Tax credit for home buying
First-time home buyers are now eligible for an $8,000 tax credit -- that's the end result of the multibillion-dollar stimulus package passed yesterday. (Unless you're buying a home under $80,000. Then you'll get a credit worth 10 percent of the price.)
Eileen Ambrose, personal finance columnist and Consuming Interests blogger, says a tax expert she interviewed believes the credit applies to purchases made from Jan. 1 through November.
It's about half the amount bandied about earlier. But it's also different from the $7,500 credit that was already in effect, and not just because it's $500 more. This new credit for homebuyers does not have to be paid back to Uncle Sam unless you sell within three years.
Another "yes, but": The credit phases out if you're single and making more than $75,000, or married with a household income of more than $150,000.
You can read more about the stimulus package in the Sun today, including this graphic that shows how much is going to what. And our snazzy Consuming Interests blog is all over the topic, with a bunch of questions and answers in the comments there.
I wondered whether any local buyers will end up with less than the full $8,000 because their home purchases cost less than $80,000. It's possible -- 1,425 homes on the market last month in the metro area were priced at $79,999 or below, according to MRIS. (Of those, about 90 percent were in the city and the rest were in the 'burbs.)
I don't know how many of those homes are geared toward regular "I want to move in now" buyers as opposed to people intending to rehab for themselves or to resell. Any thoughts?