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First Time Homebuyer $8,000 Tax Credit

by TeamForYOUrDreams

One of the many reasons why first time homebuyers should be looking to buy soon is this great tax credit. It does not apply to everybody, or every house, but here are some of the basics.

1. You may qualify even if you have owned a home before.

2. The credit is 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000.

3. This credit is available for home sales closed between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2009 only.

4. This is only for personal residences, not rental or other investment property, not vacation homes.

5. If you are an individual with an Adjusted Gross Income of $75,000 or less, you can earn the whole credit. If you make more than that, the credit gets reduced based on how much more you earned, disappearing entirely at $95,000. Same deal for joint tax return filers but the reduction starting point is $150,000, and the credit is gone at $170,000.

6. Look at IRS Form 5405 to see the surprisingly simple form for figuring your credit.

7. And a neat trick: if you buy in 2009 you can amend your 2008 tax return, re-file, and get the credit quickly, rather than waiting until early 2010 to file for it on your 2009 return!

8. People who are married but file separately instead of jointly can each claim up to $4,000 if all of the above rules fit.

9. You can’t get the money in time to use it for your downpayment; and you can’t convince the lender to count it in your assets before you have it to improve your ratios.

10. The credit is actually paid to you by the IRS. 

11. What if you are buying a home, expect to close by Nov 30, but somebody moves slow and closing gets delayed to Dec. 1 or later. Can you still get the credit? No! You really must close by Nov. 30. Another good reason to use a Buyer’s Agent!

For a more detailed discussion on this topic, please go to

posted by Tim Burrell - The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was just signed by President Bush with some amazing benefits for first time homebuyers.  When is the last time someone gave you a $7,500 loan, that has no interest, no payments for two years, and if you do not make enough profit when you sell, you do not have to pay back the loan?  That is what first time homebuyers get.  Call everyone you know who wants to buy their first home, this is too good to miss.

If you have not owned a home in three years, you are a first time home buyer.  If you buy a home after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, you qualify for a credit.  Call your friends who just bought a home and tell them they may take $7,500 off their tax bill if they qualify.  It has to be your principal residence, so rentals do not count.

The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum of $7,500.  So, if the home costs $65,000, your tax credit is $6,500.  If the home cost $100,000, you would get a credit of $7,500.  This is not an additional deduction that lowers the amount of income to be taxed, it is a tax credit.  In other words, you take $7,500 off your tax bill.  What if your tax bill is only $5,000?  The IRS will send you the additional $2,500 as a refund.  When was the last time the IRS sent you a refund because you bought something?

The loan has no interest, and will be paid back over 15 years.  You get the credit on your 2008 taxes, but you start paying it back on your 2010 taxes that are due in 2011, so you get at least two years without a payment.  You pay back 6.67% of the credit each year, so for a $7,500 credit the payment is $502.50 per year.  If you stay put for 15 years, you pay it off with no interest.

What happens if you sell the house?  You pay the balance back at the closing.  So, you get $7,500 now, and pay the rest of it back if you make money on the sale of your house.

What happens if you do not make enough money when you sell your house?  They forgive the rest of the debt.  In other words, get $7,500 now and pay back nothing if your house only breaks even, or loses money, at closing.  When was the last time you got a loan on a speculative venture where the person who gave you the loan forgave the rest of the loan if you did not make enough profit on the sale? 

The risk of loss in buying now is on the government.  In other parts of the country where real estate is going down in value, you can lose 10% of the value of the home (up to $7,500) and the loss is covered by the fact that you do not pay back the tax credit.  The Raleigh real estate that first time buyers can aford is going up in value, so we are not as worried about the risk of loss.  Even a bad buy that does not go up in value is covered by the tax benefit because you get $7,500 no matter what happens.

 Similarly, if you die before repaying the debt, it is forgiven.  There are special rules for sales as a result of divorce or if the government takes your property by condemnation.

