New Incentives for First-Time Homebuyers, Causing Movement in Housing Market

By: Jennifer Dowling Email
By: Jennifer Dowling Email

Home sales in the Mid-Michigan area have been on an uptick. Loan Officer Ron Harke says that's due to first-time homebuyers. He says, "Probably 70 to 80% is first time homebuyers who are excited about it." Realtor Bob Pohl says, "I noticed early on in the year a lot of investors were scooping up proprieties. Now I see a lot of young people."

Harke says two new incentives are fueling sales. A program reintroduced Monday by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority is generating excitement. If offers first-time buyers a refund of 20% of mortgage interest that the borrower would pay during the lifetime of the mortgage. It's credited against their year-end tax liability through the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program. Harke says, "It knocks 20% off your interest rate."

There's also a first-time homebuyer tax credit now available of up to $8,000 dollars if the home is purchased by December 1st. Harke says, "They get to take advantage of this homebuyer tax credit which is, a huge advantage of up to 10% of the purchase price up to 8.000 maximum."

There is something you may want to keep in mind if you're in the market for a home. Realtors say, if you want to take advantage of the incentives this year, do it now. If you wait until October, there could be a rush on homes. Bob Pohl says, "My concern is by October, we're going to have a stampede by young people by December 1st."

Homeowners may also qualify for MSHDA's down payment assistance program, but the income limitations are more strict. Harke says the best incentives for average Americans to get the economy moving again are the MSHDA refund and the tax credit.

Harke says if you want to find out if you qualify for the incentives, call your local realtor or lender. He says they can best walk you through the process. For some informative websites, click on the hotbutton for a direct link. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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