The lawmakers have acted. There is now a $6,500 tax credit for current homeowners to go out and buy another home. You no longer have to be a first-timer to take advantage of the homebuyer credit. Trade up, baby! And as predicted by yours truly, Congress has also extended the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit. I guess it’s good time to be looking for a home. But not so fast. There are some details to go over:
Amount of the Credit and Important Dates
As I write this, President Obama is likely signing the bill, which he’s promised to do. So don’t do anything until the bill becomes law if you’re a current homeowner looking to use the $6,500.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer and you were worried about not making the November deadline, you can breathe easy. You still qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credits. In addition, as was mentioned above, people who have owned their homes at least five years qualify for up to $6,500 in credits. I personally have been in my home for a measly three years. So I’m the guy caught in the middle paying his tax who’s not getting a piece of the action here.
Okay, enough of my sob story, here are the important dates involved with the new credit and the extension. It’s easy. The dates are the same for both. Your purchase must be secured by April 30, 2010 and your closings must be finalized by June 30, 2010.
Hold your horses, Richie Rich. You can’t partake. Here are the income limits that Congress says is fair: If you’re a single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income under $125,000 you are eligible for the credit’s full benefits. Joint filers must earn AGI of under $225,000 to get in on the action. If you have an income of up to $145,000 (single) or $245,000 (joint) may receive partial homebuyer tax credits. That’s what you call “phase outs” there folks.
Other Rules that Apply
There are some other rules you might want to be aware of:
- Only those homes that are $800,000 and under are eligible for the tax credit.
- Members of the military serving outside the United States for more than 90 days will have until June 30, 2011, to qualify for the tax credit.
- The program is expected to cost the federal government $10.8 billion.
I’ll mostly leave it to you to decide whether this is a positive thing or not. But I tend to think that while this is a windfall for some people, it’s just another prop up for our Economy as a whole.
Let me hear your thoughts about this new $6,500 tax credit in the comments below…