Louisville Properties Blog
Louisville Properties Blog

First-Time Buyer

Time Running Out on First-Time Homebuyers Tax Credit

Time is running out on folks who want to take advantage of the government's first-time homebuyer tax credit program. First-time homebuyers can qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credits while current homeowners who wish to purchase a larger home can qualify for up to $6,500. In order to qualify, homebuyers have to sign a sales contract by the end of April 2010 and close on the home before the first of July. After great success last summer and early fall, lawmakers extended the tax credit program late last fall, but there is no indication that they will extend the program again. Lawmakers have shown disappointment that the extension did not produce the same boost in home sales that the initial phase of the program created. There are different theories about why the extension has resulted in lackluster response, but at least one analyst has an opinion about it. Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Study, believes that people assumed that Congress would continue extending the program, causing prospective home hunters to wait for warmer weather to look for their next home. "The credit's influence and impact has waned considerably," he said. Because time is running out on this program, a refresher on who can qualify for the tax     credit is helpful:
  • Buyers who have not owned their own homes in the last three years may earn up to $8,000 in tax credits
  • Buyers who have owned their homes for five consecutive years in the past 8 years may earn up to $6,500
  • Buyers who earn less than $125,000 annually or $225,000 or less for couples
  • Homes priced at $800,000 or more do not qualify for the tax credit
If you're looking for Louisville real estate and you wish to take advantage of the tax credit, time is running out! Since time is short, you may want to contact an experienced Louisville realtor like Louisville Properties who can save time by only showing you homes in your price range...

New Federal Assistance Available for Louisville Home Buyers

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth has been joined by Louisville Realtors, local homeowners and members of the Home Builders Association of Louisville to announce that more Louisville residents are eligible for a homebuyers tax credit than ever before.

"The first-time homebuyer credit included in the Recovery Act has already helped hundreds of Louisville families fulfill the dream of homeownership and given a much-needed boost to the local housing market," said Congressman Yarmuth. "Congress extended the credit last week, making it easier for sellers to find a buyer and for buyers to afford the home they want."

President Obama recently signed new legislation that extends the deadline for first-time homebuyers to qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credits from December 1, 2009 to April 1, 2010. First-time homebuyers may also be eligible for tax credits of $6,000 and $4,000 until December 2010. The extension of the tax credit program also increased income caps for eligible buyers and expanded eligibility for tax credit for current homeowners. Some of the more notable changes in the program include:

  • Maximum income levels to qualify for the tax credit have been raised from $150,000 to $225,000 for families, and $75,000 to $125,000 for individuals, enabling many more prospective Louisville homebuyers eligible.

  • Louisville-area homeowners who have lived in their current home for at least five years who want to move into a new home may qualify for a $6,500 tax credit.

  • ...

Tax Credit Drives Home Sales across the Country

Sales of existing homes received the biggest boost in a decade due to the first-time homebuyers tax credit, fueling hopes of a rebound in struggling real estate markets driving some Wall Street stocks higher. Foreclosures, plunging real estate values and job losses still plague many markets, particularly in California and Florida, while economic indicators in some markets are causing bidding wars for homes in select cities. Overall, home sales across the country are up 36 percent above their lowest point in January 2009. Real estate analysts cited the looming expiration of the federal first-time homebuyers tax credit as the principal reason October home sales rose sharply. Congress extended the tax credit program in October until next spring.

The National Association of Realtors released home sales figures recently that fueled a stock rally on Wall Street, pushing the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 132 points. Real estate analysts projected that the tax credit extension will sustain most housing markets across the country through 2009, but expected the nation's overall economy to benefit only slightly from increased home sales. They cited several factors that are preventing the economy from recovering such as slow job creation, rising foreclosures, reduced spending by consumers, and sluggish new home construction.

If you're thinking of buying Louisville real estate and taking advantage of the federal tax credit, your window of opportunity has been extended but won't last forever. With housing prices down overall in and around Louisville, the time to buy is now. Whether you're buying or selling Louisville real estate...

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended

Congress passed a compromise measure extending unemployment benefits and the $8,000 tax credit for qualified first-time homebuyers, in spite of recent revelations on widespread mistakes and suspected fraud in the popular program. The tax credit program was scheduled to end on Nov. 30, 2009, but the homebuyer extension will cover homes under contract by April 30, 2010. In another welcome development for the real estate industry, the tax credit is not limited to first-time homebuyers. People who have owned a home for at least five years may be able to receive a $6,500 tax credit if they buy a new home. Income limits for eligibility in the tax credit program has risen, allowing many more homebuyers to qualify for the program. The program will cost an estimated $11 billion—in addition to the $10 billion spent so far—on the current program. The extension provided some much-needed political capital for one of the biggest proponents of the extension, Harry Reid D-Nevada, who faces a very tough election next year in the state with the most claims for the first-time homebuyer credit per capita than any other state. Are you thinking about taking advantage of the homebuyer tax credit by buying a home in the Louisville area? Call the Louisville real estate experts at Louisville Properties today at 502.744.9504. No one knows the Louisville real estate market better and with the current buyer's market and tax credit, there's never been a better time to buy....

