Real NEastate: Homebuyer tax credit extension

Q: I heard that the $8,000 Buyer Tax Credit was extended. I am looking for a house now and could really use the incentive if I find a fixer-upper. How long do I have before it expires again?

A: The latest extension only benefits anyone who was already under agreement and was not able to make settlement by the previous deadline of June 30. Only the Federal Homebuyer Tax Credit’s closing deadline was extended to the end of September. Most homebuyers who weren’t already under contract by April 30 are out of luck unless a new tax credit is passed.

So you probably aren’t eligible.

That is, unless you are an active member of the military. Members of the military and certain other federal employees have an extra year to buy a home and qualify for the credit. They must execute an agreement of sale for a principal residence on or before April 30, 2011 and have until June 30, 2011, to close.

It applies to any qualifying individual (and, if married, the individual’s spouse) who served on official extended duty service outside of the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after Dec. 31, 2008, and ending before May 1, 2010.

Qualified official extended duty is any period of extended duty while serving at a place of duty at least 50 miles away from the taxpayer’s principal residence, inside or outside the U.S., or while residing under government orders in government quarters.

Stacey McCarthy is a real estate agent with the McCarthy Group of Keller Williams. Her Real NEastate column appears every Wednesday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEast Philly columns here.

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