Since the 2004 Jobs Act, the requirements are a little tighter. Now, the taxpayer must hold the acquired property for five years, in addition to living in it as his personal residence for at least two years.

If an investor signed a contract and flipped it three months later, the IRS would say it was not held for a reasonable time, therefore he didn't intend to be an investor. The IRS has taken the position that two years is necessary to show reasonable time, but there are a number of cases where they have taken that position and lost. My own position is that a year and a day is all that is necessary.