Few Using Kentucky's Tax Credit for First-Time Homebuyers

As the federal tax credit program for first-time homebuyers is ending, some Louisville homebuyers are taking advantage of Kentucky's lesser-known $5000 tax credit for buying a new house. Kentucky's tax credit went into effect last July 26 and although it cannot be combined with the federal tax credit, Louisville real estate professionals say it is having a positive impact on home sales. The state's tax credit can only be applied to the purchase of a new house not previously occupied. Valeria Cummings, spokesperson for the State Department of Revenue, said that the tax credit program approved 70 Jefferson County homebuyers since the program launched. Across Kentucky at least 414 buyers received approval, which means that more than $2 million in tax rebates have been passed on to homebuyers thus far. The state tax credit program is set to expire on July 26, 2010, once Kentucky has approved $25 million in rebates—whichever comes first. "It was hoped by offering the credit, more people would look at buying homes which could only help improve the economy," Cummings said. One of the first homebuyers to qualify and take advantage of the state program was a couple who bought a $350,000 house off Urton Lane in Middletown. They said they were ready for a bigger home after the birth of twins a few months previously. However, they said that getting the house for $50,000 off the asking price was the most powerful motivator—not necessarily the rebate. "It (the credit) was certainly the icing on the cake," he said. "But more important was the opportunity to buy a brand new home at a tremendous discount." The intention of the state tax credit is to help move a huge inventory of new unsold homes in the Louisville area. If you would like to take advantage of the first-time homebuyers credit,  you must act quickly.  The offer is set to expire in a few days.  Contact Louisville Properties and our professional brokers will help you find...

First-Time Homebuyers Running Out of Time

Folks who want to take advantage of the tax credit for first-time homebuyers are running out of time. Unless Congress votes to extend the program—and some legislators are for it—the tax credit of up to $8000 will expire in December. Given the length of time that it takes to arrange financing, home inspections and all the other requisite tasks to take care of when buying a home, homebuyers are cautioned to get a contract in place before the end of October. In order to qualify for the tax credit, the purchase must be finalized before November 30. Real estate agents and mortgage lenders say they expect to be able to accommodate the extra work as homebuyers scramble to get deals done before the deadline, but are advising against waiting until the last moment. In fact, many are recommending that homebuyers have a home under contract by October 15. "We are doing purchase loans in under 30 days right now," said Sharon Decker, director of mortgage lending for Fifth Third Bank. "But if there is a big surge (in applications), all the lenders will be behind the eight ball." The Louisville real estate market has already experienced a flurry of activity on lower-priced homes in the area, and the looming deadline could bring another round of buyers making offers on houses. Buyers who qualify for the tax credit can receive up to $8000 depending on the purchase price of the home. The program has become very popular and has provided a much-needed boost to real estate professionals and markets across the country. Lobbyists for the real estate industry are lobbying Congress to extend the program and around 15 bills have been proposed thus far....

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Information

The government's first-time home buyer program is one of the very few bright spots in a generally lousy real estate climate. We've put together a short list of requirements to help people gain a better understanding of the requirements of the program and take advantage of the many benefits the program offers.
  • $8,000
Qualified first-time home buyers are eligible to receive up to $8,000 in tax credit or ten percent of the price of their home. To qualify, the home must be the buyers' principal residence.
  • Who are first-time home buyers
For the purposes of this program, the government defines first-time home buyers as someone who hasn't owned their own home in at least 3 years.
  • When the plan is in effect
The tax credit is in effect for homes purchased between January 1 and December 1, 2009 only. However, newly proposed legislation extends the program until December 1, 2010.
  • Income limits for eligibility
In order to qualify, first-time home buyers must have an adjusted annual gross income of $75,000 or less and couples buying a home together must earn less than $150,000 annually.
  • Commitment
As part of the tax credit program, first-time home buyers must agree to live in their new home for at least three years to qualify for the credit. If they move within three years, they must return the amount of tax credited to the government; however, there are exceptions made for divorce, the homeowner's death and a few other situations. If you're thinking of buying a home and taking advantage of the tax credit, right now is an excellent time...
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