Tax break for 1st time home buyers

HOUSTON The League City home Jeff and Stephenie Alberti are looking at has enough room for their family, is located in a good neighborhood and comes with the $8,000 tax credit.

"It is definitely one of the bonuses that we have in order to be able to do this. It'll help," said Alberti.

Realtors say the first time home buyer tax credit has already helped them sell houses in what had been a slow time due to the recession. To take advantage of the tax credit you need to close on a home by December 1st but first time home buyers can't afford to wait much longer.

"It is taking between 45 to 60 days to get loans approved for people who are using the first time home buyers credit, so time is of the essence," said realtor Danny Frank.

Realtors say getting financing is still possible, but lenders are taking a closer look at applications and that can slow the process down.

"You have less than three months left, so you need to be out looking at homes, trying to make a selection and you also need to be sure you are getting yourself qualified, speak to your lender, find a home," said HAR chair Margie Dorrance.

Margie Dorrance is the incoming chair of the Houston Association of Realtors. She says there is no doubt about the success of the $8,000 tax credit thus far.

"Very successful, we have found here in Houston that many, many first time home buyers are taking advantage of this," she said.

To get the first time home buyer credit you have to close on the home by December 1st, so keep that in mind if you plan to take advantage of the program.

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