California home buyer tax credits. Blink and you may miss them.

Monopoly money at Christmas
Creative Commons License photo credit: HowardLake

As reported by the California Association of Realtors (CAR):

The $100 million allocated for California’s first-time homebuyer tax credits may be depleted in about 10 to 20 days or sooner, according to C.A.R.’s Economics team.  California’s Franchise Tax Board (FTB) plans to begin accepting applications on May 1, 2010 for tax credits up to $10,000 for first-time homebuyers and for homes that have never been previously occupied.  However, the total tax credit allocation for all taxpayers is $100 million for first-time homebuyers and $100 million for new homes, both on a first-come, first-served basis.

C.A.R.’s forecast of 10 to 20 days to deplete the $100 million allocation for first-time home buyers is based on estimated May sales figures and other parameters.  It does not take into account the possibility that buyers scheduled to close escrow in April may delay closing until May to take advantage of the tax credit.  If a shift in closings from April to May occurs, the first-time homebuyer tax credits may be depleted even more quickly than indicated above.

Emphasis was added – by me. I touched on this last week, so I can’t say that I am surprised. As for the emphasis, watch out. We are seeing many “strategic delays” by buyers already committed to a purchase in order to take advantage of the free money. If you are one of them, you had better act fast. The state tax credits, it seems, are a very limited time offer.

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