DEAR BENNY: My wife and I are considering a move to Arizona. As we have lived in our current townhome for six years, I am sure we would be eligible for the homebuyer credit of $6,500. What I cannot find is any reference about if and when we must sell our current home. Can we buy a replacement home by the cutoff date of April 30, 2010, then sell our current residence later in the year? Or if we make the new house our principal residence, are we required to sell our current residence at all? –John
DEAR JOHN: According to the Internal Revenue Service, you do not have to sell your current house — which must have been owned and used as a principal or primary residence for at least five consecutive years of the eight-year period ending on the date of purchase of a new home as a primary residence — in order to take advantage of the new $6,500 tax credit for repeat homebuyers so long as the new house becomes your primary house.