Congress Weighs Modified Home Buyer Tax Credit

Congress Weighs Modified Home Buyer Tax Credit


Eligible first time home buyers have enjoyed an $8000 federal tax credit thanks to a program put into place earlier this year. That program comes to an end on November 30th, meaning that if you’re eligible and have found a house you are planning to purchase, then you must close on it no later than that date.

Billions Served

mortgageLest anyone think that the tax credit will vanish for good, Congress is already considering a number of different options to help keep it going. Now that the economy is showing signs of rebirth, legislators are carefully examining the best way to stimulate housing without wrecking momentum. Indeed, while each credit helps homeowners, those funds are added to the national debt which has mushroomed by $1.4 trillion this year alone.

The most likely plan will take effect on December 1st and extend home buying benefits to more Americans. Among the options being weighed are the following:

  • Home buyers who have owned their current home for at least five years will be able to get into the game. A $6500 tax credit would be made available to them.
  • New home buyers, which includes eligible buyers who haven’t owned a home within the past three years, would still receive up to $8000.
  • In both cases home buyers would have to sign a purchase agreement by April 30, 2010, and close on their home no later than two months later: June 30th.

NAR Support

All principle homes valued at $800,000 or less are covered which means that vacation homes are not covered. Still, the measure has the support of key politicians as well as the National Association of Realtors. The US Senate has already passed the measure with the House expected to quickly follow suit. President Obama will likely sign the bill into law right away.

The move by the US Senate comes as it also approved extending unemployment benefits by an additional 20 weeks for those people who have been out of work a long time. That measure has increased unemployment coverage to 99 weeks, which is just five weeks short of two years. The Senate action has come as many long term unemployed recently exhausted their benefits.

According to the National Employment Law Project, a liberal advocacy group, some 600,000 people exhausted their benefits in September and October with another 700,000 expected to lose their benefits before the year comes to a close.

The new measure will provide help for those who recently lost their benefits while allowing more unemployed workers to gain time while they look for work.

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Categories: Home Buying, Money News

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".