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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Congress extends life of $8,000 tax credit for homebuyers

The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to extend the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers. It had been scheduled to end Nov. 30, but now any first-time buyer (defined as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in at least three years) has until April 30, 2010, to sign a ratified contract on a home. The deal must close before July 1, 2010. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the measure yesterday, and President Obama is expected to sign it soon. 

The new tax credit raises the income limits on who can qualify. It also adds a $6,500 tax credit for existing homeowners who decide to buy a new principal residence (the new home doesn’t have to be more expensive than the current one). To qualify, existing homeowners must have lived in the home as a primary residence for at least five consecutive years out of the last eight years.

Click here to read how the new tax credit differs from the old one, and here to read an FAQ about the new credit. 

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