Thank you to REALTOR® Sherry Liang from Baird & Warner in Olympia Fields for calling me to clear up a fact from my HOME START + tax credit post.

According to the IRS, if you meet all of the requirements for the long-time homeowner tax credit, the law does NOT require you to “sell or otherwise dispose of your current principal residence to qualify for a credit of up to $6,500 when you buy a replacement home to use as your principal residence.”

Also, according to the IRS, you do NOT have to own a home at the time you make your new purchase but you “must satisfy the criteria for having owned and lived in a home as your primary residence for a five-consecutive year period that falls somewhere within the eight-year timeframe that ends on the date you buy the home on which you are claiming the credit.”

Here is a link to an updated flyer you can use with buyers who want to use the long-time homeowner tax credit. IAR also has a downloadable one-page flyer on the first-time homebuyer tax credit at

If you have specific questions, contact a tax professional or the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. Also check out the extensive Q&A section of the IRS website.