According to Broderick Perkins, a new survey reveals that savvy consumers cashing in on the new and improved homebuyer tax credit are helping fuel economic recovery.

 The vast majority of current homeowners say they would spend the expanded version of the homebuyer tax credit on repaying existing debts, home improvements, savings and investments and household expenses, according to a National Association of REALTORS survey of 1,000 homeowners.

 Consumer spending, of course, is the real fuel for the nation’s economic engine.  And much consumer spending is fueled by the housing market—provided the housing market is energized.

 The new law extends the existing credit for first-time homeowners, worth up to $8,000, through April 30, 2010

 A new credit of up to $6,500 is available to qualified existing homeowners who buy a new primary residence by April 30, 2010, if they owned their existing home for five consecutive years over the last eight years.  Second homes don’t qualify.

 The maximum allowed home purchase price is $800,000.

In my over 30 years as a successful local Realtor, I have not seen such favorable times to purchase a home.  Interest rates are at an all time low with fixed rates less than 5%.  Home prices in many areas are back to 2003-2004 prices.  Many more people can qualify and opportunities are plentiful.

 The survey also found, after learning about the tax credit expansion, 20% of those surveyed said they were more likely to consider purchasing a home than they were six months ago.