$8,000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit – Extended, Expanded, and Modified

November 9, 2009

(Thanks to my friend Donna Harris with RE/MAX Austin Skyline over in Austin, Texas for this GREAT explanation of the tax credit extension!)

The $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit has been extended, expanded, and modified. It is no longer just for First Time Home Buyers, but it’s also for Move-up Home Buyers.

There are many rules you need to know in order to comply with this credit, and yes, it truly is a credit as long as you’re in the house for a minimum of three years. If you sell prior to three years, you will have to pay it back.

$8000 first time home buyer tax creditFirst Time Home Buyer means someone who has not owned a primary residence in the last three years. This means you could own an investment property and still qualify, but not a homesteaded property.  If you are married and your spouse has owned a primary residence, but you have not owned one, you do not qualify for the tax credit.  However, something new is that if you have a parent who has owned property and they co-sign for you, you could still qualify.

This tax credit is mostly referred to as the $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, however, not everyone gets $8000.  The number is the maximum number you are allotted for the tax credit and it’s based on 10% of the purchase price, not to exceed $8000.  In plain English, that means if the house you purchase is $80,000 or more, you will get the $8000. If you buy a $73,000 property, you would only qualify for $7300.  Make sense?

Move-Up Home Buyers are a new category for this tax credit, and there are more rulesYou must have owned a primary residence for five consecutive years out of the last eight years. That means, if you have owned a property that is currently being used as a rental, but you lived in it for five consecutive years prior to renting it within the last eight, you qualify.  If you bought an investment property that you rented out a few years ago, but now currently have lived in it for five years, you qualify.  Simple enough…

The Tax Credit for the Move-Up Home Buyer is limited to $6500 and not $8000. Same rules apply where it’s 10% of the sales price, not to exceed $6500.

The income requirements have changed as well, and the limits are the same whether a First Time Home Buyer or a Move-Up Home Buyer.  Single tax filers can receive the entire tax credit up to $125,000 whereas they can receive a partial credit from $125,001 to $145,000.  Joint tax filers can receive the entire tax credit up to $225,000 whereas they can receive a partial credit from $225,001 to $245,000.  Above these income limits, home buyers are not eligible for anything.

There has also been a purchase price cap added to this new law which was not part of the previous one. The cap is $800,000.   That’s a lot of house, but if you can afford that much house, you probably have bigger things to worry about than this small tax credit.

Of course there is a deadline for everything, and this new law actually has two deadlines you need to pay attention toThe first one is that you must be under contract with a property by April 30, 2010.  The second deadline is that the property must close and fund prior to June 30, 2010. That way, no one can wait until the last minute to purchase homes and then hope they close on time.  There is a two month buffer, but that actually means you only have less than six months to find a property and get an executed contract!!

The above does not cover every single rule in this new law, but the above takes care of 99% of the cases.  There is a rule that you cannot buy a house from a blood relative and receive the tax credit, but you can buy a house from a step-relative and still receive the credit… and others that are very rare circumstances.

Email or call me today for further questions, and let’s get you into a new house before six months come and go!  The time will move faster than you think!  And if you have a house to sell to be one of the Move-Up Home Buyers, we need to get that house on the market ASAP!

If you would like to buy or sell a home in  Fort Wayne Indiana or in the surrounding communities, please call us at 260-704-0842, or you may want to visit our website for more specific information on the communities we service:  Fort Wayne Real Estate, Huntington Real Estate, Columbia City, Bluffton, Roanoke, Warsaw and Winona Lake, Auburn, New Haven and North Manchester, IN.

Relocating to Fort Wayne? Contact us to see how we can help!

Fort Wayne Realtors Jared and Amanda Christiansen


The Christiansen Team

WE work, YOU win!

Find us online:  Find is on Facebook!Follow us on Twitter!Google us!



  1. I am in the process of purchasing my 1st home and have a question on the purchase of a “relative” house. I am buying the house from the estate of my Father’s aunt and the executor of the estate is my Grandmother. Will I qualify for the Tax credit?

  2. As long as you are buying it and it will be in your name then I believe you qualify. I would talk to your accountant to make 100% sure. Remember that you need to fit the income criteria and not have owned a home in the last 3 years for a first time homebuyer.

    Please let me know if there is anything we can do for you. Thanks Tia!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: