Tuesday, July 28, 2009

‘Green’ Money, Tax Credits and Housing Recovery

Many people know about the $8,000 home buyer tax credit, but did you know that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 also established a number of tax breaks for current homeowners who want to improve their home’s energy efficiency?

Energy-efficient improvements to exterior windows, skylights and doors as well as certain metal and asphalt roofs qualify for 30 percent of the project cost, up to $1,500. The credit covers installation costs for HVAC, gas, oil and propane water heaters and biomass stoves. These improvements qualify for the credit through December 31, 2010.

Owners who go a step further by adding geothermal heat pumps solar energy systems or small wind energy systems will qualify for 30 percent of the entire cost, including installation, and the tax credit doesn’t expire until December 31, 2016.

The importance of being green

As I talk to home buyers locally and see friends of mine walking around the local home improvement stores on the weekend as they hurriedly collect things they need for home improvement plans, I think that most are aware of the available energy efficient tax incentives. They plan to make energy improvements to either make their current home more marketable if it is currently for sale or to keep it updated for the times and for future marketability. For more information about green building issues, visit http://www.realtor.org/government_affairs/smart_growth/principles.

In the end, if you already own the home, simply improving it is easy and it makes "cents." Sorry, I had to say it!!

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