Time is running out for homebuyer tax credits

HOUSTON If you are thinking about taking advantage of the home buyers tax credit, time is not on your side. You have 58 days. That's all you have left if you want to take advantage of the $8,000 or $6,500 tax break for buying a home. Fifty-eight days. In the world of real estate, it's not much time.

"You need to make a move now," advised realtor Danny Frank. "You know you have very few days left in reality, because loans are taking 30 to 45 days, sometimes even 60 days, to get processed."

To get the home buyer tax credits you have to close on a home by April 30. If you start the loan process now, you probably have enough time to get the tax credit. Realtors say the questions are starting to come in from potential buyers.

Frank said, "How do I qualify, what can I do, do I really have time to use it and the answer is yes. The time is still available."

The tax credit can be used for newly constructed homes, too, and builders say the incentive is behind an increase in sales.

"It is $8,000 and the average down payment out here is less than $8,000," explained builder Jennifer Hamelet. "So they literally just get the money back in their pocket."

There is still time to use the credit for a new home, but after this weekend that may no longer be the case. To bring in new buyers, builders are offering to guarantee the tax credits for those who sign up soon.

"Anything that has a slab poured right now, we are guaranteeing our home owners we will meet that tax deadline," Hamelet promised. "If we don't make that deadline, we are prepared to take $8,000 off the price."

To get the tax credit, you have to close on a home by April 30 and the sale must be completed by June 30. There are income limits -- $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for married couples. You can find details on the rules on our Consumer Blog.

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