Many city and county governments offer Mortgage Credit Certificate programs, which 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, which means you must not have had any kind of 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.
- Allocations must be available. A local MCC program may have to decline new applications when it runs out of funds.