The $8,000 Question: Do Mobile Homes Count towards the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding how mobile homes play into the first-time buyer tax credit. For the first several months after the tax credit was announced, I heard conflicting information from a variety of national real estate and tax experts. Several said that a mobile home owner could buy a house and get the credit. They touted the line of reasoning that many of us in the industry first expected would hold the answer; since a mobile home is not real property, the owners would be considered first-time buyers and could claim the credit.

However, when I had a personal contact in this exact situation ask me if they would qualify, I wasn't willing to take the word of an unknown author or even a single CPA. I decided to do some checking on my own and get it straight from the source. After spending about an hour on the I.R.S.'s website searching F.A.Q.'s I could see why there wasn't a clear answer. It wasn't covered in the F.A.Q. section.

I finally ended up reviewing the form that is used to claim the credit and read the instructions. I'm guessing they didn't see the need to include it in the F.A.Q. section because the form states it so clearly. Under the heading "Who Can Claim the Credit" it states that a home "can be a house, houseboat, housetrailer, cooperative apartment, condominium, or other type of residence."

So the answer is YES- MOBILE HOMES DO COUNT. First-Time Buyers can purchase a mobile home and claim 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000. This also means that anyone who buys a house but previously owned a mobile home (within in the last 3 years) CANNOT claim the $8,000 credit.


Comments (5)

Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Tabitha, thanks for the clarification on the mobile home tax credit usage.

Sep 25, 2009 09:53 AM
Tabitha Zesch
Hunziker & Associates, REALTORS - Ames, IA
Relocation Director

Thanks for your comment, Frank. I'm glad you found the information useful.

Sep 25, 2009 10:16 AM
Rashel Beaver
Phoenix, AZ

Interesting. Hadn't ran into the issue, but good to know. Who would have thought a houseboat counts too? : )

Sep 25, 2009 10:52 AM
Arthur Boyd

Thanks for the insight. Quick question. You ended with (within the last three years). So if I owned a mobile home 20 years again would I then qualify.

May 16, 2017 10:25 AM
Robert ortiz

I want to buy a home but but since I’m buying this mobile home I’m not sure if I still qualify for first time home buyers..I’m really looking for a home now so my two daughters can have a place to play and get settled in..I lives here for the past three years now so can I still qualify for first time home buyers

Jul 22, 2019 07:20 AM