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Home Buyer Tax Credit Can Be Applied to Purchase Costs

June 3, 2009

U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan recently announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will allow home buyers to apply the administration’s new $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit toward the purchase costs of a FHA-insured home. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 offers home buyers a tax credit of up to $8,000 for purchasing their first home. Families can only access this credit after filing their tax returns with the IRS. Home buyers using FHA-approved lenders can apply the tax credit to their down payment in excess of 3.5 percent of appraised value or their closing costs, which can help achieve a lower interest rate.

Currently, borrowers applying for an FHA-insured mortgage are required to make a minimum 3.5 percent down payment on the purchase of their home. Current law does not permit approved lenders to monetize the tax credit to meet the required 3.5 percent minimum down payment, but, under the terms of the announcement, lenders can now monetize the tax credit for use as additional down payment, or for other closing costs, which can help achieve a lower interest rate.

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