Tiffany Osterli, REALTOR® - Bringing Your Dreams Home

Yuba City, Marysville, Plumas Lake, Sutter, Live Oak, CA Real Estate and Homes for Sale

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Information on Federal Tax Credit for First-Time Homebuyers
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Information About the Federal First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

Overview of the Federal First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

The first-time homebuyer tax credit is part of an ongoing effort by the federal government to stimulate the U.S. economy and help speed economic recovery by reversing the decline of the housing sector and stimulating its growth.  Depending on the timing of the purchase and the homeowner's prior ownership status, qualifying taxpayers will be eligible to claim a credit on their federal income tax return, capped at either $7,500 (2008 credit), $8,000 (2009 credit and 2009-10 first-time buyer credit), or $6,500 (2009-10 move-up buyer credit).  See below for further explanation or click on the link under "Date of Purchase" below that corresponds to the time period in which you made (or will make) your purchase for additional details.  Please note that the move-up buyer credit only applies to qualifying purchases made between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

History of the Credit

First enacted in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA), the first-time homebuyer tax credit has been amended twice since its original form.  The first change, which extended the deadline to complete a qualifying purchase transaction from December 31, 2008 to November 30, 2009, increased the maximum amount of the credit from $7,500 to $8,000, and eliminated the requirement that the credit be paid back, became law in February 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  In a
September 18, 2009 press release, the California Association of REALTORS® reported that nearly 70 percent of the first-time homebuyers it surveyed said the tax credit was either "very important" or "most important" in their decision to purchase a home and that almost 40 percent of respondents indicated they would not have purchased a home without the credit.  In response to the obvious need to extend the deadline, Congress passed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act (WHBAA), which extended the deadline from November 30, 2009 to April 30, 2010 and expanded it to provide a partial credit (up to $6,500) for certain current homeowners looking to "move-up."  Due to changes in the law over time, the program is essentially divided into three periods of eligibility, each with its own set of eligibility criteria, credit calculations, and related requirements.  For details on any of the three versions of the credit, choose the appropriate link below.


Details of the First-Time Homebuyer and Move-Up Homebuyer Tax Credits by Date of Purchase
Please choose the time period that corresponds to your actual or estimated close of escrow for details of the applicable credit.

11/7/09 - 4/30/10
2009-10 Credit -
Includes Move-Up Buyers)

1/1/09 - 11/6/09
2009 Credit)

4/9/08 - 12/31/08
2008 Credit)


If you are considering purchasing a home, you may be able to take advantage of this important tax credit.  However, in order to be eligible, you must meet first-time or move-up buyer requirements, you must enter a contract to purchase a home no later than April 30, 2010 and your purchase must be completed (escrow must close) no later than June 30, 2010.  Do not delay!  Inventories are very low and purchase transactions are currently taking longer to close than they have traditionally taken.  If you hope to take advantage of the credit, the time to act is NOW!!!  Contact the Dream Team to get started.  


As always, for questions on matters pertaining to your personal income taxes, the Dream Team recommends that you consult a qualified tax professional.
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