Let's see what it's all about. To qualify, you need to be a:
a) First-time home buyer purchasing a home between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009.
Clock is ticking!
b) A“first-time home buyer” may not (or their spouse) have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.
b) Tax credit is only applicable on primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, town homes, and co-ops.
c) The maximum amount allowable is $8,000. It is determined by the price of the home . Maximum credit is 10% of the purchase price up to $8,000.
d) Only buyers with maximum incomes of $75,000 for single persons or $150,000for married couples are eligible for the whole credit of $8,000
e) Buyers with incomes between $75,000 and $95,000 if they are single or between $150,000 and $170,000 if they are married couples filing jointly, may receive the tax credit, but its amount will decrease as the income(s) approaches the maximum limit.
f) Incomes over $95,000 for singles and $170,000 for couples will automatically disqualify buyers from getting this tax credit. (God forbid you make more than $170,000 in 2009! )
g) Beneficiaries of the tax credit need NOT to pay it back, but (there is always a but!) they must occupy the home for at least three years. If they sell it during the first three years, they will have to give it back at the time of the sale.
h) The tax credit can be used to pay closing costs.
i) U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ruled that, in FHA loans, the tax credit can be used upfront. Accordingly, FHA approved lenders can develop bridge loans that would allow the coverage of closing costs, or buy down their interest rate, or increase down payment over the minimum 5 percent.
j) These bridge loans cannot cover the minimum 3.5 percent down payment.
k) Of course, there are other sources of assistance for buyers needing help with the 3.5 percent down payment, including state and local government programs and nonprofit lenders.