A New Way to Save For a Home in Alabama Nearly a Reality

By Anthony SanFilippo
Alabama State House
Photo: Alabama State House. The legislature has passed the First-Time Homebuyer and Second-Chance Savings Account (FHSA) bill, or HB248

Do you remember how you felt when you bought your first home?

It was a wave of emotions, right? Excitement turned into anxiety which turned into stress when you applied for a loan, or when you first heard what kind of down payment was needed or the closing costs and fees were going to be once they were added to your initial payment due.

Or, if you’ve never owned a home, is one of the reasons because the financials are so daunting that you never thought you could have the wherewithal to make it happen?

Well those worries can start to subside now here in Alabama – and this is beneficial to all, even those that are current homeowners.

That’s because the Alabama House and Senate closed out the month of March with near-unanimous support of the First-Time Homebuyer and Second-Chance Savings Account (FHSA) bill, or HB248.

The FHSA bill provides for a tax-free savings account for persons who have never owned a home or those that are re-entering the housing market, if they have not owned a home within 10 years.

The savings from the account can be used to pay for a down payment and/or closing costs for a single-family dwelling. The bill states that deposits and earnings cannot exceed $50,000, and qualified expenditures must be made in five years from opening the account.

“We appreciate the overwhelming bi-partisan support this bill has received from legislators across the state,” Alabama REALTORS® CEO Jeremy Walker said. “Our legislators understand the obstacles first-time homebuyers face and took action toward providing a resource to help those individuals accomplish their dream of homeownership.”

But it’s not just a benefit to first-time or second-chance homebuyers.

Home ownership helps improve neighborhoods, which in turn attracts businesses, which creates jobs and improves our local economy.Click To Tweet

It’s a benefit to all of us, because home ownership helps improve neighborhoods, which in turn attracts businesses, which creates jobs and improves our local economy.

So, there’s a stake in this for all of us.

“Our members really rallied behind this bill and helped emphasize to legislators the positive impact this bill could have on Alabama’s housing market,” said Stacey Sanders, Alabama REALTORS® Public Policy Chair. “This bill not only benefits first-time buyers, but Alabama’s real estate industry as a whole. If signed into law, it would do a lot of good for a lot of people.”


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