As of July 1, 2009, Florida has created a program to help first-time homebuyers get their federal tax credit early, allowing them to use up to $8,000 toward a down payment. The effective date for the program is July 1; however, it will probably be another few weeks before the funds are available. This is an exciting addition to the already popular tax credit. We see this as a way to help more and more first time homebuyers get into a home and stop paying rent.
While most first-time homebuyers qualify for the tax credit (given by the government as an income tax rebate regardless of tax owed), they once had to buy a home first, submit the info to the IRS through their tax return, and wait for the $8,000 rebate. To help these buyers get the money early enough to use it as a down payment, the State of Florida created a program of bridge loans, the Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program (FLHOP), where money can be borrowed from the state and then paid back after the new homeowner receives his tax credit.
Florida’s local housing administrators will oversee the down payment funds at the local level. (To find the administrator in your area, go to: http://apps.floridahousing.org/StandAlone/FHFC_ECM/AppPage_SHIPLGContacts.aspx
For specific questions about the $8,000 tax credit, homebuyers should consult a tax professional. Resources for understanding the tax credit and bridge loans: FAR’s Homebuyer Center: http://www.floridarealtors.org/AboutFar/homebuyercenter/index.cfm
If you are a first time homebuyer in Florida and would like to purchase Tampa Bay Real Estate, we are here to help you!