It got through. But because of the time difference, I had retired for the evening when it came in and have not been able to get to it until now which is morning for me. Sorry about the delay.
Luckily, you can continue to use the Visa Waiver if that is the amount of time that you will stay in the U.S. A B-2 would just give you more flexibility but you can still run into the same problem. Let me see if I can explain. You see, no one that is not a U.S. Citizen has a "right" to enter the U.S. This means that even the U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident spouse of a U.S. Citizen doesn't have a right to enter. It is 100% at the discretion of the officer at the Port of Entry. For some reason, this officer that you got believed that perhaps you were using the Visa Waiver too often as maybe that was your 2nd trip in a 12 month period and he may have been scared that you would use it a 3rd time to then have more than 180 days inside of the U.S. in a 12 month period. It's still a problem in that regard even if you had a B-2 tourist visa. You could come in 6 months, then leave for a few months and come back for another 6 months. Not that you intend to do that, but you see what I mean? The idea is to spend more time outside of the U.S. than inside. You are doing that, BARELY, and that's what worried the officer. That the barely could turn the other way very easily. Still, a B-2 wouldn't solve that anyway. With a B-2 or Visa Waiver, regardless, if it appears to the CBP Officer that when you apply for entry you are spending more time over-all in the U.S. than outside, it will be up to you to prove to the officer that you are not de-facto U.S. residents. One of the ways to do this is demonstrate significant ties to your home country, including proof of employment, residency, etc.
It actually hurts you that you own a house in the U.S. It shows that you are planting roots in the U.S. and they don't like that, but here is an official document that you can review what you would need to prove non-immigrant intent:
Now remember, that list is for things that you have outside of the U.S. at home, not inside of the U.S. So the more of those things you have, the better it is. I don't think there is a need to apply for a B-2 visa. Use your ESTA Visa Waiver, but carry with you evidence as found on that list to prove you will be going back home. It also would be better if you wouldn't cut it so close. So instead of 89 days and 89 days which add up to almost half a year, maybe 60 days and 60 days or something like that.
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