Can I Consider New Home Primary Residence if I Honor Remainder of Existing Lease

I am purchasing a townhome in Virginia. However, I may have to honor the remainder of the current occupants lease. After that expires, my wife and I will be using the Townhome as our primary residence.

What exactly is the definition of “primary residence” as far as the sales contract and mortgage application (both ask if the property will be used as our primary residence). Bottom line is it will be used as our primary residence, but not initially.

Please help!!!

The easiest, and surest, way of knowing how the lender feels about this is to ask the lender directly. However, since you plan on actually living there, I wouldn’t think that it will be a problem.

As far as you honoring the lease, is this what you want to do, or is this what the seller has said that you have to do?

If it were me, I’d request that the seller remove the tenants before closing. This is still possible even if the tenants have a fixed-term lease. Check your state laws first (or rather, the seller), but the seller should be able to inform the tenant of the sell (30-60 day notice) and the lease termination. The seller may have to pay off the tenant to move but it can be done.

hope it helps,



While, by law, you do have to honor the existing lease, you are under no obligation to renew the lease. Make sure you give the tenant timely notice of lease termination in accordance with your local landlord-tenant laws.

Roger J gave you a good suggestion with regards to the lender. Just be honest and up front – it works. I had a similar situation with my current primary residence. When I was applying for the mortgage, I told the lender that I would not be moving in for about one year. I told the lender that the house would be rented during that year, but after that I would be taking up primary residence.

The lender approved the mortgage as a second home loan application and all was cool. About 15 months after settlement, I moved and established the home as my primary residence. That was seven years ago, and I have since established a good working relationship with that lender.

Thanks guys. Good advice!