Blog
February 18th, 2010 (Modified on June 17th, 2010)

Will the Homebuyer Tax Credit Be Extended (Again)?

by

 

NEW POLL: Do you support the extension of the homebuyer tax credit’s closing deadline? VOTE NOW

While there’s significant sentiment out in the market that the homebuyer tax credit will expire as planned on June 30 2010, we’ve begun to formulate the opinion that the credit will receive its second extension. We believe that there is a good chance that it will be extended, at least through the “spring homebuying season,” if not longer. Here’s Why:

Smart Move in an Election Year

Lawmakers, now more than ever, are looking for any successful mortgage and/or housing-related program that they can stand behind. Besides the Fed’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) purchase program, the homebuyer tax credit has been touted by some as an extraordinary success.

From the latest issue of HSH’s Market Trends Newsletter:

As such, “success” can be claimed, providing the necessary political cover to advocate extending the program… especially since the simple fact is that it if doesn’t work — that is, if it’s not being utilized — that it costs nothing. Deficit issues and the concept of whether we’re rewarding those who might have bought anyway will take a back seat. Keeping home sales going promotes home price stability, and that makes for less-grumpy voters as election time rolls around.

From the Daily Journal:

“If you’re a senator, you know you’re coming up for election. Do you want Realtors and builders to say that they tried to promote homeownership, but you said no? It’s an easy thing to stand behind during an election year,” [said HSH VP Keith Gumbinger].

Low Rates + Tax Incentives = More Sales

Back in September we explained how it made sense that the tax credit would be extended (the first time) along with the Fed’s MBS purchase program:

The $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit was an incentive to get potential buyers into the market. The Fed’s MBS purchase program makes those potential transactions more possible and affordable. The two programs have contributed to lower mortgage rates and provided a much-needed boost for home sales during an anemic housing market. For one to expire approximately four months before the other could really throw off the market’s improving dynamic. Furthermore, the Fed’s ongoing stance that markets are improving, but not quite ready to branch out on their own, only further serves to bolster this theory.

A lot has happened since September: The tax credit was both extended and expanded, yet, even though the MBS purchase program is slated to expire on March 31, 2010, Fannie and Freddie recently announced that they will begin to purchase bad and under-performing mortgage loans which should free up billions of dollars for lenders in the private market to buy new MBS as they become available. Essentially, Fannie and Freddie are taking over the Fed’s function in order to keep conforming rates low.

The homebuyer tax credit is an incentive to get potential buyers into the market. The Fed’s MBS purchase program (and soon to be Fannie and Freddie) makes those potential transactions more possible and affordable. The two programs have contributed to lower mortgage rates and provided a much-needed boost for home sales during an anemic housing market. For one to expire well before the other might really throw off any improving dynamic the market has. Furthermore, the Fed’s ongoing stance that markets are improving, but not entirely ready to branch out on their own, only further serves to bolster this theory.

Time is Running Out

In ten weeks (April 30) any homebuyer — whether first-time or repeat — must have their contract signed to take advantage of the credit. “The mortgage process usually takes anywhere between 45 and 60 days,” say HSH VP Keith Gumbinger. “So while it’s not quite crunch time, it’ll be here soon, especially if you’re still looking at houses. Would-be homebuyers should really begin getting the process started if they haven’t already.”

First-time buyers lack experience which could be another factor that serves to slow the process down. “The combination of lack of experience and a changing marketplace could definitely prolong the process,” explains Gumbinger. Buyers looking to purchase a short sale or foreclosed property will experience an even longer homebuying process.

Will the homebuyer tax credit get another extension?

Cast your vote:

Should the homebuyer tax credit be extended again?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Share and Enjoy:
  • email
  • Print
  • RSS
  • Add to favorites
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Technorati
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Mixx
  • BlinkList
  • Live
  • Reddit

106 Responses to “Will the Homebuyer Tax Credit Be Extended (Again)?”

  1. Illinois Foreclosure Deals : Take Three: Will Congress Extend the Home Buyer Tax Credit? Says: February 22nd, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    [...] expires, that doesn’t leave much time for buyers looking to cash-in, notes Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a financial publisher. Home sales surged last October when it looked like the tax credit might [...]

  2. Andy Says: March 4th, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    The question is will home buyers who bought last year be annoyed more by further extensions and higher income limits?

  3. Tim Manni Says: March 10th, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Andy,

    Well homebuyers who bought last year had a chance to take advantage of the credit, so they can’t be too annoyed…

    Good hearing from you,

    Tim

  4. mike Says: March 22nd, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    I have a singed contract for a new build, will I qualify if i do not close before 6/30/2010?

  5. Tim Manni Says: March 23rd, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Mike,

    You have to close before the June deadline.

    -Tim

  6. steve Says: March 25th, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I already bought the building lot and I plan on building the house myself, but it is doubtful that I will finish the house by 30 June 2010 (will be finished by end of year). Can I buy a camper trailer, (considered a house by the IRS) and put it on the piece of land while I build my house, and still claim the first time home buyer credit?

