Real NEastate: Possible first-time buyer credit extension

Q: I heard they are extending the First-time Buyer Tax Credit and making it $15,000 for everyone. True?

A: There is new legislation in the Senate right now to extend and expand the tax credit. It should be up for a vote this week, so we’ll find out soon.

The Homebuyer Tax Credit has been added as an amendment to Unemployment Insurance legislation. If it passes the Senate, it will move to the House for a vote. It’s not going to be $15,000 and it won’t be for everyone, however, the news is still good for most homebuyers if it passes.

From all accounts, the new legislation includes extending the First-time Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000 through the spring and raising the qualifying income limits to $125,000 for single taxpayers and $250,000 for joint taxpayers, up from the current $75,000 and $150,000 income limits.

In addition, lawmakers have said the legislation would offer a new credit of up to $6,500 to qualifying existing homeowners who have resided in their homes for 5 out of the last 8 years and are buying a new home.

So far, it looks like agreements of sale will have to be signed by April 30, 2010 and settled by June 30, 2010. But we won’t know anything for sure until, or unless, the Unemployment Insurance legislation passes Senate and House votes.

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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