November 5th, 2009 6:37 PM by Michael Barrow
I have been a bad blogger and haven't posted for quite a while (I think since July!). But, I'm back with some great news for not only first time buyers, but for move up buyers as well. Both the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives have voted to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit, and have expanded the credit to include existing homeowners as well. Now the final step will be for President Obama to sign the legislation, which he is expected to do shortly. (**Update - 11/6/09 - President Obama signed the bill today.**)With this move, the federal tax credit will be extended through April 30, 2010, with a 60-day extension if a binding contract to purchase a home is in place prior to the deadline. First-time home buyers will continue to be eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000, while existing homeowners will be eligible for a reduced credit of up to $6,500. To qualify for the $6,500 credit, existing homeowners must have lived in their current residences for at least five years. The bill also increases the qualifying income limits from $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for joint filers to $125,000 and $225,000, respectively. The purchase price of the home is capped at $800,000 in both instances. With the extension and expansion of this credit, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns.The National Association of Realtors estimates that nationwide, more than 1.4 million first-time home buyers were given the opportunity to become homeowners as a result of the original first-time home buyer tax credit. With the extension and expansion of the credit these numbers are expected to dramatically increase.For more info on how the credit works, check out my previous post on the Economic Stimulus and the First-time Home Buyer Tax Credit.