    Thanks

  7. DBrown Says: March 26th, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Here is our situation. We owned the same house from February 27, 2002 to March 29, 2007, so five consecutive years. However, as of March 29th, 2010 we will be out of the eight year time frame. We don’t need an extension on the credit. We need a change to the terms of [eight years prior to the new closing date]. For example, if it was changed to [owned a home for five straight years between January 1, 2002 and now], we would continue to qualify as long as we closed by the June date. But what you have is people like us that did qualify but now because we can’t close before 3/29/2010, we fall out of qualifying. And that just stinks!

  8. Tim Manni Says: March 26th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Hey DBrown,

    See, that’s the downside to Federal programs/incentives — they are always going to leave out Americans who are equally deserving. Take today’s changes to the Federal loan modification program. The government just announced today that they’re going to pay lenders incentives to reduce the overall amount people owe on their mortgage loans. What happens to the borrowers who are fine — the borrowers who don’t need a loan mod — they don’t get a principal reduction?

    That’s why we’re always wary of these types of incentives…they always leave someone out.

    Thanks for commenting, visit us again soon,
    Tim

  9. Tim Manni Says: March 26th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Interesting question Steve — I got to look into that one further.

    I’ll be in touch, thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  10. Pete Says: March 27th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    My situation is very similar to Steve’s. I would appreciate it if you would have any information Tim.

    Thanks

  11. Tim Manni Says: March 29th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Steve,

    Well we did some digging and I have some info for you. It’s very important to note that we are not tax professionals, and any comments we leave shouldn’t be utilized as a course of action or for decision making.

    Now that we got that out of the way, I’m not sure you’re going to be too happy with what we’ve found. I’m not too sure the IRS considers a “camper trailer” a “house.” According to the IRS and the NAHB, mobile homes, a.k.a. manufactured homes, can be considered for the tax credit. To our understanding, these homes must have a fixed foundation and are not moveable.

    Furthermore, and again to our understanding, if you went through with this, you would be getting the tax credit on the manufactured home not the new home. According to the IRS, to claim the credit you need to produce a HUD 1 settlement statement. Check out this link for more info: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html

    You have to ask yourself if it’s worth it to buy a manufactured home, attach it to a permanent foundation, then remove it, all in the name of (up to) $8,000 (and that’s if this will be your first home).

    Great question, thanks for commenting and keep us posted,
    Tim

  12. Cory Says: March 30th, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Tim,

    I will finally rehabilitate my student loans on Thursday. It usually takes 30 days to fix a credit score… Do you know of a way to get it done faster so I can get pre qualified to by a house before April 30th?

    Also, what do you think the chances are of getting the housing credit extended? (again)

  13. Tim Manni Says: March 30th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Hey Cory,

    First off, thanks for your questions and comments.

    If you can get a credit score fixed in 30 days you’re lucky — the process usually takes much longer than that. Since rehabilitating your student loans is a 9-12-month process (of making consecutive payments), I personally don’t know of a way that it can be done faster. If you haven’t started looking for a home yet, it will be incredibly tough to buy in under a month, especially if your credit has taken a hit from defaulting on student loans.

    As far as the tax credit extension goes, there hasn’t been a lot of chatter recently about it. April is going to be a really interesting month — the Fed’s mortgage program ends tomorrow, and it’s the last few moments for potential buyers to shop and sign contracts. As soon as the Fed leaves the picture we’ll get a true sense of how bad the market still needs incentives like the tax credit. As of now, I’d be more surprised if they didn’t extend the credit at least through the summer months.

    Thanks for commenting, I hope I was able to answer your questions,
    Tim

  14. Cory Says: March 30th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks Tim,

    I have completed the 9 month rehabilitation program. Now I am waiting for that to reflect on my credit score. It may take 30 days, meaning I will have 1 day to get under contract! Lol.

    An extension would be a blessing for me.(to say the least)

    Great blog!

    Cory

  15. Tim Manni Says: March 30th, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Hey Cory,

    Now I understand your situation! Unless you’ve already been turned down by lenders b/c of your credit, start talking to lenders to see if your credit is being as restrictive as you think.

    I’m actually writing a post right now about whether or not the tax credit has lost its luster — is it as important as it used to be? Your situation certainly adds some context.

    So glad you like our blog, we put a lot of effort into providing useful info for our readers. If you ever have an idea for a post, be sure to let us know! Keep me posted, it has been great talking with you.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  16. steve Says: March 31st, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Hello Tim,

    Thanks for your help! I’ll keep you posted!

    Steve

  17. Tim Manni Says: March 31st, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Sounds good Steve!

  18. Drew Says: April 4th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Tim,

    Any updates since your initial article? Thanks.

    Drew

  19. Tim Manni Says: April 5th, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Hey Drew,

    There has been a couple. While there hasn’t been too much chatter in Washington, and while there have been few new details, I’ll list all of our posts that have centered on the tax credit since we wrote “Will the Homebuyer Tax Credit be Extended (Again)?”:

    Has the Homebuyer Tax Credit Been a Success in 2010?” (3/10/10)

    Has the Homebuyer Tax Credit Lost Its Luster?” (3/30/10)

    You can be sure if there are any new developments, we’ll be right on them.

