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According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (see link), it seems that previous home owners who haven't owned a home for over 3 years can be defined at as a "first time home buyer". What the HUD says exactly is:

"An individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase of the property. This includes a spouse (if either meets the above test, they are considered first-time homebuyers)."

Am I right in my interpretation? For example, if I used to own a house as a primary residence over 3 years ago, but have since been renting, do I qualify as a "first time home buyer"?

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That is correct. If you used to own a house but have since sold it, or stopped using it as your primary residence more than three years ago, you would qualify as a "first-time homebuyer" under those criteria.

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  • Classic governmental definition! Does this mean someone who hasn't had intimate relations in over three years can be classified--oh, forget it.
    – Chelonian
    Aug 9, 2012 at 22:51

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