Intent To Occupy Letter: What It Is And How To Write One
February 19, 2023 3-minute read
Author: Andrew Dehan
When closing on a house, there are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that have to come together before you can move in. Many of these pieces are forms or other types of paperwork that need to be completed.
If you’re moving into a primary residence, your mortgage lender may require you to write an intent to occupy letter. This letter is a legal document and needs to include specific information. Here, we’ll lay out why this letter is needed and what you need to include in it.
What Is An Intent To Occupy Letter?
An intent to occupy letter from a buyer may be required by some mortgage lenders. The letter must contain specific details requested by the lender and state the buyer’s intention to live on the property and use it as a primary residence.
Since mortgages for primary residences usually come with lower rates and better terms, lenders want a legal document laying out that this home won’t be used as a rental property or vacation home.
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What Should A Letter Of Intent To Occupy A Home Include?
To write an intent to occupy letter, you should include your name, the home’s address, your decision to apply for a mortgage and your intent to occupy the home as the owner. You should also include any specific details that your lender requests.
Format it as you would a business letter, address it to your lender and plug in the address of the property it’s regarding in the subject line. Keep it brief, providing only what the lender requests. It needs to be no more than a single paragraph describing that you’ll use the property as your primary home.
Sample Letter Of Intent To Occupy A Home
Here’s a sample of what a letter of intent to occupy looks like:
RE: one-family home at 3333 Maple Lane, New York, NY 12345
September 9, 2021
My name is ___________. I am applying for a home loan with Rocket Mortgage® to purchase the property mentioned in the subject line. I will occupy the home the home as my primary residence.
The Legal Implications Of Intent To Occupy Letters
An intent to occupy letter is a legal document. Since major factors of your mortgage are based on whether the property is your primary residence, your intent to occupy letter carries weight in court.
By signing an intent to occupy letter, you’re agreeing to only use the home as your primary residence. If you told your mortgage lender you were intending to occupy the home as your primary residence, then go on to rent out the home without notifying your mortgage lender, this could be considered mortgage fraud.
How Lenders Determine Primary Residence
As opposed to a second home or investment property, your primary residence is where you live most of the year and can prove it. It’s listed as your legal address with the USPS, on your driver’s license and your tax returns. You can only have one primary residence listed and transferring it from one property to another involves a lot of paperwork, especially if you have mortgages on both properties.
In the past, the residency’s proximity to work was a determining factor as well, but with remote work more the norm, this has become less of a deciding factor.
The Bottom Line: A Letter Of Intent To Occupy A Property Affirms Your Owner Occupancy
Your primary residency status is important for you and your mortgage lender. A letter of intent to occupy is a concise legal document that you write stating your intention to live in the home you’re mortgaging as your primary residence. Your primary residence is important because it ties directly to certain tax benefits and usually a better mortgage rate.
It’s important to remember this letter of intent is a legally binding document. Using the property for anything but your primary residence without notifying your mortgage lender can result in legal action being taken against you.
Learn more about owner-occupied properties and their guidelines.
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