    Thanks for checking in,
    Tim

  20. Christine Says: April 6th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    We have had a construction loan out since we closed in August 2009 on a piece of land. We are almost finished building and have been trying to make sure it is done in time for an appraiser to come and appraise it for us to then turn it into a mortgage. We are worried that this won’t get done in time. I know that you can close by the 30th of June as long as a binding sales agreement is signed but obviously since we have built this ourselves we don’t have that to sign. How does this work, and is there something from the bank that counts as this or do we have to close by the 30th of April? Thanks so much for your help. We have a baby due the 15th so life is just so stressful right now!

  21. Tim Manni Says: April 7th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Hey Christine,

    You have to have your contract signed by April 30, and then you have until June 30 to close.

    Best of luck with your baby on the way, keep in touch.

    By the way, we have a poll on the tax credit that I’d love for you to cast your vote on. It can be found by CLICKING HERE.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  22. Chuck E. Says: April 7th, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Please can anyone help? I have been wanting to take advantage of the tax credit. I have good credit, money in the bank and have been working steady for the past four years. Here’s the catch, I am a contractor. I work several hundred miles away from my original home town area. To utilize the tax credit the house has to be your,”PRIMARY RESIDENCE”. The way I understand it is that to be your, “PRIMARY RESIDENCE”, it can’t be too far from where you work. I am not within a commutable distance. My job will end some day so I need to get financing now. I plan on holding back a reasonable amount of cash for a couple years worth of payments just in case I can’t get back to work right away. I had changed my license to my new area but, mainly so I wouldn’t get harrassed by the local authorities. To sum it up, I haven’t seen any good information covering the, “CONTRACT WORKER”. Thanks, Chuck

  23. Tim Manni Says: April 8th, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Hey Chuck,

    The IRS uses the term “principal” residence. While the rules do differ for first-time buyers and move-up buyers, as far as I have read (and we’re not tax experts by any means), as long as the residence is not a vacation home or a rental property you should be OK. The home has to be considered your principal residence.

    I would suggest reading some of the info the IRS has provided on the subject. Start here: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206291,00.html

    **According to a Washington Post article from 2005, “There is, however, no definition of principal residence in the tax code.”

    “If you have lived in the same home for many years and consider it to be your only home, it will clearly be your principal residence. The key components that will guide and assist the courts and the IRS in deciding are:

    • Where do you pay your state or local income tax?

    • Where do you vote?

    • What is the address on your driver’s license?

    -Where do you get your mail?

    • Where is your bank?

    • Where are the recreational clubs and religious organizations to which you belong?”

    Use the link above to continue reading.

    Hope I was able to help,
    Tim

  24. Cheryl Ferguson Says: April 12th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I have a question about home purchasing. I put an offer in on a home and the offer was accepted. I was already approved for a mortgage loan for more than this house was on the market for. The house asking price was lower than my bid. This is a Bank owned home. After my offer was accepted I had to pay $600.00 to have the home appraised an inspected. The person who appraised the home appraised the home for lower than the price the bank was asking. The difference was $4,000.00 less than their asking price. When this was presented to the bank they said NO they would not accept that. So now to get a loan through another Bank or where ever it is going to cost me 11,000 more to do this deal. I just can’t come up with that much more. That would be paying more for the house than it is worth. I can not believe that over $4,000.00 the Bank would do that. They have so many homes and if the home does not appraise for what they are asking they can just say No. Now I see why there are so many vacant homes just sitting.This is why people are so ticked off about this home situation. People try to work with Banks to keep their homes and the Banks are just not willing to give. We have a new Little baby and I cannot afford to just throw $600.00 out the window every time I need a inspection and appraisial done. As far as I am concerned that is what I just did. Do you hear of alot of this going on. Please any advice is Welcome I need help!

    Thanks

  25. Tim Manni Says: April 12th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Cheryl,

    Why will it cost you an extra $11,000 if you “get a loan through another Bank or where ever”?

    Banks control the bargaining in Short Sales (which is what this sounds like). Hopefully HAFA will begin to make this process a smoother one, but like I said, as of now, the bank owns it so they control it.

    Keep us posted,
    Tim

  26. Cheryl Ferguson Says: April 12th, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Tim: Thank you for your reply.

    I’m not exactly sure why it will cost $11,000 extra, but that’s what both the lending bank and my real estate agent are saying.

    I believe it’s because I now have to submit more than the 20 percent down I originally agreed to. Apparently, I have to pay the difference between the appraisal and my offer as “extra down-payment money,” so that the lending bank is not out anything extra if I were to default. Then there’s some tax issue too.

    I’ll bet if the Federal government hadn’t loaned the banks our money, they would be far less reluctant to adjust the prices of their foreclosed properties to the true cash value determined by market forces. The 3.5 percent difference between my offer – the ONLY offer received in nearly six months – and the appraised value, is almost insignificant to the bank.

    It’s very significant to me, however. Something needs to be done about this. I think the banks have something to do with the appraisial being brought in lower than the asking price. The banks had no problem with getting themselves balied out but they are just not willing to help the people out. I guess I sort of understand now why people that lose their homes trash them. The banks do not want to work with them to let them keep their homes. They have all the POWER and it is so unfair!!!!!

    Thanks Again for your reply.

