Home Buyer Tax Credit - Who Can Qualify
I've spoken to several people lately about the Home Buyer Tax Credit. Most people think it is ONLY for first time home buyers, and that WAS the case up until 11/6/2009 when they expanded it to include people who currently own a house and want a new one.
A Tax Credit of up to $6500 is available for homeowners who have owned and resided in a home for 5 consecutive years out of the last eight. This repeat buyer Tax Credit is good if you buy a new house by 4/30/2010 (if the new house is under contract by 4/30/2010, you have until 6/30/2010 to close). If you own more than one house when you buy the new house you don't qualify.
So, if you have lived in your current house for the last 5 years, you qualify for the Tax Credit. You can buy the new house by April 30 without selling the house you are currently in. You can buy a more expensive house or a less expensive one - it is up to you. As I mentioned in my January Newsletter, You DO NOT have to buy a more expensive home.
Also, if you changed cities for job purposes or whatever, and are renting out the old house until it sells, you can qualify to buy a new house as long you moved within the last 3 years AND you lived there for 5 consecutive years before you moved.
If you sold your house within the last 3 years (and lived there 5 years before you sold it) and didn't net enough money to buy a new one and decided to rent for a while to save money for a down payment, then NOW is the time to buy a new house.
If you sold your house within the last 3 years and lived in the old one for 5 years prior to that and had credit issues that kept you from getting a new home after selling the old one, then you might want to talk to a lender and see if you can qualify for a new home now. Credit standards are tighter than they were, but a year or two can make a big difference if you've been working to improve your credit.
If you are one of those lucky people who gets transferred every two-three years and buys and sells a house - you are out of luck. If you bought a house 4 years ago and want to buy a new house now, that is wonderful, but you will not be able to get the tax credit.
If you haven't owned a house at all in the last 3 years, you can qualify for the first time home buyers tax credit which is even better because it is 10% of the purchase price of the property up to $8,000 instead of $6,500.
If you've recently gotten married - read the rules. Both of you have to meet the test in order to collect the credit.
If you'd like to know more about the Home Buyer Tax Credits, there is good information on the National Homebuilder's website.
So, prices in Birmingham Alabama are EXCELLENT, and with the prospect of a little extra money in your pocket to do a little remodeling on that new home, you might be thinking it is time to start looking around at what is available. You can begin your home search on my website, where you'll find all the houses for sale in the greater Birmingham area. Remember, you MUST be under contract on the new house by 4/30/10. When you see something you like, let me help you buy the home of your dreams. I can be reached at Toni@ToniBird.com