Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended for Some Military Personnel

Due to the U.S. military’s involvement in overseas conflicts from 2008 to the present, the government has extended the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit until April 30, 2011, for some military personnel.Those who have been unable to receive this benefit due to military service now have the opportunity to utilize the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers or the $6,500 tax credit for existing home buyers.Qualifying for the Tax CreditActive-duty military members who served at least three months outside the U.S. during the last year may be able to purchase a home with the tax credits. Service members have until April 30, 2011, to sign a purchase agreement on a home and until June 30, 2011, to close on the property.

The requirements to qualify for the tax credits are the same for military member as they were for the general public, including:* The home’s purchase price cannot be greater than $800,000* Individuals can’t make more than $125,000 per year; married couples can’t have a combined income greater than $225,000* First-time buyers and their spouses cannot have owned a home in the last three years* To qualify for the $6,500 tax credit, military members must also have lived in the same house for five of the last eight years.Why is a VA loan beneficial?With a VA loan, qualified borrowers will not only be eligible to take advantage of the tax credits, but they will also have access to the numerous financial benefits the VA loan program offers.The VA loan program has helped over 18 million veterans and active duty service members achieve homeownership since 1944. VA loans allow military buyers the opportunity to purchase a home with no money down and without the need for mortgage insurance. The program also offers competitive rates and no penalties for early loan repayment. Unlike most conventional loans, VA loans allow for a higher debt-to-income ratio and even permit borrowers with a history of bankruptcy or foreclosure the chance to obtain a VA loan.About a quarter of each loan provided by the VA Loan program is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. That guarantee gives VA lenders greater confidence when lending to borrowers. This confidence means qualified borrowers are more likely to receive lower loan rates, which can save a family thousands over the life of the loan allowing for greater quality of life.

This article was written by James Kelley, who focuses on VA benefits for real estate at www.VABenefitBlog.com


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