    Cheryl

  27. Cheryl Ferguson Says: April 13th, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I believe it’s because I now have to submit more than the 20 percent down I originaly agreed to. Apparently, I have to pay the difference between the appraisal and my offer as “extra down payment money”, so that the lending bank is not out anything extra if I were to default. Then there’s some tax issue too.

    I’ll bet if the Federal Government hadn’t loaned the banks OUR money they would be far less reluctant to adjust the pricesof their foreclosed properties to the true cashvalue determined by market forces. The 3.5 percent differencebetween my offer – the ONLY offer recieved in nearly six months-and the appraised value, is almost insignificant to the bank.

    It’s VERY significant to me, however. Something NEED’S to be done about this. I think that the banks have something to do with the appraisal being brouht in lower than the asking price. That is where the whole problem started. The banks had “NO PROBLEM” with getting themselves bailed out but they are just NOT willing to work very hard with people to keep or purchase a home. I am starting to understand why some people that lose their homes and have tried working with the bank to keep them go in and take out what they want and some even destroying things.I have looked a quite a few of these homes and have seen what happens . Not good, but as I said i understand where some may be coming from now! They Banks have all the POWER and it is unfair. If you look at the adds online for homes for sale alot of they SAY Forcloed Property and they go on to say it is bank owned because previous owner could not make payment so they are selling that at a reduced rate to get rid of them. Well gee over A lower appraisal of $4,0000 not because of my fault because appraiser appraised it lower I am out $600 dollars. I can’t come up with an extra 11,000 so I’ just out. Sorry to ramble I’m sure you can tell how angry this has made me. Any advice is WELCOME. Last question, Can the Realtor try to make things happen with the bank when things are this close or that is it when the bank says NO.

    Thanks for your time,

    Cheryl

  28. Carrie Says: April 14th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    Hi Tim,
    My husband and I have been looking for about 4 weeks now and are starting to get nervous because we still haven’t found the house for us. We are pre-approved and have been very active, out every weekend, scheduled showings and open houses. In 4 weeks we have looked at 32 houses (yes we are picky, it is our first house!) Anyway, just wantd to know if you have heard anything else about a possible extension since this article was written. I thought for sure we would have the time to find our dream home but time is ticking away. It would be great to know we had a little more time and not feel forced to make a decision before we are ready.
    thanks!

  29. Tim Manni Says: April 14th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Hey Carrie,

    First off: Definitely don’t make a rushed decision b/c of the tax credit! Don’t let a homebuying incentive dictate your decision! As you said, this will be your first home, so it’s good to be picky, and the last thing you want to do is rush what could be the biggest purchase of your live because of a tax credit. That being said, it sounds like you guys are ready to pull the trigger, so you need to act fast — but just make sure you don’t make a decision you will regret.

    Unfortunately, an article I just wrote thing morning said some lawmakers are now saying an extension is off the table. Yet, even if it is, it’s still a great time to buy — mortgage rates are still historically low and real estate is cheap. Don’t let the tax credit be your only reason for buying! Still, you never know what lawmakers will ultimately decide to do.

    Here’s the link to this morning’s post: http://blog.hsh.com/index.php/2010/04/second-extension-of-homebuyer-tax-credit-seems-bleak/

    Thanks,
    Tim

    Keep me posted!

  30. mike Says: April 22nd, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    I really think they need to do 2 things. First would to be to extend the tax credit past the april 30 deadline. Secondly would be to also enact legislation to push short sale homes to be processed quicker. I have been looking at homes now for almost 2 months and one of the first batch of homes i looked at i fell in love with however it was a short sale home and of this i was told by the sellers agent that it would most likely be 3 months before paperwork would even begin to start being processed because the mortgage was owned by bank of america which is so back logged that i have only heard horror stories about potential buyers having to wait 6 months or longer. Because they are dragging their feet the home i would have bought 2 months ago is still sitting on the market and i still have yet to find another one i like as much. Please extend the deadline!!

  31. Chrystal Says: April 23rd, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Here’s my story. My husband and I are working very hard to become first time homebuyers. Unfortunatley, the downpayment assistance in our state (Texas) has stopped accepting applications and will beginagain until October 2010. This has pushed our plans of owning a home back tremendously. We were planning to apply for the first time homebuyer credit once we recieve assistance for downpayment and closing costs. This is why I believe the credit should be extended at least until December 2010. The credit would allow people like us to have time to get everything in place without having to rush a cause potential mistakes.

  32. Theresa Williams Says: April 23rd, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    please extend the deadline.I found a very nice foreclosed home and harris count brought the home.Now i have to wait until they put the house on the market.They are putting 2 homes a week on the website.They have not put the home on the market and it has been 2 months and april 30th is next week.I want to wait for that house.The fact is if i can not get that house i have to start looking for another house and i only have a week.please extend deadline…please….

