Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Down payment assistance makes home ownership easier

Homebuyers can take advantage of a variety of tax credits to choose the perfect home.

An array of financial assistance for home purchase is available for qualified buyers in just about every income level. Of course there’s the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers and $6,500 for repeat buyers, which expire on June 30, but potential buyers can also look for help with the down payment.

Here’s a run down of what to expect:

The city of St. Charles– The HOME St. Charles Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance Program helps low to moderate income purchasers to become homeowners. HOME St. Charles will make up to $10,000 available for qualified households to help with the down payment and closing costs. Down payment assistance for St. Louis County is $3,000 and Jefferson County $7,500.

Income levels apply and the sale price must be under $185,000. A mandatory nine-hour home buying seminar and a one-on-one counseling session to review finances and credit history is also required.

And there’s more. The Missouri Housing Development Commission is offering up to a $1,250 credit in property tax breaks for qualified buyers with an extra $500 thrown in if the house is energy efficient or if the buyer begins energy efficient steps within 60 days of closing. The MHDC offers more assistance, administering a number of housing programs, from purchasing a home with a First Place loan, assistance for veterans, buying property in a disaster area, foreclosed properties and home repair grants.

The federal government is also offering tax credits for energy efficient upgrades, up to $1,500 or 30 percent of the improvement cost, which includes windows and doors, insulation, roofs, air conditioners and furnaces. The tax credit is applied for either 2009 or 2010 taxes and expires on December 31, 2010.

With all of this assistance, plus a wide variety of properties to chose from, now is really the time to make that move!

Written by Myra Vandersall

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