$8000 Homebuyer Tax Credit – Grand Rapids Real Estate Market Update

UPDATE – 2/16/2009: Here is a pdf document from NAR (National Association of Realtors) documenting the changes to the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. CLICK HERE.

So what was a $7500 “First Time” home buyer tax credit, then it was reported to be a $15,000 home buyer tax credit, was changed at the last minute to an $8000 home buyer tax credit.

So basically, this is what we ended up with:

  • It has increased from $7500 to $8000 but it is capped at 10% of the purchase price.
  • It is no longer a loan, it is a true credit to home buyers but the buyer must remain in the home for 3 years.
  • It is STILL only for “first time” home buyers, which is defined as someone that hasn’t owned real estate in the last 3 years.
  • It is applicable for anyone that buys or has bought 1/1/2009 and 12/1/2009, extending the date from 7/1/2009.
  • Full credit is available to those making $75,000 or less or $150,000 for joint filers.

It would have been much better for them to make this tax credit available to everyone, not just those that have owned real estate in the last 3 years, but still it is a good incentive and together with the low interest rates and falling prices, it is a good time to purchase a home or condo.

For information on buying or selling real estate in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas, please visit my website at GRRealEstateInfo.com or contact me any time.

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  1. Posted February 15, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    This is fantastic! My wife and I have been watching this progress – the whole time biting our nails and anxiously waiting for the outcome. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for couples like us who are barely able to get into their first home. We have spent our 5yrs together living in cheap apartments and we have lived frugally in order to pay down our debts and be responsible. Then I got a great job with a salary income and for the first time we considered buying for real this time! When we found out about the $7,500 we became completely excited. I must comment that this can only help the economy, now with it going up to $8,000 even more, because we will be purchasing a fridge, washer and dryer, and other things which we would have responsibly waited to buy as we had the money. Now, we will jump out there and start spending! I know several other friends who are doing the same, and this has spurred some of my friends who weren’t going to buy to now start looking too!

  2. Posted February 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Russ, thanks for reading. I agree with you that this is a good incentive. I like that it is a real credit and not a loan. If you need any help with anything, let me know.

  3. Mike C.
    Posted February 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


    I’ve been reading all over about this new housing tax credit. Some people say the $7,500 tax credit (the one that has to be repaid over 15 years) will PHASED OUT and replaced by the new $8,000 tax credit (the one that does NOT have to be repaid). I bought my house in May of 2008 and just filed my taxes and accepted the $7,500 tax credit (knowing that I have to repay it). Will I be able to replace the $7,500 tax credit with the new $8,000 tax credit and not have to pay it back? Some are saying it’s only for people who buy homes in 2009. Some say it will replace the $7,500 tax credit ! Which is true? Where can I find some CONCRETE info. on this? I’m not complaining, I just want to know the real answer. Obviously the difference between repaying 7,500 and getting 8,000 for free is HUGE. If anybody has answers, I’d appreciate it. Thanks.

  4. Dave
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 2:28 am | Permalink

    I am single and bought a home 11/08. I havent filed my taxes yet and deffinately want going to claim the $7500 tax credit. I’ve read that the new credit is only $4000 for indivituals, not increased to $8000 like most believe. Can I still claim the $7500 credit and be required to pay back it interest free as opposed to taking the free $4k?

  5. Posted February 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Mike, the new changes are effective from January 1st, 2009 and since you purchased your home in 2008, you will still be required to repay the $7500.

    Dave, if you purchased your home in 2008, you will have the $7500 tax credit and repayment starts in 2010. The new credit is for homes purchased after Jan 1st, 2009 and is $8000.

    Check out this link from NAR outlining the differences between the two. http://homesection.com/files/2009/02/nar-first-time-buyer-tax-credit-changes-2-13-09.pdf

  6. Carlos
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Okay, so If I bought my house last year in july and I qualify and meet all the requirements but I will file single. Will I get the full amount or Half?

  7. Posted February 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Carlos, you will get up to a maximum of $7500, or 10% of the sales price of your home.

  8. bekah
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    can you claim the $8000 for the 2008 year? I’m purchasing a home in the next 30 days, and am a first time home buyer, but what about being able to claim in on the 2008 tax year? can we still do that? I’m in trouble if not, because i’m counting on repaying $5000 from that amount a lot sooner than next year.


  9. Posted February 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Bekah, if you haven’t filed your ’08 tax returns you should be eligible for it. Check with your tax guy/gal.

  10. Erin
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    My accountant is saying I have to wait until 2009 to recieve my credit. I bought a condo two weeks ago (first time home buyer), and she is in the process of reviewing my returns now, I have not filed withthe IRS yet. Can I receive the credit this year?

  11. Angie
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    We were in our purchase agreement during November but then we will close in a couple of weeks. Will we get back 7500 or 8000 and can we still claim it on our 2008 taxes if we haven’t filed??

  12. greg
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I am a single guy closing of my house in march of this year….do i get the full 8k of will it be only 4k? I’ve heard both sides and dont know what to believe

  13. Posted February 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Greg, you will get the full $8000 or 10% of the sale price.

  14. Posted February 17, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Erin, if you purchased this year, you will be able to claim the tax credit when you file your 2008 tax returns, this year.

  15. Posted February 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Angie, if you closed on the property this year, you will be able to claim the $8000 (or 10% of the sale price) on your 2008 tax returns.

  16. bekah
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    thank you!

  17. LINO
    Posted March 4, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I am a first time buyer, bought my apt on Feb 2008, do i qualify for any of these stimulus.
    i tried to do loan modification but faild in the intent because I am up to date, lol

  18. Jeff
    Posted March 6, 2009 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    OK, I haven’t been able to find an answer to this specific scenario:

    I purchased my current home in 2002. I was married two years later. The home is in my name only. My wife and I are getting ready to purchase a new home. If we buy the house jointly, are we eligible since she’s never owned a home? Or, if that doesn’t work, can she purchase the home alone with me as guarantor on the loan (she doesn’t have the credit to purchase solely) and be eligible for the credit?

  19. mystyleelife
    Posted May 22, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Great post! We are offering a free First Time Home Buyers Workshop in Charleston, SC on May 30 that will include a presentation about the $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. Sign up at http://www.rehava.com.

  20. Dorothy
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    we have with my son rehabilitated an old house over the past 1.5 yrs. He is now purchasing from us at full market value. I’ve heard that an individual purchasing a home from a family member cannot qualify for the tax credit. do you know if there are stipulations in the bill that make exceptions for individuals purchasing at full market value in a bonofied real estate deal?

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