The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that calls for a one-year extension of the first time homebuyer tax credit for service members serving overseas. The bill passed 416-0, and is now in the Senate for consideration. “I am pleased that Congress has decided to move forward to include my legislation in this homeownership assistance package for our service members,” said the bill’s author, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI). “Service members should have every opportunity to succeed and enhance their life when they return home, and this bill will help them do just that.” The extension is for service men and women, members of the Foreign Service and intelligence community who served on official extended duty service outside the US for at least 90 days in 2009, and their spouses. The bill also eliminates the repayment penalty for first-time homebuyers if the service member sells his or her home within three years of purchase because of deployment. The bill comes as many in the housing industry are calling for an extension and expansion of the $8,000 tax credit that is currently set to expire on Nov. 30, and there is a bill in the Senate that would extend the credit for all first-time buyers for six months.. Some have estimated the tax credit has brought as many as 400,000 new homebuyers to the market that otherwise wouldn’t have purchased. But as HousingWire previously reported, a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Zillow.com showed nearly one-third of prospective first-time homebuyers said an extension of the tax credit would have “no influence” on their decision to purchase a home in 2010. Write to Austin Kilgore.

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