There has been a lot of confusion surrounding how mobile homes play into the first-time buyer tax credit. For the first several months after the tax credit was announced, I heard conflicting information from a variety of national real estate and tax experts. Several said that a mobile home owner could buy a house and get the credit. They touted the line of reasoning that many of us in the industry first expected would hold the answer; since a mobile home is not real property, the owners would be considered first-time buyers and could claim the credit.
However, when I had a personal contact in this exact situation ask me if they would qualify, I wasn't willing to take the word of an unknown author or even a single CPA. I decided to do some checking on my own and get it straight from the source. After spending about an hour on the I.R.S.'s website searching F.A.Q.'s I could see why there wasn't a clear answer. It wasn't covered in the F.A.Q. section.
I finally ended up reviewing the form that is used to claim the credit and read the instructions. I'm guessing they didn't see the need to include it in the F.A.Q. section because the form states it so clearly. Under the heading "Who Can Claim the Credit" it states that a home "can be a house, houseboat, housetrailer, cooperative apartment, condominium, or other type of residence."
So the answer is YES- MOBILE HOMES DO COUNT. First-Time Buyers can purchase a mobile home and claim 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000. This also means that anyone who buys a house but previously owned a mobile home (within in the last 3 years) CANNOT claim the $8,000 credit. http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5405.pdf