Hurry to take advantage of tax credit

I had to write this week about the first time homebuyer tax credit.  If you haven’t heard of this by now, please continue reading.  The government is actually giving buyers who purchase a home up to an $8,000 tax credit.  They are giving you money to stimulate the economy.  It does not get any better than this.  There is some fine print, of course, so keep reading.

First of all, this credit is for all homes which close prior to December 1, 2009.  That gives you less than a month from now to take advantage.  There are talks in place to extend it, but nothing has been approved yet, so we’re going to continue on as if December 1st is the last date.  You can’t write a contract on a home on November 30th.  You have to close on a home prior to then!

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Who qualifies?  The government is defining a first time homebuyer as anyone who hasn’t owned a principal residence in the past three years.  So let’s say you owned a home five years ago but sold it to move out of state.  You’ve been renting for a few years and now want to purchase a home.  You qualify!  If you are married, both you and your spouse can’t have owned property in the past three years.

What qualifies?  Any home qualifies that’s used as a principal residence.  So no second homes or vacation homes.  But any type of home will work- single-family home, townhome, condo, mobile home, house boat, you name it.

Remember that I said you can get a tax credit of up to $8,000.  So, basically, if you purchase a home for $80,000 or more, you get all $8,000.  If it’s less than that, you can get 10% of the purchase price.  So if the home you buy is $54,000, you would receive a tax credit for $5,400. 

This credit can be claimed on your 2009 taxes (payable April 15, 2010).  Since you’ve most likely already filed your 2008 taxes, it won’t work for those.  Talk to your accountant if you’ve received an extension through this point.

So what’s next?  Pick up the phone and call me immediately at 800-858-7917.  If you’re out of the Illinois area, I can refer you to an agent in your area, too.  We need to get shopping ASAP!  For more information, you can also visit my Web site.   I’ve set up a page exclusively to this tax credit with an FAQ section and other links.  Make sure to check it out.  Just click on the graphic on my home page that you see on this blog.  I hope to hear from you soon.