Before I came to work at Schiavi Home Builders, I was a stay at home mom. This meant we had a single income to support a family of four, plus two dogs, three cats and a guinea pig. We are also working on a major home renovation…. The household budget was a very important part of my “job.” I think this is why I am choosing Household Budgeting as the topic for my first blog.
In the society we live in, instant gratification is not only expected, it is now the norm. I want something now; therefore, I go buy it now. Living on a budget is “taboo.” This attitude not only makes debt reduction difficult, but planning for a new home impossible. Whether you are saving for a down payment or closing costs, or just trying to decide what you can afford for a mortgage payment, a detailed household budget should be part of this process.
There are many budget programs out there. A family could spend hundreds of dollars to get books, software, programs, going to seminars, or lectures. It is not necessary to spend anything to create and manage your household budget. Below are links to website that offer FREE budgeting information:
This article Budget isn’t a Bad Word explains the advantages of using a budget.
To help you get started, here is a link to a basic budget worksheet: Budgeting Form.
And finally, here is an article that has several links in regards to cutting expenses and finding extra money in your budget: Easy Ways to Cut Expenses.
Following are key points that prospective home buyers should be aware of when considering a home purchase under the tax credit program:
- A tax credit of up to $8000 is available for first-time home buyers purchasing on or after Jan 1, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. In cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010 will qualify.
- A tax credit of up to $6500 is available for repeat home buyers who have owned a home for five consecutive years out of the prior eight years. The repeat home buyer tax credit applies to houses sold after November 5, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. In cases where a binding sales contract is signed by April 30, 2010, a home purchase completed by June 30, 2010 will qualify.
- Income limits of $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for married couples filing jointly apply to all sales occurring after Nov 6, 2009.
- Homes priced above $800,000 are not eligible for either the first-time home buyer tax credit or the repeat home buyer tax credit.
- Expanded tax credit benefits apply to members of the military, the foreign service and the intelligence community.
- Home purchases in 2010 may be claimed on an amended 2009 income tax return.
- Persons who are claimed as dependents by a taxpayer or who are under age 18 do not qualify for a tax credit.
- Home purchases from relatives of the taxpayer or the taxpayer’s spouse do not qualify for the tax credit. The IRS defines relatives as ancestors (parent, grandparent, etc.), lineal descendants (child, grandchildren, etc.) and spouses.
- Married couples are not eligible to claim the first-time home buyer credit if either spouse has previously owned a home. They may, however, qualify for the repeat home buyer tax credit.
- Neither the first-time home buyer tax credit nor the repeat home buyer tax credit have to be repaid unless the home is sold or ceases to be used as the buyer’s principal residence within three years after the initial purchase.
- Taxpayers must submit a copy of the HUD-1 settlement statement and IRS form 5405 to claim either the first-time home buyer tax credit or the repeat home buyer tax credit.