The credit for first-time homebuyers will expire Dec. 1. That means you must have recorded your transaction by Nov. 30. Who is a first-time homebuyer? It includes anyone who has not previously owned a home, as well as anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the 36 months prior to closing escrow. Unfortunately, you still need to come up with all the money to complete the purchase this year and will have to wait until you file your taxes next year to receive the credit. The credit is a refundable tax credit, which means you don’t need to owe any taxes to receive the money from the Treasury.

If you are eligible and can act fast, there are at this writing 13 homes for sale between $349,000 and $600,000, between Carpinteria and Goleta. Condominiums also qualify and there are 38 for sale between $249,900 and $450,000, also from Carpinteria to Goleta. With FHA-maximum loan amounts now at $729,750, nearly any of these could be bought with as little as 3.5 percent down. With the $8,000 tax credit, that would mean you would almost get a refund of your down payment on the purchase of the lowest priced condominium.

There are numerous bills in Congress to extend this credit, but none have passed yet. If you can’t take advantage of this credit now, but might be able to in the next year, contact your lawmakers now! If you want to take advantage of the current credit, you need to contact a Realtor fast!

Ed Fuller, ABR, GRI, broker, owns San Roque Realty. For more information, call 805.687.1551.