Homebuyers rush to get first-timers tax credit

Contracts must be finalized today to qualify for tax credit

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Tony Febus finally got tired of moving from place to place and handing out rent checks.

Tony Febus intended to rent again, but started looking to buy when he heard of the first-time homebuyer tax credit. He's set to close on this Aiken townhouse. 
  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Tony Febus intended to rent again, but started looking to buy when he heard of the first-time homebuyer tax credit. He's set to close on this Aiken townhouse.

Helped by an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, Febus, 29, soon should have a space to call his own after signing a contract Wednesday for a Chloe Lane townhome in Aiken.

"I was honestly going to rent again and then I thought about it and that (the credit) would help a lot with expenses," Febus said.

A flurry of homebuyers such as Febus are still trying to lock in contracts to beat today's deadline to qualify for tax credits, according to local real estate agents.

First-time buyers are eligible for an $8,000 tax credit, while those who have previously bought a home can receive $6,500. Contracts must be finalized by today, and buyers have until June 30 to close on the deals.

Marilyn Mercado, a real estate agent in Meybohm Realtors' Tobacco Road office, was working Wednesday with two clients, including Febus, to beat the deadline.

Febus, a general manager for the Pizza Joint, said he first thought about purchasing a home after a friend mentioned the tax credit to him and began looking in March. He estimated he visited between 25 and 30 homes since then.

Recent home sales data indicate there are more buyers such as Febus. Nationally, existing home sales rose 6.8 percent in March to 5.35 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Mercado said she was still showing homes to potential buyers this week as they raced against the clock. She said she wished Congress would continue the program as it did in the past.

"I surely wish we could get that extended," she said. "It's just a fantastic program, especially for people with low incomes."

The expiration of the tax credits has combined with what is traditionally a strong spring selling season for the real estate industry, said Jeff Keller, broker for Century 21 Jeff Keller Realty.

"We've seen a little jump in the action, but it's nothing dynamic," he said. "It's normal this time of year for things to pick up."

The tax credits have helped buoy the home-buying market, said Keller, adding that low interest rates on mortgages will be key to continuing the upward trend.

"They don't realize what kind of bonus the government is giving people to buy these houses," he said.

Matt Anderson, a real estate agent in Meybohm Realtors' North Augusta office, said he has been working to close four deals from the past two months that were a direct result of the tax credits.

Meybohm's North Augusta office has seen an increase in business of about 30 percent since this time last year, he said.

"That's a lot of money for people right now, and people who maybe thought they wanted to purchase something in the next year or two are moving that up simply to take advantage of it," Anderson said.

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Ga Values
27
Points
Ga Values 04/30/10 - 05:33 am
0
0
Thanks to our Big Spending

Thanks to our Big Spending ,Big Government RINO Johnny Isakson the TAXPAYER has thrown away $34 BILLION on this BAILOUT.. Time for change Johnny has to go.

cristinadh
6
Points
cristinadh 04/30/10 - 05:56 am
0
0
I just don't see where a

I just don't see where a townhome is a good buy!!

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 04/30/10 - 06:49 am
0
0
The good Republicans at

The good Republicans at Meybohm are against gov spending unless it, of course, benefits them.

Dudeness
1546
Points
Dudeness 04/30/10 - 08:13 am
0
0
That tax credit only helps

That tax credit only helps with expenses until it runs out. Can these people afford the houses once the mortgage is coming due on a monthly basis or is this going to lead to another bail-out/mortgage alteration situation?

disgusted_taxpayer
0
Points
disgusted_taxpayer 04/30/10 - 08:52 am
0
0
Be warned!! This Tax Credit

Be warned!! This Tax Credit is not as easily obtained as they would have you believe!! Best have your finances already together, and rely not on this credit. We purchased our first home nine months ago, applied for the credit, and WE'RE STILL WAITING!! This us the case for many first time buyers. The govt. gave away so much of this money to people who didn't actually buy homes, and now the process has been made difficult for those of us who actually followed protocol.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 04/30/10 - 09:02 am
0
0
Well, this article really

Well, this article really strikes a nerve with me.

I'm so glad I could wake up this morning and be greeted with an article that confirms that all of my hard work today will pay off. I will work so that I can turn over almost 1/3 of my paycheck to the Federal government just so we can buy all these first time homeowners a shiny new home. I hope they enjoy the fruits of MY labor today.

I just love Jeff Kellers Quote ""They don't realize what kind of bonus the government is giving people to buy these houses".

Please, let me re-write that, stating the real truth. "They don't realize what kind of sacrifice the US taxpayers are making so that they can buy these houses using someone elses hard earned cash."

Thanks US Government. And thanks realtor lobby groups. You've kept the American dream alive. Tax the haves & give to the have nots.

workedforit
0
Points
workedforit 04/30/10 - 09:24 am
0
0
Where is my money, I worked
Unpublished

Where is my money, I worked hard, did without, saved up and bought my house already, actually on my fourth one. Where is my handout from the giverment for my houses? What reward is there to sacrafice and work hard for something if the idiots in Washington are going to reward those who do not?

cristinadh
6
Points
cristinadh 04/30/10 - 09:25 am
0
0
Chillen.. couldn't agree with

Chillen.. couldn't agree with you more!!!.....

ArmedandLegal
0
Points
ArmedandLegal 04/30/10 - 11:19 am
0
0
Um, Im buying a new home and

Um, Im buying a new home and getting $8,000 tax credit - I've been paying "1/3rd" my paycheck - why cant I get a tax credit without grief?

edit: Why such broad statements to make it sound like everyone utilizing the credit are getting a free pass? Sounds like someone pee'd in your cheerios this morning.

Just for record we would have closed on our new home in June regardless of any credit - but I am not going to turn down $8,000 cash. Now that would just be plain stupid don't you think? I ain't poor, but I ain't rich either.

disgusted_taxpayer
0
Points
disgusted_taxpayer 04/30/10 - 11:30 am
0
0
Armed and Legal, I agree. I

Armed and Legal,

I agree. I am not a govt. freeloader. I am a housewife who cringes everytime I see the amount of taxes taken from my husband's check. I am a housewife who has to budget well to buy the same groceries that others are using EBT to purchase. I am a housewife who watched my husband save, cut back, and work hard to get his family a home all while supporting those who refuse to do the same. So there was no way we were going to refuse money that is rightfully ours anyway.

cristinadh
6
Points
cristinadh 04/30/10 - 11:57 am
0
0
Tax payers money working!!

Tax payers money working!!

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