How does HUD define a first time homebuyer?

FHA defines a first-time homebuyer (FTHB) as an individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase (closing date) of the property.

A FTHB includes any individual that has only owned with a former spouse while married.

A FTHB would also include an individual who has only owned a principal residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation, or a property that was not in compliance with State, local, or model building codes and cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

However, some grant programs impose additional income restrictions on the participants for eligibility as a FTHB. You should contact the specific agency provider to determine the definition of FTHB for each specific program.

HUD's definition of a first time homebuyer is found under Title 24 of the Code of Federal Regulations available at:

All policy information contained in this knowledge base article is based upon the referenced HUD policy document. Any lending or insuring decisions should adhere to the specific information contained in that underlying policy document.

Topic Number: KA-03143