REALTOR®-Backed First-Time Homebuyer and Second-Chance Savings Account Bill Passes House & Senate

REALTOR®-Backed First-Time Homebuyer and Second-Chance Savings Account Bill Passes House & Senate

The First-Time Homebuyer and Second-Chance Savings Account (FHSA) bill, HB 248, passed the Senate Wednesday with a vote of 22-2. The House unanimously concurred Thursday morning with a vote of 97-0. The bill now goes to Governor Ivey’s office for consideration.

“On behalf of our 14,000 members, thank you to the Alabama Legislature for supporting this bill and a special thank you to the bill’s sponsors and cosponsors. 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.”

REALTORS® advanced this program to help promote homeownership with potential first-time homebuyers in Alabama. This bill, if signed into law, would establish First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts to help first-time homebuyers save money toward the purchase of their first home. The FHSA bill creates tax-free savings accounts that a first-time buyer can use for the down payment and closing costs of a residence. These savings accounts will allow more Alabamians to experience the American dream of homeownership.

“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.”

The FHSA bill provides for a 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.

The Alabama Association of REALTORS® (AAR) is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals comprised of over 14,000 members. United by adherence to a Code of Ethics, our members work as real estate professionals in the sale, lease, appraisal, management, and development of residential, commercial, rural, and resort properties throughout Alabama.