Am I Still Considered as a First-Time Home Buyer?

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Real Estate


First-time homebuyers are often defined as those who are purchasing their first home or apartment, have never owned one before and have no other property to sell. For many such people, the reasons for buying a property may vary. It can be for a variety of reasons: a new job being located in a different city, moving from one school district to another, relocating from one city to another, to avoid expensive rent payments, or simply to start a family and raise children. These new homeowners might also look at it as an investment that can yield returns in the future.

A first-time home buyer, as defined by the U.S. an anyone who satisfies any of the criteria below is eligible to work for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

  • An individual who has not owned their primary residence in the past three years. You can purchase a house together as first-time homebuyers if you've owned a home but your spouse hasn't.
  • A single parent who has owned a home at any point only with a former spouse while married.
  • A former housewife who has only ever shared a house with a spouse.
  • An individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with applicable regulations.
  • An individual who has only owned a property that was not in compliance with state, local, or model building codes—and that cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure


As a first-time home buyer, how can you make sure that your home-buying experience is smooth? We asked our SKT Buyer’s Agent Specialist, Michelle Warner, to answer some questions from the reddit thread: "Am I Still Considered as a First-Time Home Buyer?"


1. If I were to buy an investment property, either in state or out of state, would I still qualify for a first-time home buyer option for either a single-family home or a duplex?

Answer: Yes, you may still qualify for a first-time home buyer loan within NYS or out of state.  There are several federal loans available for first time home buyers.  It is not state specific.

2. Can I buy as a first-time home buyer if I purchase an investment property first.


Answer: Yes you may buy as a first time home buyer as long as you occupy the property for a

specified length of time. Buyer is required to move in within 60 days of closing and reside in

that property for at least one year. Once lender requirements are met, property may be



3. If I have already bought a home in Canada but do not have a home in the US, can I still

benefit from first time home buyer benefits offered in the US?


Answer: Yes, you may still qualify for a first-time home buyer benefit if the applicant provides

proof of permanent residency in the US. The ongoing employment/residency requirement can

satisfy this requirement. If an individual renews their work permit or visa at least once, then it’s

possible their employment and residency will continue, and lender are more likely to approve a



If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact Michelle Warner at 607-368-3204 or email her at We'll be happy to help you find the answers you need.