As many of you know, we purchased our home last year. Since it was our first home purchase, we were able to take advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit. When we bought our home, we didn't realize that the tax credit was going to end up being so important to us. In fact, it has really saved us some trouble!
Just a few short months after we purchased our home, my hubby was laid off from his job of ten years. Thankfully, our house payment actually was down from what we were paying in rent, and even our utilities were lower, so we didn't have the added worry of the bills we would've had at our old house. However, there was still a lot that needed taken care of that we knew we couldn't afford on just his unemployment checks. We filed an amended return and were able to get our first time home buyer tax credit sent to us. In fact, we had filed for it before he was laid off, and the money arrived less than a week after he received his termination papers.
The tax credit ended up being such a blessing for us. Our a/c had not worked all summer, which meant our heat would not work in the winter unless we got it fixed. We had someone from church do the repairs at the cost of the parts, which we wouldn't have had the money for without the credit. Then our washing machine died. There went more of the return we received. We did actually get to use some of it on fun, taking a week-long trip (while my hubby continued to look for jobs online), but for the most part it was spent on repairs, medical bills, and unexpected expenses.
I've talked to a few other people who have used their tax credit to make repairs to their home, or to decorate, or buy new furniture. Still another used it to purchase a used car and know that she wouldn't have to be making car payments. There are so many great benefits to the tax credit, not to mention the peace of mind of owning your own home rather than having to rent. And with so many great homes for sale (those being sold by owners and those that are foreclosures), what better way is there to help boost the housing market, and in return the economy?
That is why it is so great that the tax credit was extended into 2010, with some changes made to it. Now it isn't just for first time home buyers, but also for those that have not owned a home within the last three years. There is also a credit available for those who own a home that they've lived in for five consecutive years during the past eight years. The tax credit is up to $8000 for first time buyers, and up to $6500 for qualified owners, but you have to act fast to get in on it. The 2010 home buyer tax credit ends soon, and you must at least have a contract by April 30, and close by June 30.