Good News for Home Buyer’s Today: Energy Efficient Housing Tax Credits & Grants

This week I finally closed a 4 month long shortsale transaction for newlywed Danny and Nicole, happy first time home buyers (or what I call it virgin buyers) accomplished their first milestone of life together; the purchase of their first home.  Their first home is a good 2 story single family home in a planned urban development in Chino Hills area with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, built in the 1990's, bright and airy, very clean, open floor plan, just need minor fixings and has lots of potential.  Because Danny and Nicole bought a home this year, like all first time home buyers today can get $8,000 tax credit thanks to Obama's Stimulus Bill. 

* Homebuyer Tax Credit – According to the Stimulus Bill, the bill provides for a $8,000 tax credit that would be available for first-time home buyers for the purchase of a prinicpal residence from 1/1/2009-12/1/2009 and the credit does not require repayment.  Most of the mechanics of the credit will return to reduce the buyer's income tax liability.  If any credit amount remians unused, then the unused amount will be refunded as a check to the buyer.

Not only do Danny and Nicole get tax credits from Uncle Sam, if they decided to do some remodeling such as buying new apliances, changing windows, flooring, paint, lighting, toilets, faucets, showerheads, etc.; they are able to claim tax credits and grants from doing certain retrofits.  As a green realtor, I always inform my buyers about energy efficient advantages when they mentally move- into their ideal home.  As most home buyers look at dated decors and rusty appliances, I often encourage them to imagine the homes' potential if they remodel it green and take the tax advantages which can save buyer's today lots of $$$. 

 *Energy Efficient Housing Tax Credits & Grants – In order to promote green jobs and energy independence, the bill provides state and local governments with $6 billion in energy efficiency and conservation grants for energy audits, retorfits and financial incentives.  Through 2010, homeowners will be able to claim a 30% tax credit (up from 10%) for purchases of new furnaces, windows, and insulation.  Another $5 billion will be available to modernize the nation's electricity grid and install smart meters on homes that help to save consumers money.  There is also $5 billion for weatherization assistance for low income households and $2 billion for federally assisted housing (section 8 ) efficiency efforts.

When people ask me if this year is a good time to buy, my repsonse is that it's a great time to buy!  Most homes on the market are for sale ( I love buying things on sale), you can get tax credit if this is your first house, and as a bonus you get more tax credit if you make your home a greener home.  It worked out beautifully for Danny and Nicole, they bought their first home $10,000 below market value, paid no closing cost (which I negotiated for them), get $8,000 tax credit this year, and apply for rebates from local city programs and utility companies.  Overall, they saved money and is happily living in their new dream home.

Be Green, Be Gorgeous,

Your Green Realtor,   May Hsu


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