The Real Estate Encyclopedia
FAR kicks off _Welcome Home Week_ Making Homes Affordable_
Category - Real Estate Information Sources - Real Estate Information General
ORLANDO, Fla. – July 10, 2009 – For a limited time only, first-time homebuyers have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a Florida home of their own with a helping hand from Uncle Sam – the federal $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers.

Florida Realtors® and the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR) designated July 12-18, 2009, as “Welcome Home Week: Making Homes Affordable” to spread the word about the tax credit and the new Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program, plus other homebuyer programs and foreclosure prevention resources.

Under the Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program, first-time Florida homebuyers can obtain tax credit bridge loans to access their federal tax credit before they complete a home purchase, enabling them use that money upfront for downpayment and closing costs. Once buyers submit their returns to the IRS and receive their tax credit, they repay their loans to the state.

“We want Floridians to take advantage of this important program, which will help stimulate the state’s economy as well as the real estate market,” said 2009 FAR President Cynthia Shelton, CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member). “By helping qualified first-time buyers come up with the funds needed to purchase a home, this initiative will play a vital role in overcoming the largest financial barrier to homeownership.”

City and county housing offices that already operate the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) are administering the Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program, under the overall direction of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC). Most of the policy decisions for the program are implemented on the local level. The local housing coordinator is the best point of contact for Realtors and prospective buyers to find out application procedures, qualification requirements and repayment rules. For more information on the program, contact a local SHIP office.

For a local SHIP office, go to

Several thousand first-time homebuyers could benefit from the state program, according to research by the FHFC. However, first-time buyers considering a home purchase should act quickly, Shelton said, since the purchase has to be completed by Nov. 30, 2009, to receive the federal tax credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

For more information about “Welcome Home Week,” the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit, the Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program and other homebuyer resources, go to the Homebuyer Center on FAR’s website at

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