Home Acquisition Debt

Interest on Home Acquisition Debt is fully deductible up to $1 Million for your main home and secondary residence.

Home Acquisition Debt Definition

Home acquisition debt is a mortgage you took out after October 13, 1987, to buy, build, or substantially improve a qualified home (your main or second home). The debt must also be secured by that home.

If the amount of your mortgage is more than the cost of the home plus the cost of any substantial improvements, only the debt that is not more than the cost of the home plus improvements qualifies as home acquisition debt. The additional debt may qualify as home equity debt.

Mortgage Treated as Used to Buy, Build, or Improve Home

A mortgage secured by a qualified home may be treated as home acquisition debt, even if you do not actually use the proceeds to buy, build, or substantially improve the home. This applies to the following situations:

      1. You buy your home within 90 days before or after the date you take out the mortgage. The home acquisition debt is limited to the home’s cost, plus the cost of any substantial improvements within the limits described in points (2) and (3) below.
      2. You build or improve your home and take out the mortgage before the work is completed. The home acquisition debt is limited to the amount of the expenses incurred within 24 months before the date of the mortgage.
      3. You build or improve your home and take out the mortgage within 90 days after the work is completed. The home acquisition debt is limited to the amount of the expenses incurred within the period beginning 24 months before the work is completed and ending on the date of the mortgage.

Mortgage That Qualifies Later
A mortgage that does not qualify as home acquisition debt because it does not meet all the requirements may qualify at a later time. For example, a debt that you use to buy your home may not qualify as home acquisition debt because it is not secured by the home. However, if the debt is later secured by the home, it may qualify as home acquisition debt after that time. Similarly, a debt that you use to buy property may not qualify because the property is not a qualified home. However, if the property later becomes a qualified home, the debt may qualify after that time.

Refinanced Home Acquisition Debt
Any secured debt that you use to refinance home acquisition debt is treated as home acquisition debt. The new debt will qualify as home acquisition debt only up to the amount of the balance of the old mortgage principal just prior to the refinancing. Any additional debt is not treated as home acquisition debt, but may qualify as home equity debt.

Home Acquisition Debt Limit

If the amount of your mortgage is more than the cost of the home plus the cost of any substantial improvements, only the debt that is not more than the cost of the home plus improvements qualifies as home acquisition debt. The additional debt may qualify as home equity debt. The total amount you can treat as home acquisition debt at any time on your main home and second home cannot be more than $ 1 million ($500,000 if married filing separately). This limit is reduced by the amount of your grandfathered debt.

To qualify as a “substantial improvement” the improvement must:

  • Add to the value of your home.
  • Prolong your home’s useful life.
  • Adapt your home to new uses.

Repairs that maintain your home in good condition, such as repainting your home, are not substantial improvements. However, if you paint your home as part of a renovation that substantially improves your qualified home, you can include the painting costs in the cost of the improvements.

↓