March 05, 2009 // Franchising.com // Morris Plains, N.J., – If those considering a home purchase for the first time needed another reason to feel confident now is a great time to buy, they have one. In addition to the already historically-low interest rates, affordable prices and large supply of homes that currently exists, first time buyers can now receive up to an $8,000 tax credit from the federal government for buying a house.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that recently became law, Congress improved upon an existing incentive for first-time buyers. The new tax credit, which applies to purchases of a principal residence made on or after Jan.1, 2009 and before Dec. 1, 2009, was increased to $8,000. In addition, the new credit no longer requires repayment – making it a true credit as opposed to an interest free loan.
"In addition to the many personal benefits and comforts that come with buying a home, there are also many financial advantages," said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors, one of the nation's largest independently owned real estate companies. "With the addition of the $8,000 tax credit, there is probably more financial incentive today for first time homebuyers than at any time in recent memory."
Weichert, who was one of the first real estate leaders to call for a tax credit for buyers back in early 2008, expressed his support of the passing of the new law. "I salute the President and Congress for taking action and for their ongoing commitment to support the housing market as an important way to stimulate the economy."
Homebuyers who never owned a home or haven't owned a home in more than three years, may be eligible to claim all or part of the tax credit based on their income level. Congress will also allow individuals to claim the credit on their 2008 tax return to help put money back in to the economy and provide a more immediately stimulus effect. Individuals who buy a home after April 15 can file an amended tax return to receive the credit in 2009. As with any tax law, individuals should check with a tax advisor to discuss any specifics regarding the use of this provision.
"Everything is lined up in favor of buyers right now. If a home purchase is in your future plans, it makes good financial sense to buy now and take advantage of the sizeable tax credit being offered by the government and today's affordable prices," added Weichert.
Weichert has nearly 18,000 sales associates in approximately 500 company-owned and franchised sales offices in key markets throughout the U.S. A family of full-service real estate and financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of mortgages and home and title insurance. Each Weichert franchised office is independently owned and operated.