First-time homebuyers and current homeowners now have unprecedented access to home purchasing power under the Obama Economic Recovery Act of 2009 to help jumpstart the US housing market and the flagging economy. Because of this recently enacted legislation, potential home buyers and current homeowners now have the opportunity to either receive a one-time home purchasing tax credit or refinance their current mortgages.
These new programs, in addition to existing tax credits and grants, can provide much needed help to those who require it during these trying economic times, regardless of past or current credit situations. The program is meant to help people find homes but to also stay in their current homes and enjoy the security of the biggest, best investment they will make in their lives.
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Buying Your First Home Under Obama Legislation
Qualified first time homebuyers, under the housing stimulus component of the Obama economic plan can now take advantage of a refundable income tax credit of up to 10% of the total home purchase price, up to $8,500. Once you file your annual income taxes, this credit will be refunded to you. However, if you file before the deadline, you can receive this refund almost instantly once you file an amended tax return for the current tax year.
In addition to this home-buying credit, lenders are even advancing qualified homebuyers the value of their credit to put towards the down payment on their new home. Another way first time homebuyers can save is to purchase foreclosed homes through banks that own the properties now and through property auctions. Often, qualified buyers can get historically low interest rates on new mortgages. To avoid a mortgage meltdown, seek out a lender that will offer a fixed rate mortgage instead of an adjustable rate mortgage. This will give you the security of knowing your monthly mortgage payment and the interest will remain the same throughout the life of your mortgage.
Refinancing Your Current Mortgage
Existing homeowners also stand to benefit from this portion of President Obama's economic plan with the Home Affordability Program or HAP. Under HAP, current qualified homeowners can refinance their existing mortgages to a historically low rate of 4.5%. This program is a great help to those owners who have seen their property values lose such significant value that they would not otherwise qualify for traditional home mortgage refinancing programs.
Many of these homeowners who are stuck in these underwater mortgages typically had adjustable rate mortgages with balloon payments or monthly payments that doubled or tripled upon the resetting of these mortgages. Often, these new payments, coupled with the unstable housing market, were simply unaffordable for most of these homeowners.
Determining whether you qualify for either the new homeowner tax credit or the Home Affordability Program is as simple as contacting a reputable qualified lender. Your new lender should be able to inform you of any available government grants, programs and also let you know of what your new interest rate and monthly payment will be, in addition to savings over your existing mortgage.