The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Advance May NOT Be Used Towards the 3.5% Down Payment…UNLESS…

Update 6/10/2009 11:20 am:  Please read the comments 1-21 (especially Aubrey Cohen’s comments).   Apparently according to a HUD representative, the tax credit can be used for down payment if it’s received through State Housing Finance Agencies.   (I called the FHA help line twice this morning and both FHA representatives say this is not the case).  The representative from HUD apologizes for the confusion and will make sure the Homeownership Centers understand… I apologize for the confusion too!

I feel like shouting “THE TAX CREDIT ADVANCE IS NOT DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE!” up and down the streets of Seattle.  Home buyers utilizing FHA loans still need to come up with a minimum of 3.5% for their downpayment (see the update above).   Per HUD’s Mortgagee Letter 2009-15 dated May 29, 2009:

“The proceeds of the sale of the tax credit to FHA approved mortgagees, the seller, or any other person or entity tha tis reimbursed, directly or indirectly…may not be used to meet the 3.5% minimum down payment, but may be used as additional downpayment, buying down the interest rate, or other closing costs.”

Jane and John are buying a home using FHA for financing with a sales price of $300,000.   FHA requires they invest a minimum of 3.5% of the sales price into the transaction.   Jane and John need to have $10,500 of their own funds (which can be gifted or loaned from a family member) invested into this transaction.   Assuming they qualify for the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit and the IRS figures out how to resolve the issues of how to pay the FTHB Tax Credit Advances, they could use the $8000 towards closing costs, prepaids and any extra funds (after paying closing costs and prepaids AND after they invest $10,500) could go towards downpayment.  (Unless…see the update above).

This is not a zero down program and this is not like the ol’ DPAs (Nehemiah, etc.).   This is (if the details are ever worked out in time) an advance or loan against your tax credit.

Haaa… I feel a little better now.  🙂  One of the benefits of blogging… venting!