Primary Residence vs. Second Home

Q. Please explain to me what constitutes the difference in lenders eyes between a primary residence and a 2nd home.  Iíve been told itís the distance thing but this doesnít make sense because I know of instances where such couldnít be the case.  Also, can you have a 2nd home, if you donít have a first home?

A. For most lenders it is as you put it ďa distance thingĒ, wherein the 2nd home needs to be more than 60-65 miles distant from oneís primary residence.  There are exceptions where the 2nd home is in a resort or vacation destination.  An example of an exception might be one where the principal residence was in the city and one had a 2nd home at the beach or a ski resort, even though it may be within a 60-65 mile radius of oneís principal residence.

Judging from your question, I interpret your question to mean ďCan one have a 2nd home if they donít own their primary residence?Ē  The answer is yes.  Their primary residence might be a rental here in California and own a 2nd home in another state, for example.

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