This might be the best kept secret that everyone should know about, but yet I don’t hear many people talking about at all. If you purchase a new home this year, and you’re a first time home owner, you’ll potentially qualify for a tax credit of $8,000 from the federal government. And, in some states like California, you might qualify for even bigger tax credits.

This comes from the stimulus package President Obama signed back in February to help stimulate the home sales market, which has tanked in many states across the country. Some states, like Florida and Georgia, have literally thousands of foreclosed homes, as well as many housing communities where building had to cease because there weren’t any buyers.

Of course there are income limits. If you’re single, to qualify for the whole credit you have to be making under $75,000, or under $95,000 to get some kind of break. If you’re married the figures are $150,000 and $170,000 respectively. Those are pretty high, by the way, for most people.

The thing is, this tax credit is only available if you purchase your house between January 1st and December 1st of this year. And I’ve talked to people around town who are looking to sell their homes, but very few people who are looking to buy. Where I live, the market is flat; no problems, but nothing really stirring the pot to excite buyers either. Therefore, not many people outside of realtors know about this benefit. It might have to be an underground success because, though the government and websites haven’t been shy in talking about it, the public just doesn’t seem to be focusing all that much on it.

So, there you are. Can one have a stimulus if people aren’t ready to be stimulated? By the way, this might help; if you are looking to purchase your first home, now you can use the tax credit towards your down payment. They just can’t get more helpful than that if you ask me.

Looking for a house? There’s plenty of them out there, and the government is willing to help you buy one. Think about it; you don’t have a lot of time.