No matter the location, size, or value of a second home, certain tax advantages are built in. However, your opportunity to benefit from them depends on how you use the property.

Personal Use

Both property taxes and mortgage interest are as deductible for a second home as they are for your primary residence — and are subject to the same limitations. If you file a joint return, you cannot deduct interest on more than $1 million of acquisition debt ($500,000 for married persons filing separately) on one or two homes.

Two tax advantages of homeownership are not available for a second home — the immediate deduction of mortgage points when purchasing and the capital gain exemption when selling. Both tax breaks require the home to be your “principal residence.” However, you can deduct the points on your second home’s mortgage over the loan’s term.

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John Stancil

This is the fourth in a series of four articles on the mortgage interest deduction. (Read Part I, Part II, and Part III) Reverse mortgages have become increasingly popular as a vehicle for retired taxpayers to help fund their retirement. It’s hard to watch TV very long without seeing a pitch for reverse mortgages. What are the characteristics of a reverse mortgage, what are the tax implications, and what do taxpayers need to be aware of in regard to these loans? These are sometimes referred to as lifetime mortgages or home equity conversion mortgages (HECM).

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