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What is a "First Time Home Buyer"?

If you bought a home in 2009, you should examine whether you are a "first-time home buyer." The definition is looser than you might think and, if you fit the definition, you could be entitled to a tax credit up to $8,000. Free!

The stimulus plan passed by Congress defines a first time home buyer as someone who has not purchased and occupied a home within the previous three years. Also, "If you own a vacation home, or a rental home, which you have not resided in, you can still qualify for this credit."

However, here's one catch, "The credit is for people whose adjusted income is $75,000 and lower. If you're over $95,000, you're not going to qualify for it at all." (If you are married, the income limit doubles). And here's the final caveat: "If two people are married and one person owned a residence the previous three years, you do not qualify."

Did you make the cut? Is the tax credit making you consider buying a home?

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