  33. Judi Maxfield Says: April 25th, 2010 at 4:59 am

    It has been hard just to find a home to purchase that’s under 100,000 more like 75,000 that I could move into right now I had made an offer then was told to make another offer that was a week ago have not heard a thing on it more than likly if we do win the offer it still won’t quallfy before April 30 or the June date I am so lost at this stuff you would think if a person has the down payment plus even more than the 20% required and your credit is an 800 someone would jump on it nope not in Az Oh I bet if I wanted a 500,000 home they would be right here but hey I want a home that I will not lose… that is the problem people buy things that they can not afford and the stupid credit people give it to them…. go figure

  34. mike Says: April 25th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    my wife and i are getting a modular home. we already have a binding contract and will be closing around the first or second week of may. the only thing is that till the house is set on our foundation it will probably be into july before we get our occupancy permit. will this keep us from getting the $6500?

  35. Stephanie G Says: April 26th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I am also in the situation where we have a new construction. April 30th deadline is not a problem at all, but we are still unsure the house will be completed by June 30th. Our contractor is doing his best to have the house completed, but we may end up missing this credit by a week or two! Really hoping for an extension… it would relieve a lot of stress!

  36. Tim Manni Says: April 26th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Mike,

    According to the IRS, “A travel trailer that is affixed to land may qualify as a principal residence.” I would call your servicer to check, though.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  37. Tim Manni Says: April 26th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Hey Judi,

    Best of luck, we’ve heard from a lot of potential buyers who have said they have been looking for months and months but can’t seem to seal the deal. What kind of property are you looking at for under $100,000?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  38. Tim Manni Says: April 26th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Theresa,

    Best of luck, keep us posted!

    -Tim

  39. Kat Says: April 26th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I hope they extend the deadline. I’ve signed on new construction and it might not be ready for move in by the close date. Extend the deadline…please.

  40. Tim Manni Says: April 27th, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Stephanie G,

    We’re hearing a lot of stories about homeowners who are hoping their new-home construction gets finished in time for the tax credit…good luck with the project!

    Keep in touch,
    Tim

  41. Tim Manni Says: April 27th, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Kat,

    You’re another new construction story; all of you guys helped those new home sales jump! Question: did the tax credit influence your decision to build at this time?

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  42. Jackie G Says: April 27th, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Hey Tim,
    Another new construction question, we have our contract signed with our builder, and we will close before we actually start construction. The home won’t be done until the end of August, but we are closing on it before June 30th. Will we be eligible for the tax credit? Thanks for your help!

  43. Tim Manni Says: April 27th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Hey Jackie,

    By your brief explanation it sounds like it would make sense, however I just read this at IRS.gov:

    Q. I plan to build a home and occupy it in 2009 or early 2010. Can I claim the first-time homebuyer credit now and use the funds toward the down payment or other ongoing construction costs?

    A. No. To qualify for the first time home buyer credit, the residence must be purchased. By statute, a residence which is constructed by the taxpayer is treated as purchased on the date the taxpayer first occupies the residence. (05/06/09)

    Q. I entered into a written home construction contract with a homebuilder before May 1, 2010, and the contract provides for completion of the home before July 1, 2010. Can I take the credit for the construction costs?

    A. Your home construction contract qualifies as a binding contract, entered into on or before April 30, 2010, to close on the purchase of a principal residence on or before June 30, 2010. If you occupy the home on or before June 30, 2010, and meet the other requirements, you can take the credit. (12/17/09)

    Q. I entered into a written home construction contract with a homebuilder before May 1, 2010, and the contract provides for completion of the home before September 1, 2010. Can I take the credit for the construction costs?

    A. Your home construction contract does not qualify as a binding contract to close on the purchase of a principal residence on or before June 30, 2010. Therefore, you do not qualify for the two-month extension of the deadline for completing the purchase in the case of a binding contract. However, if you occupy the home on or before April 30, 2010, and meet the other requirements, you can take the credit. If you do not occupy the home on or before April 30, 2010, you cannot take the credit.
    (12/17/09)

    I hope this helps answer your question. This is an important statement, “Your home construction contract does not qualify as a binding contract to close on the purchase of a principal residence on or before June 30, 2010.”

    You should call your lender to double check. Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  44. lyn squires Says: April 28th, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I am counting on the extension of the now tax credit for first time homebuyers. I waited and waited for a short sale and did not get the home and now I have to start all over. The only way that I am going to be able to purchase a home is if the tax credit is extended.

    Where can I go who can I contact to plea my case.

    We need time at least till the end of 2010 .

    Please let me know who I can write to.

  45. Tim Manni Says: April 28th, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Lyn,

    You can contact any lawmaker and email them your concerns. I listed a few Congressmen and their emails in this post:
    http://blog.hsh.com/index.php/2010/04/dont-let-the-homebuyer-tax-credit-force-your-homebuyer-decision/

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  46. Matt Says: April 28th, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I am buying land that I want to permanetly affix a travel trailer. I do not have the travel trailer yet but will have a contract signed for the land on April 30 2010. If I buy a travel trailer outright after the 30th will I still qualify for the tax credit,or do I have to own it before the 30th still?

  47. Tim Manni Says: April 28th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Matt,

    You know I’m not sure. You’ll have to check in with IRS.gov to find out for sure. Here’s some stuff from their site to get you started:

    From IRS.gov:
    “Purchasers of mobile homes who are unable to get a settlement statement should include a copy of the executed retail sales contract showing all parties’ names, property address, purchase price and date of purchase.”
    http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html?portlet=7

    http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206291,00.html

    http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html

    Hope these help,
    Tim

  48. Penny Says: May 1st, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I have been looking for a home for months everytime I find one I’m over bid. Investors are buying up everything becauwe they have the money. I’m a single person just trying to be a homeowner. I pray that they will extend the first time homebuyer program through December 2010 or longer.I’m truly depress don’t know what to do at this point. I’ve worked hard all my life all I want is to be a homeowner.

