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Incentive programs target first-time homebuyers

Posted August 12, 2008
Updated August 13, 2008

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— In two months, Will Hartye will move into his two-story home, which cost less than $200,000. A city program for first-time homeowners helped Hartye get a good price on the house.

“I still don’t think it’s sunk in quite yet,” Hartye said.

The Raleigh program set a cap that kept Hartye’s home from being priced higher than $200,000 for a first-time homebuyer. The home is in a revitalized area of downtown.

Hartye may also be eligible for a new federal program for first-time homeowners that offers $7,500 as a tax credit in the purchase year, though it has to be repaid over 15 years. The credit, a no interest loan that must be paid back, applies to homes purchased after April 9 of this year and before July 1, 2009. Repayments begin two years after the credit is taken.

These types of new incentives are pushing more people like Hartye to become homebuyers, said Brooke Hipes, a realtor with Keller and Williams Realty in Cary. Hipes hosts a free weekly meeting at which people thinking about buying their first homes can get information and share tips.

“We have seen an increase. I’d like to see more. I think there are still people who are reluctant,” Hipes said.

After selecting a home, buyers will meet with a mortgage lender. The trend of loose lending led to foreclosures, causing many banks and lenders to tighten up who they loan money to, VanDyk Mortgage lender Roland Carrillo said.

However, Carrillo said lenders will focus on the complete picture, not just a good credit score.

“What lenders want to focus on is your income history, your employment history and what your emergency fund is,” Carrillo said.


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  • lizard78 Aug 13, 2008

    The government should be regulating the housing market. Look at the damage these mortgage companies have done to the economy. The mortgage companies made buying houses too easy for people who could not afford them.

  • Pineview Style Aug 13, 2008

    "I wonder how many on here declined their stimulus check. If you feel strongly against government handouts, then you should not have taken this money. Don't be a hypocrite."

    Ok, I'll bite. Darn straight I took my stimulus check. And I turned around and paid off Visa. I don't see it as a handout when it's just an advance on your tax return for next year.

  • Harvey Aug 13, 2008

    Some of you people are absolutely heartless. I sure hope none of you ever need a break in this world.

  • ThisIsMyName Aug 12, 2008

    I wonder how many on here declined their stimulus check. If you feel strongly against government handouts, then you should not have taken this money. Don't be a hypocrite.

  • readme Aug 12, 2008

    The government needs to stay the heck out of the housing market. Vote Libertarian folks.

  • Red Aug 12, 2008

    What have we learned folks? Fiscal responsibility is for suckers.

  • ThisIsMyName Aug 12, 2008

    I hope they push the first time home buyer mortgage training. When I purchased my first home, I had to sit down with the lender a couple of times. I had to study a book and made sure I understood the book. This was 9 years ago.

    You know there would be complaining on here about it's unfair to those that never received the assitance. These are probably the same people that try to go use a coupon after they purchased something. Sorry you missed out, too bad. Maybe you should have waited to buy a home?

  • whatelseisnew Aug 12, 2008

    Here is what I got from the Government when I Built my first home. I lived in a trailer for six years; worked two jobs, saved every penny I could save. Bought a piece of land. Had enough money saved to have the house shell built, a well drilled, septic installed, and electric put onto the property. Quit second job, worked every night, weekend, holiday and vacation for two years, did the wiring, plumbing, insulation, installed kitchen cabinets and appliances. Had flooring company install rugs and vinyl in the kitchen. Along the way, I got a construction loan to purchase the materials to finish the house. Also put every spare dime into the house during those two years. So eight years of my life invested to get into my first home. Wonder if I can get some sort of Government Handout for that. Nah I get to pay for your handout.

  • bs101fly Aug 12, 2008

    and we'll be bailing them out in 2 years too!

    Or less!!!

  • wjcspanteach Aug 12, 2008

    I would love for someone to give me a hand out on my home. I have to agree that they should do something for those of us who got a home we could afford and didn't get ANY gov't help in the process!