Thursday, October 29, 2009

Waiting for Homebuyer Tax Credit Extension

The federal government's first-time homebuyer tax credit is scheduled to expire Nov. 30. The credit, part of the Obama administration-backed economic stimulus package, rewards Americans up to $8,000 for buying their first home.

Work is under way in the Senate to extend the credit.

Housing industry insiders fear the residential market's recovery will likely be hurt if the tax credit expires. The National Association of Realtors claims first-time buyers account for 50 percent of all sales.

Congress is moving toward extending, expanding or replacing the tax credit. The Senate is expected to vote soon on a bill co-sponsored by Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson that would extend the deadline five months to April 30, 2010, and make the credit available to all new home buyers, not just to first-timers.

The new legislation would extend the $8,000 credit for first-time buyers and create a $6,500 credit for others so long as they have owned a home for at least five consecutive years since 2001.

Cincinnati area Realtor Michelle Sloan says, "Extending the credit and expanding it to all homebuyers will have a positive effect on the local and national economy. The extension will give buyers time to save money for downpayment and find the perfect home for their needs."

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