So what is the story with the stimulus and the tax credit for first time home buyers anyway? How different is it from the tax credit that already exists? Originally, a $15000 tax credit was discussed, one that would be open to all home buyers who had not purchased within the past three years. This would have carried a 19 billion price tag. Congress reduced it to $8000. But you still are eligible if you have not owned a home within the past three years.