Home Buying in Wilmington>Question Details

Jessica, Both Buyer and Seller in Wilmington, DE

Tax Credit and Down Payment question

Asked by Jessica, Wilmington, DE Tue Aug 18, 2009

My husband and I are looking to purchase a new home. He owns the home we live in now, and it was purchased before we were married. If we purchase a new home this year, does it have to be solely in my name in order for us to be eligible for the tax credit? Can he still be on the mortgage, or will that invalidate the credit?

Also, we may be looking to buy with very little (5-10%) down on our home. Are lenders still financing 90-100%?

Help the community by answering this question:



To your first question here is an example from the IRS showing why you as a married couple, unfortunately, would not qualify for the $8000 tax credit: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206294,00.html go to item S4. It is your exact situation, except in that example the wife owned the home before they were married.

It is also explained here: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php#2 on question number 2.

Of course you can check with a tax consultant, as that is their area of expertise, however from our understanding of those two documents (and our experience with buyers), it is clear you would not qualify.

For further summaries (rather than original documents) I have videos and other summary documents should you wish to review them:
http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/resources.html (video)
http://www.tristaterealestateblog.com/2009/02/first-time-hom… (summary page)
http://www.tristaterealestateblog.com/2009/02/further-explan… (summary page)
http://www.teamluca.com/First_Time_Home_Buyer_Tax_Credit/pag… (video)
http://prufoxroach.com/pdfs/taxcreditfaq.pdf (summary page)

For the best mortgage advice, again, I would ask a mortgage specialist. I have one that we trust with our own finances if you'd like to give him a call. Yes, our clients use him as he's been able to pull off some deals that were shaky at times with other mortgage brokers, however we get nothing from referring him - so I only suggest him due to his excellent knowledge and skill level. His name is Jason Infante and he's at 302-999-6940. I'm sure he'd be glad to help you determine the best financing options available to you.

If you have further questions on buying or selling, we'd be glad to answer them at your convenience. Our office number is 302-999-6966, cell is 302-740-5872 and of course we have a web site and blog with lots of information if you'd just like to start researching on your own.


John & Mary Luca
Web Reference: http://www.TriStateTeam.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
I hope the info below helps ... Source: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php#2

What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
The law defines "first-time home buyer" as a buyer who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase. For married taxpayers, the law tests the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse.

For example, if you have not owned a home in the past three years but your spouse has owned a principal residence, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the first-time home buyer tax credit. However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer, such as may occur if a parent jointly purchases a home with a son or daughter. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
Hi Jessica,

Here is a link to the IRS that may help answer your question -> http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206294,00.html

As for financing, FHA loans are a good deal right now with a required 3.5% downpayment you just have to make sure that the home you buy qualifies for a FHA mortgage.

Hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can help you in any way.
Web Reference: http://www.jroark.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
Great question Jessica. The credit is open at this time for first time home buyers only defined vaguely as someone who has not been on a deed in the past 3 years. With your husband currently shown as the owner of a home, he will not qualify for the credit and you would have to qualify yourself to receive the credit.
To your second point, yes lenders are still financing as high as 96.5% loans using FHA lending. The best thing to clarify your lending position is for you to find a lender that you are comfortable with and sit down with him/her to discuss the financial options available to you. If you have no current contacts, I would be more than happy to introduce you to some of the lenders that I have successfully worked with to settle homes. I hope this clarifies your questions. Have a great day................................................chris
Web Reference: http://come2de.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
Hi, Jessica,

Your husband will not qualify for the tax credit. It is designed for first time home buyers or buyers who have not owned property in the last 3 years. Since you husband is on title to the property you live in now, he is disqualified. He cannot be on the new mortgage since that is the driving factor in determining eligibility for the tax credit. The tax credit program is offered by the government in order to stimulate the mortgage market as well as the housing market.

As to your 2nd question, 100% financing has gone the way of the dinosaur. Those are the products partially faulted for bringing down the housing market. The only 100% financing available is through the DE State Bond program and getting through that is even questionable as mortgage insurance companies are no longer willing to underwrite these loans. 90% is what has become the norm for the down payment in conventional financing. The only way to do less is to go FHA which will allow 3.5% down and seller assisted closing costs.

I hope this information helps. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at my direct line: 302-429-7341 or email me at driffee@psre.com.
Web Reference: http://www.DianeRiffee.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 18, 2009
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