Build Your Own Home Buyer Tax Credit

Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Perhaps unsurprisingly, discussions about the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit dominated the Federal Taxation Committee’s assembly at NAR’s 2009 Midyear Meetings. While most of the people present were very happy with the fact that they could use this as a promotional tool, and many welcomed HUD Secretary Donovan’s announcement about monetizing the tax credit, they didn’t think the measure went far enough.

Specifically, their criticism of the tax credit related to two things:

  1. The amount: They think it should be somewhere in the $12,000-$15,000 range.
  2. The length: They want it extended beyond 2009, or even made permanent.

I’ve also heard people make other recommendations about the tax credit not covered in detail in this meeting, such as expanding it to all home buyers (not just first timers).

All this got me thinking: If you, the real estate pro, could build your own home buyer tax credit from scratch (while taking into account economic and political realities), what would it look like? What amount could home buyers get back? How long would it last? Who would be eligible? Let us know in the Comments section!

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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  1. I like FAR’s idea to advance the credit as cash @ closing. extend it’s available time frame. lessen effect of foreclosure on credit report if it is a result of job loss. high LTVs are no big deal at market bottom. they are a problem as market tops

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