· Stipulates that the $8,000 tax credit does not have to be repaid, unlike the tax credit passed last summer (has a recapture provision if the home is sold in the first 36 months, though);
· Keeps the tax credit refundable, or claimable regardless of tax liability;
· Extends the "sunset" date from July 1, 2009 until Dec. 1, 2009 so that consumers can utilize it during the critical summer and fall buying months;
· Allows tax credit home buyers to participate in the mortgage revenue bond programs, such as Oregon Bond's RateAdvantage program; and
· Permits state housing finance agencies to help buyers at closing by advancing the credit amount as a loan using tax-exempt bond proceeds - this is even better than the Oregon Bond CashAdvantage program, as you may still take the really great rate on the RateAdvantage program.
While much of the focus has been on the home buyer tax credit, there are several other important components in the legislation that will help small businesses and bolster the housing market. Additional provisions that relate to housing in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will:
· Help home borrowers wanting to purchase or refinance homes in the high-cost markets by extending the 2008 FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limits of $729,750 through the end of 2009;
· Temporarily allow exchange of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit allocating authority for tax-exempt grants and appropriates $2 billion in HOME funding for affordable housing projects (this should make housing developers trying to keep their construction crews busy happy!)
See you at the closing table!
Karen Cooper - OR/CA Mortgage Consultant - www.Quality4Loans.com