Oklahomans Can Take Advantage of Home Tax Credit

Sunday, February 22nd 2009, 10:47 pm
By: News 9

By Jeffrey Smith, for NEWS 9

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The stimulus package is mostly about infrastructure and employment, but there are a lot of opportunities for people in Oklahoma.

The economic stimulus offers homebuyers an $8,000 tax credit. Those who haven't bought a house in the past three years can take advantage of it.

Lenders, like Clay Clark of ZFG Mortgage, said it's the best time in 30 years to buy a home.

"It's a sweet deal," Clark said. "I'm saying, I guess, it's a great deal short-term for people."

The credit is meant to shore up the mortgage crisis in states like California. But because Oklahoma's housing bubble hasn't burst, folks can save a lot of money.

"They go, ‘Do I have to pay this back?' You don't have to pay it back," Clark said. "Then they go, ‘Can I use this for a rental home?' You can't do it! It has to be a primary residence."

But like a late-night infomercial, you have to act now. Clark said at the end of the year, the feed will dramatically raise the 5 percent interest rate.

"Government's pouring more water in the currency Kool-Aid, so to speak," he said. "So we're diluting it over time, which would cause pretty rapid inflation."

Realtors said homebuyers have the chance to consolidate debt into a new mortgage.

"We've got the stimulus package going on," Jenks realtor Eva Aldridge said. "Interest rates are really low. Houses are just now coming up on the market. There's a lot to choose from."

Mortgage lenders also said if you live in an apartment, and pay less than $900 a month in rent, you can move into a new house for the same price.

"And if you're prepared to move to Owasso or Claremore or Coweta, areas that qualify for rural development loans, you can get 100 percent financing at a 5 percent rate," Clark said. "So for less than you're paying for your apartment each month, move into a new house -- a brand new house, new construction."

He said now's the time to put your foot down on a new Oklahoma home.

Clark said it's also a great time to refinance your home because an average homeowner in areas like the Tulsa market can save tens of thousands of dollars.

For more information, call ZFG at 459-6530.