Tips for The Home Buyer Tax Credit

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate BRE# 01466398

Tips for The Home Buyer Tax Credit 

The federal homebuyer tax credit is available and will benefit first-time homebuyers and homeowners who want to sell their current home and buy a new one. The credit is reasonably straightforward, but there are some tips for those who want to take advantage of it. Here's what you should know:

1. Deadline: April 30, 2010

The most important tip is to be aware of the deadline. Buyers who want to use the tax credit must have their new home under contract (i.e., in escrow) by April 30, 2010, and must close the transaction within 60 days after that date.

2. Credit up to $8,000 or $6,500

Buyers also need to understand that the tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the sale price of the home, which could be less than the maximum of up to $8,000 for first-time buyers and up to $6,500 for repeat homeowners.
For example, if a first-time buyer purchased a small condominium that cost just $70,000, the tax credit would be $7,000. And by the way, if the home costs more than $800,000, the credit now drops to zero.

3. Get good advice

Homebuyers who want to take advantage of the tax credit should consult the right people for help, including:

  • A tax preparer, who can help them ensure they meet all the requirements to use the credit.
  • A mortgage lender, who can help them choose a loan program that will fit their needs.
  • A Realtor, who can help them locate a home they can afford and want to purchase.

4. Beware of tax fraud

Homebuyers should educate themselves about the tax credit and learn the lingo.

Three Web sites that may be helpful are:

Buyers and sellers should be wary of any advice that sounds suspicious or overly complicated. For instance, buyers who are told to conceal any information from their lender should "get away" from whoever offered that advice.

One final tip: Taxpayers who take the credit will be required to attach a copy of the settlement statement to their federal tax return as proof of purchase. Buyers should keep their paperwork handy.


Posted by

Kathie Burby, REALTOR®, SFR

Your Guide to Tuolumne County Real Estate

Real Living Sugar Pine Realty

19520 Hillsdale Dr, Sonora CA 95370

Office:(209)533-4242 Cell: (209)728-5554

Lic. # 01466398


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Kat DeLong
LakeView Realty Enterprises, Inc - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

Great post, Kathie. Very helpful and IMPORTANT!

Jan 24, 2010 10:59 AM #1
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Superb information Kathie - As always, your blogs are a wonderful source of helpful tips!

Jan 24, 2010 12:30 PM #2
Kathie Burby
Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate - Sonora, CA
REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide

Kat- Thanks, it seems like people have forgotten that the tax credit is also available for current homeowners.

Myrl - Thanks, I am hoping to get the word out that the tax credit is available to both first time buyers and current homeowners.

Jan 25, 2010 03:29 AM #3
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Kathie Burby

REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide
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