BREAKING NEWS - TAX CREDIT
EXPANDED AND EXTENDED!
Today it is a great day for our housing market! Just moments ago, President Obama signed into law the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (H.R. 3548) that included, as an amendment, the extension and expansion of the Homebuyer Tax Credit.
In addition to extending the first time homebuyers credit of up to $8,000, the new bill calls for an incentive for existing homeowners as well. Homeowners who have owned their current homes at least five years, are now eligible for tax credits of up to $6,500 when they purchase a new home. To qualify, buyers in both groups have to sign a purchase agreement by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30.
The credit is available for the purchase of principal homes costing $800,000 or less, meaning vacation homes are ineligible. The credit would be phased out for individuals with annual incomes above $125,000 and for joint filers with incomes above $225,000.
Under additional provisions in the bill, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns. The bill maintains the provision that home buyers do not have to repay the credit provided the home remains their primary residence for 36 months after purchase, and waives this requirement for active duty military personnel who move due to a military order.
This truly is exciting news for our industry and a major victory for consumers and REALTORS alike. NAR economists estimate that the current tax credit has contributed approximately $22 billion to the general economy, and approximately 2 million people will take advantage of the tax credit this year.
Now now more than ever we need to take advantage of this opportunity. This is said to be the last tax credit that the government will offer so first time home buyers and move-up buyers should do their best to take complete advantage of it.