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Extending the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Credit to $15,000

This article was written by in Real Estate and Home. 18 comments.

Update: The first-time home buyer tax credit has been extended and expanded. Click here for the latest details. The information below is now out-dated.

The Senate is considering a number of changes to the $8,000 first-time home buyers credit. Spurred on by Sen. Johnny Isakson from Georgia, the adjustments being considered seek to expand the credit to spur the real estate industry.

Here are the changes some Senators would like to make to the original law.

Expand the maximum credit from $8,000 to $15,000. When the first-time home buyer credit was first suggested as an amendment to the Senate’s 2009 Stimulus Bill, home buyers would stand to receive a credit worth 10% of the purchase price of the house up to $15,000, and the credit would be distributed over a course of two years. This amendment did not end up in the final law. The limit was reduced to $8,000.

Eliminate income limits for the credit. In the current law, the amount of the credit phases out when the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income is over $75,000 (single) or $150,000 (married) and fully eliminated when income reaches $95,000 or $170,000.

Make the credit available to all home buyers. Home buyers qualify within the “first-time” label if they have not owned a home in the past three years. The current credit is limited to the first-time home buyers, but the new legislation making the rounds would change the rules so any home buyer would receive the credit.

These changes will benefit many people who are deciding whether to buy a house in this market. It should continue to increase activity in the real estate industry and provide more work for real estate agents. It could, however, encourage buyers to spend more for a house than they believe it is truly worth.

Real estate investors (speculators) will also like these new rules for the tax credit if they become part of the law. Overextended consumers and real estate speculators led us to overpriced real estate values, a bubble was formed, and eventually deflated or collapsed. Will these changes to the law, if enacted, just put the real estate industry back into a precarious position or will they put is back on the right path?

Updated November 11, 2009 and originally published June 18, 2009.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

Can we STOP inflating the bubble?!?

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avatar 2 Luke Landes

When the bubble stopped inflating, the real estate industry ground to a halt. There is probably a balance somewhere we must find, and the Senators pushing this change feel the $8,000 tax credit wasn’t enough to find that balance. I don’t know if I agree with them, but that’s just my opinion as a potential first-time buyer who would like prices to remain low for my own satisfaction (until right after I buy, of course).

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avatar 3 Anonymous

How dare congress spend my hard-earned tax dollars so wastefully! They must be stopped! After I get my $15,000 tax credit, though. No use being hasty.

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avatar 4 Anonymous

Any word on if they will extend it past Dec 1st? I’m not buying a house until May 2010 :0(

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avatar 5 Anonymous

I think we need to learn our lesson from the current financial downturn caused by bubble in hosuing..lets not go down the same road again.

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avatar 6 Anonymous

Can’t wait to sell my house to my neighbor and vice versa. We each get $15,000 and don’t have to move.

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avatar 7 Anonymous

Wouldn’t it be better to encourage behavior that really creates value instead of encouraging people to move house more often? Is people moving house even a good thing? Even if the credit stays restricted to first-time homebuyers, it’s taking customers from people who rent their property.

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avatar 8 Anonymous

15,000 would help alot and this time only sell to people who have good credit .dont give a loan for 300,000 to a guy making 35,000 year because hes a minority lol

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avatar 9 Anonymous

Why they dont give you a tax free stimulus in the house note… make it tax free after 10 years or something like that or for life…. It is not enough to just pay taxes of your paycheck you have to pay taxes off everything this is ridiculous…

This is worst than a druglord or a loanshark outside of your house waiting for you to pay him for his loan…

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