April 30, 2010 saw the conclusion of the second phase of incentives to purchase a home for the first time which was part of U.S. legislation designed to stimulate the housing market, jump starting the U.S. economy as a whole.
The temporary tax credit was included by Congress in the $787 billion stimulus package which became law only one month after President Barak Obama became president at the beginning of 2009. The goal of the stimulus program was to resurrect the moribund real estate market. The deadline which was stipulated in the original legislation was the end of November 2009, but after intense lobbying by the real estate industry, was extended until the end of April, 2010.
The incentives have apparently been a huge success, with almost 1.8 million families or households using the credit as of mid-February, spending upwards of12.6 billion on the purchase of first homes. Prospective first-time homebuyers receive a tax credit of up to 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to a maximum of $8,000. Couples need to make under $245,000 and individuals under $145,000 to qualify.