Thursday, November 5, 2009

First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Extended & Expanded Today

Congress passed legislation expanding an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers today on a 403-12 vote.

The legislation now goes to President Barack Obama, who will sign it tomorrow, according to spokeswoman Jen Psaki. All 12 House members voting against the bill were Republicans. The Senate passed the bill 98-0 yesterday after weeks of delays.

Homebuyers now have until April 30, 2010 to be under contract with a closing before July 1, 2010 to qualify.

Besides the date extension, the main changes to the tax credit for first-time buyers is that the income levels have been increased to $125,000 for single buyers and $225,000 for married couples with a $20,000 phase out. The previous limits were $75,000 and $150,000 respectively. In addition, the home purchased must be under $800,000 for the first-time homebuyer to qualify.

Expansion to Current Homeowners

The bill also expands the tax credit to current homeowners who purchase a new primary residence. The main qualification for them is that they must have used the home being sold as their primary residence consecutively for at least 5 of the previous 8 years. Current homeowners would be eligible for up to $6500 or $3250 for those married filing separately.

Contact me if you have any questions on this. For a good cheat-sheet explaining the differences of the new changes, click here.

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