Help for Harris County home buyers

September 29, 2010 5:41:40 AM PDT
The $8,000 home buyer tax credit helped to sell a lot of homes before it expired. But if you are looking to move into a home in Harris County, there is another tax credit you can cash in on. This one is available for any home buyer who qualifies and it can be worth up to $2,000. The tax credit comes from $50 million the federal government has given the Harris County Housing Finance Corporation and it's available to families who probably don't know they qualify.

Steven and Silvia Davis love their home.

Silvia said, "We have pretty much everything we were looking for."

The family moved in over a year ago thanks in part to tax credits that give money back to the couple when they file their income tax returns.

"In addition to the tax refund we get a mortgage credit certificate, like a credit towards the mortgage," Steven explained. "In our case it's somewhere in the neighborhood of an additional $1,500."

The Davis family is taking advantage of a program offered by the Harris County Housing Finance Corporation that gives buyers 30 percent of their mortgage interest back in the form of a federal income tax credit for the life of a home loan up to $2,000 every year.

"We actually have a baby on the way and we are going to be able to pay off a lot of bills," said Steven.

The program was given $50 million by the federal government and so far about 60 percent of the money has been spoken for. The cash back helps some buyers qualify for loans.

Charolotte Bunnell with Bank of America said, "With that being added on to their income that lowers their debt to income ratio, so that is going to help them to better qualify for the loan."

The program is available for buyers mainly in unincorporated Harris County as long as they meet income requirements. For instance, a couple can't make more than $78,120 and families of three or more cannot make more than $91,140 and their homes purchase price must be lower than $298,155.

Billy Burge with the Harris County HFC explained, "It really gives you back some after tax dollars that you can spend on other things."

The program is run by the Harris County Housing Finance Corporation and the rules for the program will change after the first of the year. Borrowers have to use FHA, VA conventional loan or rural development loan.

Homes have to be purchased outside the city limits of Houston, Baytown, Deer Park, La Porte, League City, Missouri City, Pasadena and Pearland.

Call the Mortgage Credit Certificate Hotline at 713-260-3553 for more information.

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