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Stop All the Talk About H1N1, Let's Talk H.R.3548: The Newly Expanded Tax Credit for Home Buyers

by CJ Hodges

Burnt out by all the swine flu coverage? There is a new fever that will be breaking out very soon, home buying fever! What's the cause? The newly expanded home buyer tax credit just signed into action today by President Barack Obama.

What's the cure? Buying a home, and closing on it before June 30, 2010. This is a fever that hopefully will spread as easily and as quickly as our old friend H1N1. The new tax credits will stimulate the sluggish housing market and with any luck put many unemployed contractors, home inspectors, mortgage brokers, appraisers, and other folks with jobs related to the housing market back to work and bring down the current 10.2% unemployment rate.

There are a few rules that you need to know before you head out with your Realtor of choice. Who qualifies? Just as with the previous credit, first time buyers (anyone who has not had ownership interest in a primary residence in the past 3 years) will be eligible for $8,000.00 in 2010.

New, is the inclusion of folks who have owned a home previously. If you have owned the property you are selling for at least the last 5 years, meet the income requirements and are not buying a home over $800,000.00 or a vacation home (and in this economy, who is doing that? Really!) you will qualify for the $6500.00 tax credit.

Those income requirements are less than $125,000.00 in earnings for single filers and less than $225,000.00 for joint filers. There is an exception for military personnel living outside the U.S., allowing them until June 30, 2011 to take advantage of this offering.

This is probably the last extension that will be granted according to Republican Senator from Georgia, Johnny Isakson. He is a former real estate executive who has been pushing to pass this bill. This means one should take advantage of this opportunity while it is available.

Interest rates on a 30 year mortgage of less than 5% can still be found. This fact combined with the incentives and volume of inventory make for the perfect storm of home buying conditions. The first step is contacting a local Realtor to evaluate the marketability and realistic value of your current home. After that has been established, get yourself to a reputable mortgage broker or bank to qualify.

Once you have the qualification amount verified then ask your agent to find the homes that best fit your criteria and get out there and catch the fever! Real estate is, and always has been, one of the wisest investments over the long haul. Why not let Uncle Sam help you foot the bill for making that smart choice while he is willing to do so?

Looking to buy a home in the Alabama area? Here's an opportunity:

Hunter's Grove in Montgomery, Alabama

Hunter's Grove in Montgomery, Alabama. The house is listed at $674,900.00 and has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths.

CJ Hodges is a Realtor with Beringer Realty LLC, in Montgomery, Al. With over eight million in sales for 2009, she is one of the top producers in the River Region, tri-county area. She is also affiliated with a national radio personality and his Endorsed Local Provider ( ELP) Program which assists home buyers and sellers make wise decisions. CJ can be reached by phone 334-233-5848 or email [email protected]


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