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I have a question about the 'More than one home sold during 2 year period' section of IRS Pub 523.

I purchased and moved into a house #1 in Oct 97 and had a change in my place of employment causing me to begin renting the house #1 out in Nov 99. I bought home #2 and moved into it in Nov 99 also. In Dec 01 I sold house #2 and bought house #3. I'd like to sell house #1 in Oct 02. At this point I will have lived in house #1 2 of 5 years. Page 12 of Pub 523 allows a person to sell two homes within two years if you have a good reason, like change in the place of employment. Since I'm selling house #1 because of my change of place of employment (albeit 3 years later), can I still qualify for the partial exclusion of my capital gains from tax even though I'm selling two homes within three years or is there a time limit since I converted it to rental property for a while? I know I can't claim over 500K in gains for the sale of both houses (I'm married) within the two years according to Worksheet 3 of Pub 523.

Any comments are appreciated!
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