Today, President Barack Obama signed a $24 billion stimulus bill that included renewing the first-time homebuyer tax credit (as the A.P. reports).
The National Association of Realtors has posted a Q&A about the credit, which is altered significantly in this bill, on its website. Their responses should answer all the basic questions:
Who Qualifies for the Extended Credit?
- First-time home buyers who purchase homes between November 6, 2009 and April 30, 2010.
- Current home owners purchasing a home between November 6, 2009 and April 30, 2010, who have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight.
To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase. If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and the date the bill is signed by President Obama, please see: 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.
Which Properties Are Eligible?
The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.
How Much Is Available?
The maximum allowable credit for first-time home buyers is $8,000. The maximum allowable credit for current homeowners is $6,500.
How is a Buyer’s Credit Amount Determined?
Each home buyer’s tax credit is determined by tow additional factors:The price of the home and the buyer’s income. Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, credit may only be awarded on homes purchased for $800,000 or less. Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, which is effective on November 6, 2009, single buyers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000—may receive the maximum tax credit. These income limits have changed from the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit limits. If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 5, 2009, please see 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.
If the Buyer(s)’ Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?
Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit. The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000 for single buyers and between $225,000 and $245,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $145,000 for singles and over $245,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.
Can a Buyer Still Qualify If He/She Closes After April 30, 2010?
Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, as long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.