  49. Tim Manni Says: May 3rd, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Penny,

    How has this expiration shattered your dreams of homeownership? Any money you would have received from the credit wouldn’t have come until next year. If your finances are in good standing and you’re qualified, the absence of the tax credit shouldn’t change anything.

    -Tim

  50. Joe Says: May 3rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I think it’s interesting that my comments were erased

  51. Tim Manni Says: May 3rd, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Hey Joe,

    Your comment was not erased — I responded to your comment. It was posted on this story: “Update11: Poll Results: Extend the Homebuyer Tax Credit Again!”

    Here’s the link: http://blog.hsh.com/index.php/2010/04/poll-results-extend-the-homebuyer-tax-credit-again/

    Thanks for checking back in,
    Tim

  52. Todd Says: May 5th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Tim, have you heard any updated news (extension) we have our house on the market but nothing concrete yet.

    Thanks

  53. Tim Manni Says: May 6th, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Hey Todd,

    Well it has expired — contracts had to be signed by April 30th. Buyers have up until June 30th to close on those deals.

    As of now, there’s little indication that it will be extended.

    Thanks for checking in,
    Tim

  54. Patrick Says: May 7th, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Tim, here’s my situation, I signed a ratified contract on a townhouse in feb. I have also locked in my loan, but the house is still being built. I am not do to settle until august, so will I not be able to cash in on the tax credit ?

    Thank you,
    Patrick

  55. Jeimy R Says: May 7th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    It would be nice if they gave the credit tk somekne who closes before june 30th but signed a contract after april 30th. i signed one on a home before April30th, had a home inspection before then, and o. may 1st a really bad roof leak was gound which requires the house to have a new roof and walls put in. the seller is refusing to so im back on the marker looking for another home to close asap.

  56. Tim Manni Says: May 10th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Patrick,

    Thanks for commenting — if you close after June 30 you won’t be qualified. However, that concrete explanation is the case for purchases, I’m not exactly sure if the scenario is different for a new-home purchase. I’d check with IRS.gov.

    Thanks for checking in,
    Tim

  57. Tim Manni Says: May 10th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    Jeimy R,

    Tough break, sorry to hear that. Best of luck, keep us posted,
    Tim

  58. courtney Says: May 12th, 2010 at 6:05 am

    have you heard of any other government programs or tax credits for home buyers. I am sure there is something still out there, right?

  59. Tim Manni Says: May 12th, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Courtney,

    Thanks for asking. I actually just wrote a blog post based on your question. Check it out:
    http://blog.hsh.com/index.php/2010/05/are-tax-credits-for-homebuyers-still-available-yes/

    -Tim

  60. angino Says: May 12th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    i just got a contract in may 5, if i close before june 30, can i get some of the money?

  61. Tim Manni Says: May 13th, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Angino,

    I way I understand it (you’ll have to verify this), is your contract had to be signed by April 30 and closed by June 30.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  62. Jack Says: May 13th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I see a HB 5183 dated 4/29/2010 was sent to the House Ways & Means Committee to amend the credit and extend through 12/31/2010. Check it out.

  63. Tim Manni Says: May 13th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Jack,

    Hmm, haven’t hear about that, I’ll have to check it out, thanks. Do you have a link for me?

    -Tim

  64. Jack Says: May 14th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Not much on the internet yet…I saw it on CCH.
    See if this link works for you(on library of congress)

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d111:1:./temp/~bdldSD:@@@C|/bss/111search.html|

    Bobby Bright, Alabama, introduced it.

  65. Tim Manni Says: May 14th, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Jack,

    Thanks so much for sending that! I saw the results of the search, but no link to the proposal. I wonder if 5183 has been written up yet…

    Keep me in the loop if you find out anything else.

    Thanks again,
    Tim

  66. tim leemaster Says: May 15th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Tim,

    i am a first time home buyer also trying for the tax credit. my question is: i signed and submitted my offer to purchase a foreclosure dated on april 26, 2010. the bank accepted the offer without any changes, but signed their end dated may 10, 2010. by signing and submitting my offer before the april 30th deadline, does that consider me “entering into a binding contract to buy,” as the exact words on irs.gov? the contract also states we will be closing by the june 30th deadline. i believe irs.gov is a little “grey” on their explanation for entering into a binding contract to buy. i think i am on the tip of the fence for receiving the credit and it could go either way if you know what i mean? thanks for your help.

    tim

  67. Jack Says: May 17th, 2010 at 8:47 am

    I would just say to everyone reading this blog–write to your congressman. I already have. All I would ask is for a short extension of time. Everyone’s situation is different, and don’t be greedy–ask only based on the existing program that they set up, and based on the vague and inexact definitions. If enough people ask, even given that everyone is worried about the government spending, there is a teeny tiny chance. But people have to contact their congressman NOW. Just google “write your congressman” and you can do it in 5 minutes. Say thank you and then VOTE.

