With the end of 2011 approaching, the contributors of NAHB’s Eye on Housing thought it would be useful to take a look at the updates that attracted the most readers over the last year.
In August, we mapped the locations of the nation’s second homes. We highlighted the fact that the tax definition of a “second home” for the purposes of the mortgage interest deduction includes a significant number of homes that many people would not think of as a second home. This includes: (1) a home that used to be a primary residence due to a move or a period of simultaneous ownership of two homes due to a move; (2) a home under construction for which the eventual homeowner acts as the builder and obtains a construction loan (Treasury regulations permit up to 24 months of interest deductibility for such construction loans); or (3) a non-rental seasonal or vacation residence.
On the other hand, many homes that people think of a second homes, such as expensive beach homes, are in fact rented and rental units do not qualify under the rules for the mortgage interest deduction.