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In November 2009 President Obama has signed the extension of the first time home buyers $8,000 tax rebate. President Obama also has signed an expansion of the original plan. The expansion provides a $6,500 tax rebate for qualified buyers who already own their own home. Both will be in effect until April 30, 2010. The provisions are providing a tremendous opportunity for homeowners as a huge incentive for buying a home. The new extension and expansion has created a sense of urgency for those buying homes. According to Mark Sauers, Assistant Vice President with Sun Trust Mortgage

“The only thing i would say is that if history teaches us any lessons we should move forward sooner rather than later. April 30 will be here before we know it. I really do not expect any further extensions beyond this”

The following guide will simplify the qualification process for homeowners looking to take advantage of the home buyer tax credit.

    $6,500 Tax Credit for trade-up buyers who already own their own home:

1. Income qualifications: Single taxpayer incomes must not exceed $125,000 and married couples income can not exceed $225,000

2. Purchase date qualifications: Purchase must be after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010.

3. Ownership qualification: Buyers must have lived in their previous home for five consecutive out of the past eight years. The purchase price of the new home can not exceed $800,000 and the new home must be a personal residence (non investment or non-owner occupied).

The total tax rebate is equal to 10% of the purchase price, up to a total of $6,500 and does not need to be repaid back to the Government.

    $8,000 First time home buyer tax credit:

1. Income qualification: Single tax payer income can not exceed $125,000 and couples filing jointly can not exceed $225,000

2. Purchase date qualification: All sales that occur between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010

3. Buyer qualification: Anyone who has not owned their own home during the previous three years prior to current purchase

The tax rebate is available for 10% of the purchase price of the home with a maximum of $8,000 and can not be used on a home that is over $800,000. Really now, how many first time home buyers can afford an $800,000 home?

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first time home buyers rebate expanded and extendedPresident Obama has signed the bill to extend and expand the home buyer tax rebate.  First time home buyers have been enjoying the $8,000 tax credit since it was signed in early 2009.  The first time home buyers tax rebate was set to expire on November 30, 2009 but now it has been extended to all houses put under contract before April 30, 2010.

Along with the extension President Obama signed an expansion of the original tax credit.  The expansion allows many homeowners, who purchase a new primary residence home, to enjoy a $6,500 refund.  Homeowners are eligible for the $6,500 if they have lived in their home for five consecutive years out of the past eight years.   The earnings income limit for receiving the tax credit are $125,000 for individual and $225,000 for a couple.  The new purchase does not need to cost more than the original purchase and here is an example of how the 5 out 8 consecutive year residency should apply:

Renting scenario:  If you previously owned your home for the five consecutive of previous 8 years, then sold it and chose to rent a different home you would become eligible to purchase a home and receive the rebate. Please contact your cpa or tax specialist to be certain of your situation.

Divorce scenario:  If you and your spouse lived together for five consecutive out of the past eight years, got divorced and went your own paths but did not repurchase a new home you would then potentially be eligible for the $6,500 tax credit.  Please be sure to contact your cpa or tax specialist to be certain of your situation.

It is estimated that approximately 2 million home buyers will take advantage of the tax rebate this year and that this tax credit could pump more than $20 Billion into our general economy.  The hopes of our Government leaders is that it will ultimately lead to a sharp rise in home sales and ultimately help lead to a stabilization in the overall market and economy.

Extending the tax rebate will help to continue to give a great incentive to first time home buyers nationwide.  The expansion is expected to lead to greater sales in the “Trade-up” category where home owners move up to a more expensive home to take advantage of this offer.

invest-now.jpgThe Senate has agreed to extend the first time home buyers tax credit.   Approximately 1.5 Million first time home buyers have taken advantage of the rebate in 2009.  The rebate allows first time home buyers to capture the $8,000 rebate.   The Senators have agreed that the tax rebate be extended to April 2010.  Next up is the vote of the House.  The House is expected to accept the package and send it to the President for signature.  It is expected that President Obama will gladly sign the extension.  In addition to the extension of the $8,000 tax rebate, they have agreed to expand the tax rebate to repeat buyers for a total of $6,500.

What impact will the extension and expansion have on our economy?  National Association of REALTORS® estimates that each home purchase contributes approximately $63,300 into our economy which is the approximate contribution of one new job.   Which organizations financially benefit from a home sale?  Here is a short list of some of them:

Realtor’s and Brokers:  6% commission on each sale.  Assuming the national average of a home sale is approximately $200,000 the commission per sale will average approximately $12,000. 

Settlement Agents:  The title companies and attorney’s generate income by selling the title insurance and providing legal services.

Mortgage Brokers:  Earn commission by writing your loans

Home inspectors and contractor’s:  Earn income on inspecting and then repairing the homes as needed.

Appraisers:  Earn their income for determing the value of your home

Financial institutions:  Earn their income through interest and numerous fee’s associated with your financing.

The first time home buyers rebate has had a big financial impact on our economy.  Expanding it to include a $6500 rebate to everyone will have a huge impact which will be covered in our next blog.

Jim Ingersoll

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