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Matt and Jessica Hewitt
Matt and Jessica Hewitt
Matt Hewitt, 27, and his wife, Jessica, 24. He is a post-graduate fellow at Johns Hopkins University and she is a registered nurse.
Location: Baltimore
Property: 3 bedroom, 2 bath rowhouse
Price: $119,000

At first, we concentrated on turn-key houses, ones that would need little work, where we thought we could get a good deal.

Friends told us we should look for a rehab, but we didn't think we'd have the cash to renovate. Plus, we didn't want to move into a fixer-upper.

We looked for a year, but didn't find anything that was perfect. The tax credit helped change our minds, and we bought a rowhouse that was right where we wanted it, in the Canton neighborhood. The tax credit, along with some local grants available for restoring historic district homes, made it more practical to buy a fixer-upper.

We gutted the house down to the brick walls and original knotty pine board floors. And in the end, it was cheaper to do everything this way rather than buying a turn-key property because of all the credits we qualified for.

We're moving in within the next month and have something like a brand-new house that no one has ever lived in. It's clean and bright, and the neighborhood is filled with many other couples like us. It has lots of shopping and community sports leagues.

We don't have to skimp on things because of the credit. We're still able to go out to neighborhood restaurants and bars. We're able to enjoy the city's life.

NEXT: Ted and Kristin Cadigan

Last updated November 09 2009: 11:06 AM ET
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