Let's see, if you're a first time home buyer in California, and you buy a newly-constructed home, you could get up to $18,000 in tax credits! But even if you're not a first-timer you can get the California credit. And that's a sweet ten grand.

California's credit (5% of the purchase price or $10,000, whichever is less) is designed to give a little kick to the home building industry--which may not be so great for those trying to sell a "used" home in the state next year. But buyers win two ways--first, the credit applies to anyone--there are no income restrictions--who buys a brand-new home. It's paid out over a three year period, and doesn't have to be paid back as long as you live in the home for at least two years.

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But what if you want a home with character, a home in an established neighborhood, and not a cookie-cutter tract product? Well, you won't be able to take the credit, but you will be able to use it--as a bargaining tool. The sellers know you'd be giving it up in order to buy their home. So perhaps they can throw in a piece of furniture you like, help you with closing costs, or leave that awesome hot tub on the deck when they go.

First come, first served. That's right, the credit lasts from March 1st of this year until March 2010. OR WHENEVER CALI RUNS OUT OF MONEY. $100 million was allocated to the program and when it's gone, it's gone. So make like it's Black Friday at Best Buy and hit the ground running. Get your loan in place (FHA is probably your best bet if you have credit boogers), round up your Realtor, and find that new house (or summon your magic bargaining powers and go looking for a used one). And close on that sucker as soon as you can before the money runs out!

Start by requesting free mortgage quotes or a pre-qualification letter from our database of new home loan lenders. It's free service where you can receive up to four free mortgage quotes, and there's no obligation to you.