Tax credit extended for military families

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The home buyers tax credit officially expired for many consumers last month but there is a group of people who've been granted an extension.

Service members who may have missed the original deadline date for the tax credit, because they were serving overseas, have an additional year to take advantage of the program.

"If they take advantage of the credit they must put in a purchase contract by April 30, 2011 and must close by June 30, 2011," said Lisa Noon, Vice President of Virginia Association of Realtors.

The extension applies to military personnel, members of the Foreign Service, and employees of the intelligence community. Qualified first time home buyers can get an $8,000 tax credit. Existing homeowners looking to trade-up can get $6,500. There are additional requirements outside of being a service member.

"Those in the military have to have been serving overseas actively for at least 90 days since January 1, 2009 thru April 30 of this year," said Noon.

According to the National Association of Realtors, a total of 4.4 million people took advantage of both the first time and existing home buyers' programs. With the expansion at Fort Lee and other military posts statewide, realtors are expecting qualified service members to cash in on the federal program.

"With BRAC we have people moving in and out of the commonwealth so this is really a huge market for this when you look at the commonwealth of Virginia," said Noon.

Noon also says it's a buyer's market right now -- that inventory is high and interest rates continue to be low. It's a combination that will likely lead a number of service members marching toward their dream home.

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