I own a home in Southern California (bought about 10 years ago), I have lived there for the last 9 years, but have relocated recently to Northern California. I don't own the place I live in currently, and I'm not sure about buying a property here since I am thinking about going back in near future. Since the home in Southern California is not owner occupied, I don't have any 'proof of primary residence' for it (no utility bills). ====> then you can qualify for the LTCG exclusion;To qualify for the exclusion, you must have used the home you sell as your principal residence for at least 2of the 5 years prior to the sale. Your principal residence is the place where you (and your spouse if you're filing jointly and claiming the $500k exclusion for couples) live.
You don't have to spend every minute in your home for it to be your principal residence. Short absences are permitted;for example, you can take a 2 month vacation away from home and count that time as use. However, long absences are not permitted. For example, a professor who is away from home for a whole year while on sabbatical cannot count that year as use for purposes of the exclusion.You can only have one principal residence at a time. If you live in more than one place; say, for example, you have 2 homes;the property you use the majority of the time during the year will ordinarily be your principal residence for that year.
If you have a 2nd home or vacation home that has substantially appreciated in value since you bought it, you?ll be able to use the exclusion when you sell it if you use that home as your principal home for at least two years before the sale.
How can I claim the mortgage interest & property tax deductions in such situation?===>You MUST itemize deductions on your federal return on Sch A of 1040 to claim those exp;so unless you itemize deductions on Sch A of 1040 you can not claim them on your federal return however you still claim your itemized deductions o n your state return;
Can this property be called a 'second home'?===> the home in S CA is your primary home not a second home; a second home is another home besides your primary home