First Time Home Buyer Tax Credits

Many city and county governments offer Mortgage Credit Certificate programs.

These certificates allow first-time home-buyers to take advantage of a special federal income tax write-off, which makes qualifying for a mortgage loan easier.

Requirements vary from program to program. People wanting to apply should contact their local housing or community development office. Here is a list of four general requirements to keep in mind:

  • Some credit may be claimed only on your owner-occupied principal residence.
  • There are maximum income limits, which vary by locality and family size.
  • You must be a first time home-buyer, defined as not having held an ownership interest in a principal residence during the past three years. This restriction may be waived, however, if you are buying property within certain target areas.
  • Allocation must be available. A local MCC program may have to decline new applications when it runs out of funds.
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