  68. Tim Manni Says: May 17th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Tim Leemaster,

    Thanks for commenting. I certainly agree that IRS.gov is a little gray in their explanation of things. Off the top of my head I don’t have an answer for you. I would start by talking to your accountant (or any accountant). Well you certainly held up your end of the bargain, question is, will you be penalized for bank taking their time?

    Please keep us a posted, this is probably a recurring issue.

    thanks,
    Tim

  69. Tim Manni Says: May 17th, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Great advice Jack!

  70. Jeff Says: May 24th, 2010 at 2:21 am

    I have a binding contract as of May 17th and a closing date of June 25th. I was devastated by the May flooding here in TN a couple weeks back and lost my other home I was in contract with, which I was in contract by April 14th and a closing date of May 20th. However, my new home is under contract as of May 17th and closing of June 25th. Can I still get the tax credit as a first time home buyer????

  71. Tim Manni Says: May 24th, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Jeff,

    Unless your state is granting special circumstance (I would check to see if they are), all contracts had to be signed by April 30, 2010.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  72. Deb Says: May 25th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I have a legal binding contract with the bank so am ok with the 8000 dollar tax credit but I am running out of time to completely fininsh my new construction home. Can you get a HUD-1 statement from the bank if your home is not completely finished? We have to close with the bank by July 31st 2010. But I need that HUD-1 statement by June 30th to get the tax credit. Thanks.

  73. Tim Manni Says: May 27th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Hey Deb,

    Yea, my understanding is that you have to close before June 30.

    -Tim

  74. Juan Says: May 30th, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Everyone,
    I really hope they extend the credit again. I work in the housing market and have seen the great impact that it has done for families. Is there any chance they will extend it a 3rd time? I believe it has worked and more and more people will continue to buy.

    Thanks,

  75. Tim Manni Says: June 1st, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Hey Juan,

    As of now, we haven’t heard anything that would suggest a third extension.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  76. Susie Says: June 3rd, 2010 at 9:52 am

    I’m buying a house and will close before June 30, but I didn’t have a signed contract until May 6. Am I just out of luck? If the goal is to be closed by June 30, what difference does it make when the contract was executed?

  77. Tim Manni Says: June 3rd, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Susie,

    I’m afraid you’re likely out of luck. Contracts must be signed by April 30 and closed before June 30.

    Thanks for asking,
    Tim

  78. Jason Says: June 3rd, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Found more news on the tax credit extensions… Anyone have insider info?

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0510/Dems_race_to_renew_home_buyer_credit.html

  79. Tim Manni Says: June 4th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Jason,

    Thanks for keeping your ear to the ground. Just from that short post from Politico, it seems those measures didn’t do much as the expiration came and went. No word on a extension at this point. Keep your eye on the bill that will extend jobless benefits. That’s where the HBTC extension appeared last time.

    -Tim

  80. Chris S Says: June 10th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I had signed contact before april 30th but the bank says that because so many poeple rush for the deadline they are overwhelmed and are not sure that they can close by June 30th. I did everything I had to do in time and there are no open issues on my end. I’m just waiting on the bank. why would they put a dead line of June 30th closing? they had to know they banks would get overwhelmed.

  81. Tim Manni Says: June 10th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Chris S,

    The June 30 deadline was implemented to keep things moving. For example, they didn’t want someone to sign a contract in March and actually close say the following year.

    It is a shame that the banks being overwhelmed would cancel out your ability to take advantage of the credit. That doesn’t seem right for someone like yourself that played by the rules.

    I’m going to check into this more, I heard that the realtors may be asking for the closing period to be extended. Sixty days is not a lot of time.

    Thanks for your comment,
    Tim

  82. Tim Says: June 11th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    If I didn’t have a signed contract before April 30th, but i will close before June 30th, can I still qualify for the tax credit or am I out of luck unless they extend it?

  83. Tim Manni Says: June 11th, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Hey Tim,

    I believe you’re out of luck. Contracts had to be signed by April 30, no later.

    -Tim

  84. Cathy Says: June 15th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I am looking at a house to buy right now with a closing incentive to close by June 30. I am a first time homebuyer that didn’t have a contract signed in time for this tax credit. If they extend the tax credit again, will they honor a contract signed in June and closed in June, or will they only take into effect contracts signed as of the new starting date?

  85. Jack Says: June 15th, 2010 at 11:24 am

    A recent blurb in the Kiplinger Tax Letter(June 11th edition just out) mentions the possibility that Congress may extend the June 30 cutoff date to Sept 30 because of reports that a number of buyers are experiencing paperwork delays that will cause them to miss the deadline. They say it won’t expand the credit to apply to purchases after April 30.

    Very interesting.

  86. Tim Manni Says: June 15th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Jack,

    We’ve been hearing a lot about this in recent weeks, thanks for sharing this. We subscribe to the Kiplinger Tax Letter as well so we’ll be checking that out…I think the topic deserves a post.

    Thanks again!