There are restrictions on the amount of income that you can make and still get the credit.  But the restriction is $75,000 per year for a single person and $150,000 for a couple filing jointly, so the vast majority of people qualify.   If you make more than that, you can still get some of the tax credit, but there are complicated rules about phasing out the credit as the income goes up.  If you make that much money, you can afford to hire someone to figure out the formula.

The restriction on the location of the property is minimal, it has to be in the United States.  Not too tough, huh?

There are minimal restrictions on the financing.  If you use a loan that is supported by mortgage revenue bonds, you do not get the tax credit.  These loans are normally made by North Carolina housing agencies, but there are not many of them available, and the qualifications limit their use.  In other words, nearly every loan allows you to get the tax credit.

What is the catch?  You have to buy your first house in three years before July 1,2009, not have super high income, not use bond financing and buy anywhere in the US,   Not too difficult, right?

If you know someone who wants to buy a home, call them.  If they want to buy in the Triangle area, have them call us and we will take exceptional care of them.  If they want to buy anywhere in the US, call us and we will find them an exceptional agent anywhere in the US. 

The government gives tax credits to huge companies, here is one for the little guy.  Don't miss it. 


Posted by Tim Burrell - President Bush just signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The first thing I noticed is that some first time homebuyers may need to hurry.

If you are a buyer that does not have 3.5% downpayment and you want to buy some Raleigh real estate,  you have to buy before October 1, 2008.  The program where sellers can arrange for downpayment assistance ends on that date.  If you are a first time home buyer, you can get an amazing benefit of a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price of the home you bought, up to a maximum of $7,500.   This is not just a deduction to reduce the amount of income you have.  It is a tax credit, i.e. it is directly lowers your taxes.   For example, if you buy a home that is worth $100,000, you get the maximum tax credit of $7,500.  If you were going to pay $17,500 in income taxes, you reduce the amount of tax you pay to $10,000.  So, you can buy a home with no money down and get up to $7,500 off your taxes. 

There is a catch.  You have to pay back the tax credit over 15 years, with no interest, or if you sell the house for a profit.   That is not so bad.  Where else do you get an interest free 15 year loan. 

The bill provides $300 billion in financing to allow people who got bad loans to refinance with FHA loans.   If you want to refinance the mortgage on your principal residence, the payments on your current loan have to be more than 31% of you income, the legislation's line of being unafordable.  I have paid over 31% of my income in housing payments for all the decades I lived in California.  The loan had to be taken out before 2008, so it is not meant for newly acquired loans.  The maximum loan is $550,400.  The loan cannot exceed 90% of the appraised value of the house, so the existing lender may have to take a short payoff to make the deal work, if the value of the home went down.  Since the values of Raleigh real estate are holding strong or going up, this provision should not be of major importance to our area. 

Again, this relief comes with a catch.  If you accept this refinancing, you have to share some of the profit with the FHA when the house sells or is refinanced.  FHA gets 100% of the profit if it sells, or refinances,  in the first year, and the amount for the FHA goes down by 10% per year until it reaches 50% for the FHA. 

The legislation also props up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The sudden decrease in the value of their stocks shows that the investment community has lost confidence in these institutions that are extremely important to financing in the US.  Since these two have an interest in nearly half the loans in the US, their stability greatly affects housing.  The legislation increases the lines of credit for these two and authorizes the government to buy their stock if necessary to give them additional support.  The loan limits for Fannie and Freddie were also raised to 115% of the areas median home price, not to exceed $625,500.  The last part does not have a dramatic effect on Raleigh real estate, as it will be a long time before the median price in Wake County will get anywhere near that limit.

There is one other provision that foreign investors like.  Under existing law, they had to fill out a form with their social security number and give it to the seller.  Now, they give the form to the closing agent and do not have to reveal their social security number to the seller.  Since the dollar is so low compared to foreign currency, there may be an increase in foreigh investors who purchase Raleigh real estate, so this provision may have some affect in our area. 

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Team For Your Dreams, Inc.
REMAX United
7721 Six Forks Road, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27615
Raleigh NC 27615
Fax: 310-347-4041