SOURCE: Georgia Association of Realtors

Georgia Association of Realtors

November 12, 2009 21:09 ET

Georgia REALTORS® Applaud Senator Isakson and the Extension and Expansion of the Homebuyer Tax Credit

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - November 12, 2009) - The Georgia Association of REALTORS® (GAR) applauds the extension and expansion of the federal home buyer tax credit as an important step in the stabilization of the housing market and economic recovery.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Senator Johnny Isakson worked extensively to expand the current first-time home buyer tax credit to include buyers in the "trade-in" or "move-up" market. The expanded credit establishes a new $6,500 tax credit for "move-up" buyers so long as the home they are leaving has been their principal residence for five years or more.

NAR estimates the first-time homebuyer tax credit stimulated 350,000 additional home sales in 2009 and contributed approximately $22 billion to the overall economy. The substantial increase of first-time homebuyers and rise in home sales over the last few months prove that the credit is working.

"The original credit helped stabilize the market by providing an incentive for first-time homebuyers to enter the market, but was limited in scope," said 2010 GAR President, Dana Bauguss. "Extending and expanding the homebuyer tax credit will enable even more families to take advantage of current low interest rates and affordable prices to invest in their future through homeownership."

According to Senator Isakson, "The key to returning stability to the economy lies within the housing market, and we have crafted a meaningful credit that will create a strong foundation for future growth and make a measurable difference over the next seven months in our economy."

Both the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit as well as the $6,500 tax credit for "move-up" buyers will sunset on April 30, 2010. However, individuals who have contracts as of April 30, 2010, would still qualify for the credit so long as they complete the transaction within 60 days. The bill establishes income limits of $125,000 for an individual or $225,000 for a couple for both credits. The cost of the home being purchased may not exceed $800,000 in order to be eligible for the credit. Detailed information about provisions in the tax credit legislation is available on

The Georgia Association of REALTORS®, the Voice for Real Estate in Georgia™, is a voluntary professional association of approximately 33,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons engaged in all aspects of the real estate business throughout the state of Georgia.

GAR is the leading advocate for the real estate industry in Georgia, committed to protecting private property rights and free enterprise, maintaining ethical and professional standards, and enhancing the public's awareness and confidence in REALTORS®.

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