Last week Congress approved an extension of the popular First Time Homebuyer tax credit which was set to expire at the end of November.
To recap – under the current program, first time home buyers could apply for $8,000 cash back on their next tax return. Or could amend their 2008 tax returns to request the refund. The $8,000 is not a “deduction", rather, it is a direct payment back to the taxpayer. In other words, if the government owed you $500 on your tax return, you would get a check back for BOTH the $500 PLUS the $8,000 – or a total of $8,500.
If you owed money on your taxes, the rebate would offset your taxes. If you owed $1,000, the $8,000 would offset the $1,000, and you would get a check back for $7,000.
The new First Time Homebuyer Credit is available for purchases between December 1, 2009 and contracts signed through April 30, 2010. You must close on your new property by June 30, 2010.
Income limits have ALSO been expanded. Buyers now qualify for the First Time Homebuyer Credit if they earn UP TO $125,000 for each borrower. The Homebuyer Credit phases out with higher incomes. Since there’s math involved, I’m skipping the formulas for the purposes of this post. (It’s a great opportunity to call your REAL ESATE PRO for further info. Hint?)
Repeat Buyers Not Left Out
Congress also added a shopping opportunity for existing home owners who buy a new (different, not necessarily brand new) home. Repeat buyers qualify for $6,500 credit towards their next home purchase if they have lived in their current home for at least five years.
First Time Buyer Down-payment Assistance from State of Illinois
Additional resources for buyers in Illinois can assist first time buyers with a gift towards down-payment. On October 30, Governor Quinn launched an affordable home ownership program designed to help qualified buyers by providing a second, forgivable loan for 3% of the purchase price. The max gift is $6,000 which is applied towards the down-payment on the property. Buyers are required to put down at least 1% (or a minimum of $1,000) of their own money towards the purchase price.
Counseling through a HUD-certified counselor is a requirement of this assistance program. IHDA expects to help approximately 2,000 home buyers in Illinois with their home purchases in the coming year. Home buyers that want to participate, visit Illinois Housing & Development Authority on the web to find a participating lender. www.ihda.org.