More time for home buyer tax credit?

Derek and Jessica Blankenship
Derek and Jessica Blankenship

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

HOLTVILLE, AL (WSFA) - "We've still got all of our boxes sitting over here," says Derek Blankenship.

Derek and Jessica Blankenship will tell you that walking through their first home is very surreal.

"We were asking ourselves is this really our house yet?" adds Derek.

But the sign outside seals the deal.  The Blankenship's house is one of 1.4-million other homes sold with an $8,000 tax credit attached.  Right now Congress is considering new legislation to extend the $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers.  It would move the deadline from December to April.

"We're going to use some of it to pay off some of the house," says Derek.

It's good for folks like Derek and Jessica who never thought they see their first home so soon.

"When we heard about the tax credit and that it was going to be ending we went ahead and decided it would be best to buy now," says Derek.

But it's a win-win situation for the housing market too.

Realtors say the tax credit is like a shot in the arm--one they hope to get again.

Debbie Whitehouse is the co-owner of a realty office in Prattville.

In the last six months she's seen an influx in first time home buyers because of the tax incentive.

And it's helping more than just her business.

"If it's good for one buyer, it's possibly good for another buyer, or a realtor, or a builder, or a mortgage person," says Whitehouse.

It's one reason she and others want to see the tax credit continue.

It brings more people like the Blankenships to the market at a time realtors say they need it the most.

"The industry needs anything that it can get.  And this certainly helps," says Whitehouse.

The proposed bill being considered right now also offers a seperate tax credit for some current homeowners who purchase a new residence by April.

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