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Yes it has been rented for the past 5 years and depreciated etc for tax purposes; though we have lived in it for the previous 25 years! If we had known about the 2 out of 5 years required for a primary house we'd have moved back!

It's unfortunate that you didn't investigate the tax consequences of the selling your home before you actually did so. The 2 out of 5 year rule has been around since 1997 - so, for most of the time you actually owned the home.

I will have all updated records as improvements to the property have been extensive over that many years.
Would buying a utility trailer for the landscaping and house qualify as an improvement?

You need to go do some extensive reading of Pub 523

I don't see how a utility trailer would add to the basis of your home, even if you happened to sell the trailer in conjunction with the sale of the home. (And if you did sell the trailer in conjunction with the sale of the home, it's likely that it should have been called out on a separately on a schedule of non-real property.) A utility trailer is personal property, not an improvement to the home.

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