Hi Dennis: What a great question. I recently posted a blog Titled "21 Top Questions Answered on the New $8,000 Tax Credit "- If you would like to view it in it's entirety, please visit my Appleton, WI Blog at http://www.wisconsinconsumerhotline.com
Here is the answer to your question - I hope this helps.
What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
The law defines "first-time home buyer" as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the home-ownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse.
For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to give me a call or drop me an email. Make it a great day!
Gwenn Tanvas is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialists who specializes in Government Programs such as FHA, State and Federal VA and USDA Rural Housing Loans. Visit her website for more information, on-line calculators and a secure on-line application. She is able to assist with transaction throughout the state of Wisconsin. Her offices are located in Appleton, Oshkosh and Green Bay and offers the convenience of one-stop shopping. http://www.WisconsinLoanTips.com
she can also be reached for comment or to answer questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org