like there is no paper trail of you ever owning a home and you should be able to claim first-time home owner status. Other than some state programs, there really are not any deals for first time home owners anymore. If you already purchased a house on your own before the deadline, then you should be able to get the tax credit.

  5. Reply
    Because I Said So
    October 26, 2011 at 4:15 am

    yes. if you’ve never had a mortgage or been listed on a deed, then as far as the IRS knows you’ve never owned a home.

  6. Reply
    October 26, 2011 at 4:49 am

    You should be. As long as you were not: on the deed, on the mortgage, or claiming mortgage interest, in the eyes of the IRS, you are a FTHB.

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