May 13, 2009 – HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s decision to allow consumers to use the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit to help cover their downpayment and closing costs on FHA-insured mortgages will be a big boost to the housing market, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).“The biggest obstacle for first-time buyers is coming up with a downpayment,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. “We commend Secretary Donovan for acting decisively to enable buyers to access the tax credit at the time of closing. This will help to stimulate home sales, stabilize housing and get the economy back on track.”
More information about these programs can be found on the National Council of State Housing Agencies Web site at www.ncsha.org/section.cfm/3/34/2920.
Previously, the home buyer would have been unable to access the tax credit until they filed their next annual tax return or an amended 2008 tax return and received the refund from the IRS.
Robson and others NAHB leaders discussed this matter and other housing-related issues with Secretary Donovan last week. “Secretary Donovan shares our view on the need for a housing and economic recovery,” said Robson. “We appreciate his leadership in moving swiftly to help first-time home buyers to access the tax credit up-front at the time of closing. The timing could not have been better as we are in the midst of the crucial spring home buying season.”
The next step is to see how FHA-approved lenders use HUD’s new guidelines to actually monetize the tax credit for first-time home buyers and structure the payback provisions of the loans. NAHB encourages lenders to act promptly to put these provisions into place.
To qualify for the tax credit, first-time home buyers must actually close on their home purchase by Dec. 1, 2009. Buyers can take the credit on their 2008 or 2009 income tax return.
For further information about the tax credit – including a detailed question and answer section and a number of home-buying resources for consumers – log on to NAHB’s consumer Web site at www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com. A Spanish version is also available to provide detailed information on the tax credit to Spanish-speaking first-time home buyers.