The one subset of people short changed in the first time homebuyer tax credit are newlyweds where one spouse currently owns a home. If the couple wants to purchase a new home jointly, either because they will reside in the area where the non homeowner lives, or will both be moving to another location, they're out of luck. Under the tax credit rules, neither spouse can have lived in the previous principal residence of the home owning spouse for a period of three years prior to purchasing a new principal residence. In a great majority of cases, this is not how couples unite, with one party owning a home but not living in it for three or more years prior to getting married.
Even the new existing homeowner tax credit provisions short change newlyweds. Under this provision, both spouses must have lived in the principal residence for a period of five consecutive years out of the past eight years to qualify for the tax credit of up to $6,500. So the union of couples where one spouse previously owned their prinicpal residence again won't qualify for the tax credit if they jointly purchase a new principal residence.
In a country with government policy presumably encouraging the creation and stability of families, this oversight is unfortunate. I personally know of at least two couples who have or will be denied a tax credit and I'm sure there are many, many more. How many more of you have similar experiences? Not anything that can be done about it at the stage of the game, but unfair to many newlyweds nevertheless.