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in order to use an IRA for first time home purchase, one need not necessarily be a first-time home buyer. The rule, as I understand it, is that the individual and their spouse must not have owned a home as a principal residence during the two-year period ending on the date of acquisition of the new home.

there is a $10,000 lifetime maximum, which I believe applies to the IRA owner, not the homebuyer---i.e.--the man and his wife could EACH take $10,000 from their IRA's.

Also saw this on which may be of interest since you mentioned the military:

The two-year period is extended in the case of certain individuals who sold a home and qualified for an extended rollover period because they serve in the armed forces or live overseas.

but I couldn't find any other info on that.

hope this helps

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