    -Tim

  87. Tim Manni Says: June 15th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Cathy,

    Thanks for commenting. I doubt they’re going to extend the tax credit, and furthermore, I can’t really comment on something that may not happen yet. There are talks that the closing period may be extended past June 30, but you would still have to have the contract signed by April 30.

    Thanks for commenting, keep us posted,
    Tim

  88. Jeimy Says: June 17th, 2010 at 8:33 am

    For those needing the closing date deadline to be extended, it has! To Sept 30th. You still had to have been in contract by April 30th (so I”m still out of luck, which contract dated “rolled over” if an incident that happened with a home you were in contract with by deadline)

  89. Chris Says: June 17th, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Jeimy,

    What source is your information coming from. If accurate, this would be great news! I was in contract prior to 4/30 but the closing is being delayed due to slow processing of paperwork.

  90. Jack Says: June 17th, 2010 at 10:20 am

    The extension to September 30 is still not law, but it has been attached to a bill HR 4213 as approved by the Senate. We should know in the next week or so.

  91. Tim Manni Says: June 17th, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Hey Chris,

    Congress has approved extending the deadline until September 30. The amendment still requires the president’s signature. We anticipate it will be signed and become law pretty soon. We’ll keep you posted.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Tim

  92. Rebecca Says: June 19th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    We went under contract for our house on April 13, but we have recently found out that the appraisal was under the contract price and we have renegotiated the final price. We are still set to close on time, are we still eligible for the tax credit even though we renegotiated the price after April 30?

  93. Tim Manni Says: June 21st, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Rebecca,

    As far as my understanding goes, you must have had your contract signed no later than April 30 to be eligible.

    Thanks for asking,
    Tim

  94. Paula Pette Says: June 22nd, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    I think it’s ashame the tax credit does not extend to new home buyers without a contract,yet. I was depending on that money to care for me and my 12 children and my 10 dogs!!!
    Mad as heck in backwoods,Virginia!!!

    Paula

  95. Frank Says: June 22nd, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    In my situation i was on active duty for nine months (not outside of the US) but it was basic training and AIT, theres no way i couldve bought a home while i was gone, i was cut of from the world, AIT we had phones and weekend visits. I think we should be able to get the extension as well, but we dont even though it is a unique situation.

  96. Jack Says: June 23rd, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Paula, you are a funny woman! I guess you need a sense of humor, with all the “dependents” you have!

  97. Tim Manni Says: June 23rd, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Hey Paula,

    So your planning on buying a home soon? What’s your time frame? Are you still going to buy even though the tax credit isn’t open to new buyers?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  98. Tim Manni Says: June 23rd, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Frank,

    Good to hear from you. I’d check with your VA lender to see if you qualify for anything.

    Keep us posted,
    Tim

  99. Nick Says: June 30th, 2010 at 1:41 am

    I, like Frank am active duty. We are receiving orders to new duty stations on very short notice. I couldn’t of taken advantage of the credit due to me not knowing where I would be stationed next. I could of bought a house in TX and ending up going to Maryland. I think they should extend the credit onece more.

  100. Tim Manni Says: June 30th, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Nick,

    Thanks for commenting, and all of us certainly appreciate your service to our country. The bad news for you is lawmakers are currently only debating the extension of the closing deadline. If you don’t have a contract in place yet you’re likely out of luck.

    Being on active duty requires you to make a lot of sacrifices, and this here is just one example. Thanks again Nick, hope to hear from you soon,
    Tim

  101. loui Says: August 5th, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Hi i close the deal on 29th of june but i start the paper work on may 7th did i have any chance to get the tax credit or is useless because i start a week after also i bit on the same house 2 months before but i loose the bit but there was something missing came back on the market.

  102. Tim Manni Says: August 6th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Loui,

    You had to have signed your contract before April 30, 2010.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  103. Chammi Says: August 26th, 2010 at 11:25 am

    I signed the contract on 4/30 well in time ; but mine’s a new build and we will close 1 week of Nov. Is there any hope for me ?

  104. Tim Manni Says: August 26th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Chammi,

    Doesn’t seem like it — the extension gives buyers until Sept. 30.

    Thanks for asking,
    Tim

  105. Kankakee IL Says: April 27th, 2011 at 5:03 am

    Most of the lawmakers are just getting their names to be known no more no less. I hope real rehabilitation will come as soon we the time to fix everything. I just watched the movie “inside Job” these documentary movie has very good point to consider.

  106. ItsA Trap Says: February 20th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Here’s the real problem. If you used the tax credit and aren’t in your home for three years–think about all the foreclosures that are setting records again now that Obama settled with the banks about robosigning–you have 36 months to pay back the credit to the IRS. Pretty scary when you think of all the people losing their homes. Also you do realize even if you do stay in your home you have to pay this credit back over 15 years–so you’re just screwing up 15 years of tax returns for money now. Basically, the same old problem–people buying stuff they can’t really afford with a ‘money-now’ credit card attitude. If you ‘need’ the credit, then you should have bought a cheaper house. If you don’t ‘need’ the credit, don’t apply for it.

Leave a Comment

Receive Updates via Email

Delivered by FeedBurner

About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

Our bloggers:

Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

Connect With Us

  • rss feed icon
  • facebook icon
  • twitter icon

Compare Lowest Mortgage Rates

$