Tax credit helps homebuyers, but may not affect Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A new tax credit for first time homebuyers can make house hunting a big incentive for some people in the market, but local realtors say the Grand Strand may not see as much benefit from the program as other parts of the Palmetto State.

"The majority of our market is second or investment homes," says Laura Crowther of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors. "It won't have as much of an impact in a resort community like the Grand Strand."

The tax credit, released by the South Carolina State Housing Authority, can give a tax credit worth up to $2,000 a year to first-time homebuyers, so long as they live in the house and work in the county they live in.

"You do this while you're purchasing," says realtor Blake Sloan. "It's available through all kinds of lenders like Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac."

This tax credit differs from previous ones that were only a single sum given to first-time homebuyers. This credit will continue as long as the mortgage lasts.

While the Carolina Coast is heavily influenced by investment and vacation homes, realtors say this tax credit could act as a boon to certain areas of Horry County or the Pee Dee, where home construction caters to families.

"The western parts of Horry and Georgetown Counties," Crowther says, "those areas may cater a little to the first-time homebuyer."

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.