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Can updated tax credit stoke housing?

Part 1: Feds place hopes on first-time buyers

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Editor's note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series. The primary reasons first-time homebuyers have been driven to considering a home purchase during the past few months are the attractive loan programs targeting first-timers and the generous $8,000 tax credit offered by the federal government. Recently, the tax credit has been loaded with new angles allowing first-time buyers to add it to their down payment after the required 3.5 percent of the purchase price has come from their own funds. As of May 29, 2009, the $8,000 federal tax credit can be used as "an additional down payment or closing costs" for buyers who apply for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration before Dec. 1, 2009. A first-time buyer, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, is anyone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse...