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Tax Credit – Almost Official

Updated 11/06/2009: Since writing yesterday, President Obama has signed the new legislation into law.

This is an update to last week’s post where I spoke of the possible extension of the first time buyer tax credit.

Today, following the Senate’s favorable vote yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives just voted 403 to 12 to extend the home buyer tax credit, expanding the parameters to include existing homeowners and not just first-time buyers. It is expect President Obama to sign the legislation into law in short order.

As it now stands, the federal tax credit will be extended through April 30, 2010, with a 60-day extension if a binding contract is in place prior to the deadline. First-time home buyers will continue to be eligible for a tax credit of up to $8,000, while existing homeowners will be eligible for a reduced credit of up to $6,500. To qualify for the $6,500 credit, existing homeowners must have lived in their current residences for at least five years. The bill also increases the qualifying income limits from $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for joint filers to $125,000 and $225,000, respectively. The purchase price of the home is capped at $800,000 in both instances.

Under additional provisions included in the bill, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns. The legislation maintains the provision that home buyers do not have to repay the credit provided the home remains their primary residence for 36 months after purchase, and waives this requirement for active duty military personnel who move due to a military order.

If you are ready to get pre-approved for a home loan – for free – please contact me.

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