The federal government recently announced a time extension of the $8,000 first-time home buyers tax credit, which was scheduled to end on Nov. 30, and added a $6,500 tax credit for those who already own homes if they decide to purchase new ones. Here are the details.

The $8,000 tax credit:

Is for first-time home buyers only, that is, those who have not owned principal residences during the three-year period prior to their purchases.

Does not have to be repaid unless the new residence is not lived in for at least 36 months beginning on the purchase date, except by military personnel relocating due to orders.

Is equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.

Applies to homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010 will qualify. For all military personnel who served at least 90 days outside of the U. S. from Jan. 1, 2009 to May 1, 2010, these dates are extended by one year.

Is allowed in full for homes purchased on or after Jan. 1, 2009, and on or before Nov. 6, 2009, for a single taxpayer with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) up to $75,000 (phased out from $75,001 to $95,000), and for married couples filing jointly with a MAGI up to $150,000 (phased out from $150,001 to $170,000).

Is allowed in full for homes purchased


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after Nov. 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010, for a single taxpayer with a MAGI up to $125,000 (phased out from $125,001 to $145,000), and for married couples with a MAGI up to $225,000 (phased out from $225,001 to $245,000).

The $6,500 tax credit:

Is for buyers who have owned and lived in their previous home for five consecutive years out of the last eight years.

Does not have to be repaid unless the new residence is not lived in for at least 36 months beginning on the purchase date, except by military personnel relocating due to orders.

Is equal to 10 percent of the home's purchase price up to a maximum of $6,500.

Applies to homes purchased after Nov.6, 2009, and on or before April 30, 2010. However, in cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010, will qualify. For all military personnel who served at least 90 days outside of the U. S. from Jan. 1, 2009, to May 1, 2010, these dates are extended by one year.

Has the same income limits as the $8,000 tax credit for homes purchased after Nov. 6, 2009.

With all of the money the federal government is giving away to encourage people to buy new homes in its ongoing effort to stimulate the economy, now is definitely a terrific time to purchase a home. So, what are you waiting for?