Homebuyer’s tax credit extended, expanded

Created 11/25/2009 – 3:05am

Congressional action earlier this month extended the popular homebuyers’ tax credit to April 30, 2010. The program was expanded to include move-up or repeat homebuyers, a move that should help loosen the real estate market for larger and more expensive homes.

“We are all hoping it gets the rest of the market going,” Hometown Realty owner Cheryl Dooley said. “Those in existing homes haven’t been able to move up because they’ve been unable to sell their existing home. It could help a lot of the market, especially the step-up housing priced from $150,000 to $300,000.”

“For outstate Minnesota, I think this is just a tremendous deal,” Edina Realty manager Kevin Hanson added.

The first-time homebuyer tax credit is good for 10 percent of the first $80,000 of a new or used home’s purchase price, or $8,000 maximum. A person must not have owned a principal residence during the prior three years. Income limits increased to $125,000 for singles and $225,000 for married couples.

The same income limits apply for the move-up/repeat homebuyer credit. That program provides a credit equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a $65,000 maximum, or $6,500. Homes priced more than $800,000 are not eligible.