Home Buyers Tax Credit Extended

FRESNO, Calif. Florence Braun just got the keys Friday to her first home at Copper River Ranch. She's one of more than a million Americans taking advantage of tax credits offered to brand new buyers.

Florence Braun, new homeowner said: "I am able to do my backyard with the 8 thousand dollars and it will be nice I can put some into savings because I've been completely broke from putting my down payment the last few months so it's going to help in many areas."

During the first round of tax credits offering up to 18 thousand dollars in state and federal incentives, Granville Homes saw an immediate 300 percent jump in new home sales.

It prompted builders to start pounding out homes again to meet the immediate demand from those buyers in a hurry to close escrow before the tax credit expires.

Michelle Brunn, Granville Homes said: "we want to be able to accommodate people who come in quickly, they can close escrow quickly. Interest rates are fantastic so if they can lock in that rate, take advantage of it, get into something quickly. So we're trying to foresee the market and have these ready to go at a price point that we feel is most desirable."

Homebuilders are hoping the tax credit renews interest and foot traffic with a group of people that hasn't been eligible for these tax credits in the past.

With the extension first time home buyers will still be eligible for 8 thousand dollars in tax credits through April 30th of next year. But current homeowners who have been in their primary home for 5 of the past 8 years can get a 65 hundred dollar credit.

The association of realtors says the Fresno market has been flooded with buyers, so much so, that bidding wars returned. President George Mees hopes the new offer for existing homeowners strengthens the market even more.

George Mees, Association of Realtors said: "It may bring more inventory to the market. Some of the existing homes and more traditional sales which are better maintained homes and green lawns and homes that we'd like to show."

For Florence, the incentives came at a time when she couldn't pass up the big savings.

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