IFA offers tax incentive tailored to first time home buyers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

IFA offers tax incentive tailored to first time home buyers

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Bryant Mente, a recent college graduate from Cedar Rapids, has home ownership on his mind.

"I've kind of thought about it a little bit," Mente said.

With historically low interest rates Mente sees the opportunity to buy a house a little more realistic.

Still, Mente is waiting to get on more firm financial ground before diving into the market.

"Now would be the time, but like I say just getting out of college makes it pretty tough," Mente said.

A new incentive rolled out by the Iowa Finance Authority looks to entice first time buyers like Mente.

"It's going to add that many new buyers to the market with this new incentive," said Gary Doerrfeld, regional vice president of the Iowa Association of Realtors.

While the housing market continues to show signs of improvement, some first time buyers have been discouraged to even apply for a loan in the first place.

The IFA's program reduces an eligible homeowner's federal tax liability by up to two thousand dollars a year for the life of the loan.

"The first time home buyers has been slow so we're really excited about this because this could be that added stimulus to make it better," Doerrfeld said.

During the farm crisis in the 1980's, a similar state incentive increased first time buyers in the market by 25%.

"This is on the life of the loan that they get this credit so that's pretty substantial," Doerrfeld said.

Mente says he's not ready yet to make the large investment of buying a home.

"This tax credit does make it pretty enticing but it's just not really in the cards right now," he said.

But the hope is many more will be pushed toward making the American dream a reality.

An eligible home buyer must not exceed purchase price or household income limits.  Income limits vary by county.

To learn more about the criteria to be eligible for the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program visit the Iowa Finance Authority website at http://www.iowafinanceauthority.gov/en/for_home_buyers/mortgage_credit_certificate/

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