Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Friend Buys a Condo & Gets a Home Buyer Tax Credit

Rocky Peak Park, Simi Valley, Ventura CountyImage by Rockin Robin via Flickr

I am so excited for my friend Shannon. She just closed on a condo in Simi Valley! I know you might think that this isn't the best time to be purchasing real estate, but the 2010 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit is what helped my friend Shannon make her dream of home ownership possible.

During her search, Shannon showed persistence, determination and thoughtfulness. Her search spanned several months and she only pursued properties that were in her price range and eligible for the tax credit. Unable to find something before the original tax credit was set to expire, she rejoiced when the tax credit was extended, giving her more time to continue her search. Shannon planned this move for quite a while, saving up money for a down payment and working hard at her job with a major health insurance company.

This is what I learned from her about the 2010 First-Time Home Buyer's Tax Credit:
  • First-time home buyers and those who have not owned a home in the last 3 years are eligible
  • Those eligible can receive up to an $8,000 federal tax credit
  • Income limits are $125,000 for single persons and $225,000 for married couples
  • To take advantage of the program, you must act by April 30, 2010
  • There may not be another extension of this tax credit program
I also learned that homeowners who have lived in their current home consecutively for 5 of the past 8 years and are looking to move into a new home can receive up to a $6,500 tax credit.

Here is a video with more information:

Click here for even more information:
Home Buyer Tax Credit

I have to say that Shannon's recent plunge into homeownership got me nostalgic about my own home buying experience back in 1994. Buying my own home, which I did as a single woman, was both a dream come true and a leap of faith. I was so ready to leave the apartment life behind and settle down in a permanent location. At that time, real estate prices in Los Angeles were near an all time low and interest rates were favorable, which made buying in West Los Angeles affordable. I also received an inheritance from my grandfather who died a few years earlier which gave the funds for a down payment.

I recognize how fortunate I was to be able to purchase a home back then. Now with my chronic illnesses and disability, it is a true comfort to be living in my own home with my husband and my furry children. I no longer need to contend with noisy neighbors on the other side of the bedroom wall, landlords, restrictions on pets and fluctuating rent payments. I can make all the modifications I need to my home to accommodate my current state of health. And I can head outside to my container garden, which has been a source of both occupational therapy, accomplishment and fresh vegetables for the past several years.

Congratulation Shannon on your new home and welcome to homeownership!

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