HURRY UP ALL YOU FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS!

Hi Lesslie,

How much more time do I have to take advantage of the for first time buyers tax credit?  I owned a home 10 years ago does this disqualify me?  Nathan G.

Hello Nathan,

First-time buyers don’t have to be buying their first home ever; they are defined by the IRS as those who have not owned a principal residence in the past three years–so you would qualify on this account. Repeat buyers may also be eligible for a new $6,500 credit, as long as they have owned and lived in their current home at least five consecutive years out of the past eight years.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) wants potential home buyers to be aware that they still have the opportunity to take advantage of the $8,000 first-time home buyer or $6,500 repeat buyer tax credits, as long as they act quickly—the credits expire on April 30, 2010.

The most important thing for you to do is make sure you are ready to go–by making an appointment with a lender to be able to have a “pre-approval” from that lender, and then contact an agent or Realtor so you can locate a house you want to buy.  Remember, the contract must be completely executed by April 30th, and escrow should have been opened.

The IRS provides an additional two months beyond the deadline to close the deal. Buyers who sign a sales contract by the April 30 deadline are still eligible if they close the sale of the home by June 30, 2010.

More people than ever before are eligible for a home buyer tax credit, NAHB estimates that close to 70% of all potential buyers should qualify for some form of a credit.

The current credits also increase the income limits, enabling single taxpayers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples earning up to $225,000 to potentially qualify for a full credit.

NAHB’s website at http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com, which has received more than 6.5 million visitors since the site launched, provides basic information about the credits, detailed question and answer sections, and links to additional home-buying resources for consumers.

“If you’ve been considering buying a home for any reason, the home buyer tax credit, in addition to historically low interest rates and competitive home prices, make it an ideal time to buy,” said Jones.

For more information, visit www.nahb.org.

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