Time is running out on $8,000 home buyer incentive - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Time is running out on $8,000 home buyer incentive

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

LEE COUNTY, GA (WALB) - South Georgia real estate agents hope an incentive for first-time home buyers will give them a boost as they enter a slow time of year.

The program is set to expire next month, but realtors and a Georgia politician are pushing to extend it.

David Tuggle just moved into his brand new house in Lee County.

"I closed Monday or Tuesday," said David Tuggle, Homeowner, "I knew eventually I had to buy a house."

The first time home buyers tax credit gave him more reason to buy now.

"$8,000 tax credit that's what got me to going," said Tuggle.

"The real estate market is headed in the right direction it is not where it use to be but we're on a uphill climb," said Gary B. Eller, Albany Board of Realtors President.

Eller and other realtors like the idea.

"Potential buyers are hearing about it and asking what can I do to get it," said RaShaunda L. Muldrow, Norman & Norman Realty.

Tuggle has been renting for 12 years.

"I knew I had until November 30th to do something." said Tuggle.

But time is running out.

"Everyone is trying to beat that deadline, and underwriting is about 30 to 45 days for most properties," said Muldrow.

U.S. senator Johnny Isakson is pushing for an extension.

"Congress needs to act now to extend the credit because if that window of opportunity is shut this market could go the wrong direction again, fast," said Eller.

This new homeowner is glad he took advantage of it.

"Time is running out and I hope the ones that want one can get in before the deadline," said Tuggle.

Dougherty and Lee Counties saw 149 fewer home sales this year compared to 2008.

Real estate agents say the numbers would have been worse without the incentive.

"The first time home buyer tax credit program has been a success," said Eller.

"I've sold a lot of homes because of the program," said RaShunda L. Muldrow.

Senator Isakson is sponsoring a bill that would raise the maximum amount of the credit to $15,000 Eliminate income caps, and extend it through next June.

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