Tax Credit Provides Incentive For Homebuyers
Time is running out if you want to take advantage of the $8,000 incentive for first time home buyers. This tax credit is available to all those who buy a home for the first time before November 30, 2009. ‘Never before has an incentive of this kind been offered,” said Jeanne O’Rourke from Colonial Century 21 Real Estate agency in Muncy. “This is a housing stimulus package offered by the government to spur the market on towards closing costs and down payments,” she adds. If someone has been renting a home, they could possibly qualify to purchase a home under this program. “Certain guidelines have been set up by the IRS and we can help qualify them for a home,” said Pam Whipple of Robin Real Estate in Muncy.
“It has increased the market of buyers since it began in April. Buyers do call us about it to take advantage of the credit,” said O’Rourke.
Unlike previous home buyer tax credits, this credit does not have to be repaid and can be used as a down payment toward the purchase of the home. “Some can get 100 percent financing without a down payment if they qualify,” said Whipple, “and others could qualify for just a three to five percent down payment based on their income to debt ratio,” she adds. Different programs are available to qualify first time home buyers. For example, those who have not owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase, can qualify for the program. Buyers must also file an amended 2008 return or choose to apply the credit to their 2009 tax return.
“It is important that a prospective buyer under this program work with a professional realtor who knows the local market and has an inventory that specializes in the needs of home buyers,” says O’Rourke from Century 21. There is an abundance of homes available in a variety of price ranges. “A tax credited advantage would cover a lot of the homes in the area we have listed on the market, ” she said.
“A lot of our buyers are our first time home buyers taking advantage of this tax credit,” said Whipple from Robin Real Estate.
Overall, the inventory has met the needs of the buyers,” adds Whipple. Both agencies can help buyers determine what price range they can afford and will work with financial institutions to help them pre-qualify for a loan.
For more information on the tax credit incentive and guidance on purchasing a home and to receive a free copy of the “Homebuyer’s Toolkit”, contact Century 21 at 546-8121 or Robin Real Estate at 546-0670.