Are you as smart as your car? Test your knowledge of auto technology with this quiz.
by Cathie Gandel, AARP Bulletin, February 9, 2010
When the tax credit for first-time home buyers was extended last November, those who already own homes were no longer left out in the cold.
Suddenly, “repeat buyers” became eligible for a tax credit up to 10 percent of the purchase price of a new home, capped at $6,500.
That was good news to Michael and Deanna Hollifield, who had put their Nashville home of 10 years on the market in order to move to the suburbs. “We hadn’t heard about this tax credit for existing homeowners,” says Hollifield, 45, a computer technician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “It was a really good bonus for something we had already decided to do.”
For retirees Janet and Larry Koch, however, the tax credit was the incentive to buy a home in a 55-plus community outside Phoenix. “When we first saw Dolce Vita we thought it was breathtaking, but we didn’t think we could afford it,” says Larry Koch, 66, the former owner of a motorcycle dealership in White Bear Lake, Minn. “But when we heard about the tax credit we said, ‘now’s our chance.’ ”
Koch suggests talking to your accountant before proceeding with the repeat buyer tax credit, which is part of the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009. “The instructions are very, very complicated,” he says.
Qualifications for the repeat home buyer tax credit:
Will this repeat home buyer tax credit have an effect on the housing market? “The big problem is that you haven’t really reduced the surplus housing stock,” says David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s. “You’ve just switched one house for another.”
But Michael Hollifield isn’t looking at the big picture. “The tax credit sure did come at a good time,” he says.
Cathie Gandel writes about consumer affairs. She lives in the New York area.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members save 20% on purchases or $20 when they spend $79.99 or more.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
Get tips and resources to protect yourself from identity theft.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at