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Ask the Experts: Tax Credit for Buying a House

Q. I've never owned a home before, but with prices going lower, I'm considering buying. Can I still get a federal tax credit if I buy a home this year?

A. A federal tax credit equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price, up to $8,000, is available to buyers under certain conditions:

1. They purchase a property between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2009.

2. They haven't owned a principal residence within the last three years.

3. They earn an annual income of no more than $75,000 if single and $150,000 if married and filing a joint return.

After the purchase, buyers are required to live in the home for three years.

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