Buy A Duplex, Get A Tax Credit

With just 8 days left to qualify for both the $8000 first-time home buyer’s and $6500 repeat buyer’s tax credit, it’s important to remember that a duplex qualifies for both.

Remember, the credits are for up to 10 percent of the purchase price of the property, with the total benefit not to exceed $8000 for a first-time home buyer, or $6500 for a move-up or repeat buyer.


For a duplex, qualification is based on the percentage of the property the buyer intends to owner occupy. For example, if the purchase price for a duplex was $200,000, and the buyer lived in half, her tax credit would be based on a purchase price of $100,000, with the total not to exceed the caps set by the federal government.

To be eligible for the first-time credit, a person may not have owned a home in the last three years. Repeat buyers must have lived in their home for five consecutive years of the last eight years.

Both tax credits require that buyers have a binding purchase agreement in place no later than April 20, 2010. However, these purchases have until June 30, 2010, to close.

Remember, FHA financing may be used for most duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes; meaning an owner occupant need only have 3.5 percent saved for a down payment.

Investors, on the other hand, are still restricted to conventional loans requiring 20 to 25 percent down as minimums.