Understanding second homes vs. primary residencesAlthough you might visit a second home for weeks on end, it’s only a personal residence for part of the year. The rest of the time it may be vacant or rented out to others. By contrast, lenders expect your primary residence to take priority because it’s where you live and sleep. You can also own more than one “second” home; a second home is defined as a property that’s secondary to your primary residence.
Can a second home be a primary residence?In short, no. A second home cannot be a primary residence because their qualifications are in direct conflict with each other. A primary home is where you spend the majority of your time, and a second home is where you spend a lesser portion of it.
Characteristics of each occupancy typePrimary residence
- Owned and occupied at least 2 of the last 5 years
- Where someone lives the majority of the year
- The address listed on your driver’s license and tax documents
- Occupied for some portion of the year
- Usually more than 50 miles from a primary residence
- Can be rented out for less than 180 days
- A primary residence is where you spend almost all of your time — your day-to-day home
- A property cannot be a primary residence and a second home at the same time
- Lenders refer to your occupancy status to determine your financing rates