IF you've been waiting for the right time to buy your first home, wait no longer. THIS may be the best time in history for first-time homebuyers to take the plunge.
What's working for you:
What is the tax credit?
It's a credit for 10% of the cost of your new home up to a limit of $8,000.
Only first-time homebuyers. You're considered a first-time homebuyer if you have not owned a home for three of the last five years.
Are there income restrictions?
Yes. Individuals are eligible for the credit if their income is no more than $75,000. For married couples, the limit is $150,000.
What if I make more?
You could still get a portion. Individuals who earn up to $95,000, and couples that earn up to $170,000 can still get a tax credit, based on a sliding scale.
Are there financing restrictions?
Most financing arrangements are acceptable.
Do I have to repay the credit?
No. Unlike the 2008 credit, there is no repayment requirement.
How do I apply?
There is no pre-purchase authorization. You simply claim the credit on your 2008 or 2009 tax return, on the new IRS form 5405.
2008 or 2009? How does that work?
If you buy a house before April 15th, 2009, you can claim the tax credit on your 2008 taxes. If you buy after that, claim it on your 2009 taxes.
Is there a deadline?
Yes. You have to buy and close on your home before December 1, 2009 to be eligible.