SOURCE: Beazer Homes

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March 17, 2010 10:00 ET

Beazer Homes Counts Down Days Remaining on Homebuyer Tax Credits

Builder Offers Extra Incentives as Clock Ticks Toward April 30th Deadline

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - March 17, 2010) -  With less than 45 days remaining before federal tax credits of up to $8,000 are set to expire, Beazer Homes (NYSE: BZH), one of the country's top 10 homebuilders, is encouraging house hunters to take action now by offering additional savings on top of the government incentives. Qualified buyers who purchase now can save up to $8,000 on move-in ready and to-be-built homes at all Beazer new home communities nationwide. 

To claim the government-sponsored tax credit -- up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and up to $6,500 for repeat buyers -- eligible buyers must execute a written contract by April 30 and close by June 30, 2010. Those who qualify have the option to claim the credit on either their 2009 or 2010 income tax return. 

With the clock ticking, Beazer is betting the expiry of the federal government tax credits and milder temperatures will bring new home shoppers out earlier than usual this spring. According to Kathi James, chief marketing officer for Beazer Homes, this year's home-buying season shines a spotlight on the exceptional buying power currently available, with the looming tax credit deadline adding an additional spark of urgency.

"We're experiencing a true homebuyers' trifecta. Record affordability, low interest rates and a government-sponsored tax credit have all aligned in favor of buyers," said James. "We have completed or nearly completed homes awaiting their first owners in all of our markets, and we're prepared to execute contracts before the April 30 tax credit deadline."

According to some real estate experts, for prospective buyers who are looking to cash in on the government tax credit, buying a brand new home directly from a builder could mean the difference between meeting the government's deadline or not. In some cases, bank-owned or distressed properties are taking several months to get to contract.

In addition, those who qualify for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) financing have an incentive to act now before new guidelines drive up agency-backed mortgage costs. The FHA commissioner recently announced new rules that will increase the upfront mortgage insurance premium to two and a quarter percent (2.25%) of the loan amount, instead of the current one and three quarters (1.75%) percent premium. This upfront mortgage insurance premium increase will take effect April 5 for all new FHA loan applications. Also, applicants with FICO credit scores below 580 will soon have to make down payments of at least 10 percent (10%), up from three and a half (3.5%) percent currently.

Those opting for a new Beazer home will have the added benefit of lower monthly utility bills. Beazer builds only eSMART high-performance homes, which are engineered as a whole-house system to achieve greater energy efficiency, conserve water and improve indoor air quality. To reduce energy use, all Beazer homes include additional air sealing and framing techniques that allow for more insulation per home. Additionally, Beazer uses denser insulation within walls and attic spaces and energy-efficient low-e windows.

A study conducted by the NAHB Research Center found that, depending on home size and climate zone, Beazer's eSMART homes can offer an up to 46 percent energy cost savings over comparable houses built 10 to 15 years ago. 

Other energy-saving features incorporated into every Beazer eSMART high-performance home at no additional cost include a home energy monitor, programmable thermostat, compact fluorescent light bulbs and Energy Star dishwasher. To help conserve water, Beazer uses regionally-appropriate plants and only water-saving bath faucets and showerheads. To address indoor air quality, paints and carpets that emit lower Volatile Organize Compounds (VOCs) are used, and every home is equipped with high-efficiency MERV 8 air filters and carbon monoxide detectors.

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