First-time home buyer tax credit program expires soon - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

First-time home buyer tax credit program expires soon

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Time is running out for those folks in the market for a home to take advantage of an $8,000 dollar tax credit available for first time home buyers.

Home re-sales rose to the highest level in more than two years as buyers rush to take advantage of this tax credit available for first time owners. But since it takes at least 30 days to close on a house, people who are looking to cash in on this offer, better act fast.

In two weeks, Scott Sapp will close the deal on his very first home.

"It's a big change but we are very excited," said Sapp.

Excited to be moving his wife and two kids from a 900 square foot apartment to a 1,700 square foot house.

"It will be nice to own our own home, it will be nice to have a yard where the kids can play," said Sapp.

But Sapp says he didn't think purchasing a home was possible right now, but the tax credit for first time home buyers was a motivating factor.

He's thankful he made the deadline by about 3 weeks.

"Getting an 8,000 tax credit is definitely a bonus towards buying a house so it motivating factor," said Sapp. 

But time is running out, and since it takes at least 30 days to close on a house now is the time to act.

The National Association of Realtors says home sales rose 9.4 percent in September and largely due to first time buyers scrambling to complete their purchases before the first time tax credit runs out.

"I think it probably got some people that were on the fence about buying it probably got them to move forward with the purchase," said realtor Jessica Owens of ReMax of Albany, Inc.

November 30th is when the tax credit program will expire, but realtors and those in the market for a new home are hoping they extend the program.

"I think its helpful I think the best way for Washington to stimulate the economy is to give people their money back and let them spend it,"

Sapp says its tempting to use his tax credit money on toys, but he and his family will likely put the money towards home improvements.

Johnny Isakson and Senate banking and housing committee Chris Dodd are co-sponsoring legislation that would extend the tax credit until June 30, 2010.  The legislation would also open the program up to all home buyers , not just first-time buyers and increase the income limits for the program from $150,000 to $300,000 per couple.

More than 1.4 million first-time home buyers have taken advantage of the tax credit so far this year, according to the IRS.

Click here for more information on the first-time home buyer tax-credit.


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