First-time home buyers could get a break

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Last fall's financial crisis was sparked by a collapse of the nation's housing market.

The lake area did not see a lot of foreclosures, but the government's $8,000 tax incentive for first-time home buyers has contributed to local housing sales.

The White House is looking at extending the program to boost the number of home sales.

"I'm sure it's to keep the economy going in the right direction," says Valerie Cox, a realtor for Flavin Realty. "A lot of the home buyers we have here are first time home buyers, so that's why they are focusing on that large group."

Not only could the extension boost home sales, but it could also benefit more first time home buyers who have not yet been approved.

"If you're not a gambler, you might want to go for it now," says Cox.

The tax credit applies to the following:

  • All first-time home buyers, which also includes individuals who have not bought a home in the last three years.
  • Applies to any kind of "new" or "resale" home.
  • Home purchase must occur on or after January 1, 2009 to December 1, 2009.
  • The purchase date is in effect when the closing occurs.

Realtors say buyers need to take advantage of this tax incentive now because it takes up to three months to close on a home.

Mike Fraser, a lender for Progressive Mortgage says now is the time to come in for a mortgage on a home.

"We would like them to come in with their assets, bank statements, and 401Ks so that we can tell them what loan product best serves their need," says Fraser.

For more information on the tax incentive click to the right of the screen on "Home Tax Credit."

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