Buyers Beware: Time is of the Essence but Knowledge is Power for the First-Time Homebuyer
Buying a home is a big decision; a choice that should be carefully thought out. Unfortunately, time is running out for eligible first-time buyers as the November 30th deadline for the $8,000 nonrepayable federal tax credit quickly approaches. Although time is of the essence, first-time buyers must do their due diligence by making sure they qualify for this tax credit.
Realtors have seen an influx of much needed business as people are anxious to take advantage of the government’s offer. Many of the buyers who have kept a keen eye on the market waiting for the best time to buy are finally getting off the fence. Papers have reported that buyers should try and have contracts in place by September 30th as it typically takes two months to overcome several hurdles, such as inspections and mortgage approvals.
Buyers must be aware of the strict list of criteria needed to qualify for this tax credit. The Miami Herald recently reported that 24 criminal investigations are underway as fraudulent claims have been filed across the U.S. Yes, accidents do happen, but in some cases smooth talking tax preparers and dishonest taxpayers have capitalized off falsifying claims to gain access to this federal tax credit. A Florida tax preparer who recently entered a guilty plea last month faces up to three years in prison, and/or a $250,000 fine.