How to establish yourself as a first time home buyer?

Last year I bought a house with a friend of mine; she was the co-signer. We have an FHA loan together and right now I’m trying to remove her so that she doesn’t have the house as the debt on her credit report. I’ve called a few different banks and they said because she’s on the title on the house, she can’t qualify for first time homebuyer programs until she’s been off the title for at least 3 years. She didn’t put any money down for the house, she hasn’t made any payments, she’s not living at the property. I want her to be able to qualify for first time homebuyer, it’s going to help her a lot. Is there anything I can do to help her? Is there something that we can sign or go to court to make sure she has this option when she buys later this year?

Asked on January 14, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, there is nothing you or she can do. Bear in mind that there is no right to or guaranty of a mortgage, and no law requiring banks to give out mortgages. That being the case, banks are free to set their own criteria for loans, including who qualifies as a first time homebuyer, and you cannot make them accept someone as a first time homebuyer if they don't want to accept them as one.


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