Time is running out for first-time home buyers to get $8,000

Reported by Lynda Figueredo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The federal government's $8,000 first-time home buyer stimulus program will end December 1.

The housing market is picking up, largely because of people, like Vickii Labelle, who cashed in on a major tax credit for first time buyers.

"I was living in Wilmington and renting for 3 years and was not looking to buy," said Labelle.  "I have a friend that is a realtor, Kathleen Baylies, and she said for us to take a closer look at the $8,000 dollar tax incentive.  We were in a position to buy home. Now we are proud home owners in Brunswick County."

Time is running out and experts say if you want to take advantage of the credit, now is the time to buy.

"The fact that this program ends near the end of November and the $8,000 is a significant amount," said Baylies.  "Plus, we are seeing the lowest home prices in the past 5-6 years and historically low interest rates."

Baylies is the broker in charge at Just For Buyers Realty Inc. in Wilmington.  She says with the current credit crisis, lenders are taking more time to get approvals.

"We are in a crunch period," said Baylies.  "People think, well I have until the end of September but it takes 45 days to close.  If they want to take advantage of this they to make moves now."

Baylies said the bulk of her clients are first time home owners who qualify for the program like Labelle, but unless the government decides to extend it, the door that's been open to many will close.

There has been some talk in Washington about extending the program, but nothing has been finalized.

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