On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. All told, the bill calls for the spending of $787 billion dollars over the next number of years on the expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare programs, and domestic spending on health care, education, and infrastructure, which includes the entire energy sector.
The bill sets aside $5 billion for the weatherizing of modest-income homes, but you have to know how to get that money. A lot of that money will be distributed as Tax Credits on the installation of new, more energy-efficient products that will help wean the United States off of its dependence on fossil fuels. Listed below are the specifics for first time homebuyers.
The ARRA allots $6.6 billion dollars toward subsidizing new homes for first time buyers. The program allows first time homebuyers to receive an $8,000 credit on their taxes for a home purchased between January 1st, 2009 and December 1, 2009.
In the past, this required the homeowner to pay back the credit, however that has been waved for first time homebuyers who live in their residence for at least three years. For those homeowners who would otherwise qualify, but have already filed their 2008 tax returns and claimed the previous credit of $7,500, they may amend their returns to claim balance of credit based on this change.
Housing prices have plummeted over the past few months, and while the housing market has not yet stabilized, there will be plenty of real estate on the market that is priced at fractions of what it may have once cost. Obviously, if you cannot afford the home, give or take about $8,000, you should not overstretch yourself, as that is partially what got us into this mess in the first place.
However, if you are seriously in the housing market, there may not be a better time to buy.
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In case you already own your home and are just looking to make improvements, take a look at GREENandSAVE.com for your next Green Home Remodeling project. Or, for more information on one major project that can save you money on utility bills, take a look at the GREENandSAVE article on Smart Roofs.