Apr 28, 2010 5:58 AM by Jeannette Hynes

Tax credit deadline extended for some in military

The deadline for the federal home buyers tax credit is Friday, unless you're an active member of the military.  For any member of the military who has served 90 consecutive days overseas since January 1, 2009, that person may be eligible to wait another year to take advantage of the home buyers tax credit.

Real estate agents in Southern Colorado say they've been very busy the past few weeks, drawing up contracts for their clients to hit Friday's deadline.

"The tax credit has been huge. A year ago, there was a lot of fear. People were afraid to do anything, and what I've seen is people are excited about real estate again. People are talking about it at work. They're seeing the opportunities," says Jeff Ryder, Realtor with RE/MAX Properties.

Natalie and Tommy Ryan have just moved into their first home, after living in a one-bedroom apartment.  They don't have much furniture to fill up the house, but they say the tax credit was a big reason they made the move to home ownership.  They say they have a lot of plans for that $8,000.

"We've talked about reinvesting it back in the house. There's a bathroom downstairs we want to finish. A fence in the backyard, a deck, and then furniture. We've definitely spent it three times over," says Tommy Ryan.

Once this tax credit deadline passes, economists say a drop in home sales will happen, as the drop in car sales happened after "Cash for Clunkers."  The housing economy in El Paso County, however, is moving in the right direction.

"Come June, July, end of August when people are moving for kids, school districts, we should see a very vibrant summer [for home sales]," says local economist Fred Crowley of University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

Crowley says buying a house now is more affordable than it has been in 10 years, and adding in the home buyers tax credit is a rare bonus.

"If you miss this [credit], this will probably never be repeated again certainly in any one's normal lifetime. Once in a lifetime opportunity, as was the 'Cash for Clunkers' deal," says Crowley.

A first-time home buyer can get up to $8,000 in a tax credit.  A repeat home buyer could received up to $6,500.

Detailed information about the qualifications for the home buyer tax credit can be found on the IRS Website.


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