Time Running Out for 1st Time Homebuyers to Get Tax Credit – ABC 24 Eyewitness News, Memphis, TN

Reported by: Allison Sossaman

 

Email: asossaman@myeyewitnessnews.com

 

Last Update: 10/02 8:51 pm

 

MEMPHIS, TN – The government is offering you the chance to save $8,000 when you buy your first house, but not for much longer. The stimulus plan’s tax credit is over December 1st, but you don’t have as long to act on it as you may think.

 

“It’s up to $8,000,” said Memphis-area Crye-Leike Realtor Judson Williford. “10% up to $8,000, so, if you buy an $80,000 home, you’re getting that full credit.”

 

Williford says house hunters should hurry up and buy before it’s too late.

 

“We’re really encourage buyers to get out there and find the house they want, in order to be under contract by no later than the middle of October,” he said. “Because these banks are going to start getting busy.”

 

The tax credit program is meant to give the struggling housing market a boost.

 

“I’m hearing a lot more people talk about it,” Williford said. “There needs to be a lot more people actually doing it. Right now, with this coming to an end, I’m seeing a lot more people doing it.”

 

His advice for speeding the sale process along in time: begin at the bank, get pre-approved.

 

“You want to have an idea of your loan before you just go pick something out that’s going to be overpriced,” he said. “Because that will just delay the process. You need to know what your limit is.”

 

But will this surge sustain itself, or will the decline continue? Winter is generally the slow season for real estate. Williford hopes this break will help carry the market through the colder months.

 

“We’re still in a declining market,” he said. “But I do think that it’s improving.”

 

People who want to take advantage of the tax rebate have to close on the sale on or before November 30th.

 

To qualify as a first-time homebuyer, you can’t have owned a home in the past three years, and you have to plan to live in the house you’re buying. There are also income restrictions on the tax credit. People making more than $95,000 a year aren’t eligible.