As Homes Grow Larger, Delaware Adds To Its First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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The Federal Savings Bank informs readers of new developments in Delaware with regards to first-time homebuyers.

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The Federal Savings Bank

The average number of new homes being built are 50 percent bigger, at 2,306 square feet, than average homes in 1973, even though family sizes have shrunk by 10 percent.

As new homes continue with their onward expansion, The Federal Savings Bank applauds the state of Delaware for renewing its support for first-time homebuyers by approving a new incentive program.

The Census Bureau indicated that Americans in the home buying market are gravitating toward larger homes, despite family size. Since 1973, the three-bedroom house has enjoyed the majority of the market share. But according to the Census Bureau - that could change.

The average number of new homes being built are 50 percent larger, at 2,306 square feet, than average homes in 1973, even though family sizes have shrunk by 10 percent. The household size - which is inclusive of anyone living in a home - has declined by 15 percent, per Census Bureau data.

Despite three-bedroom homes still dominating the market, accounting for 47 percent of total homes, the new home data suggests a shift in taste among buyers. In 2009, the three-bedroom market share was 53 percent. By 2012, that figure dropped to 46 percent while four-bedroom homes experienced their biggest market share ever - 41 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors.

What are states doing?
The Cape Gazette reported on Delaware's recent announcement, showcasing a first-time home buyer program that would provide incentives to homeowners within the state. Anas Ben Addi, director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, and Governor Jack Markell openly welcomed the new program, the Delaware First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, as a way to celebrate homeownership month.

"While DSHA has been hard at work to create innovative financial products to help repeat buyers, we still remain committed to first-time homebuyers who oftentimes just need a little help to bridge the gap to homeownership," Addi added. "We expect that this tax credit will not only give them the means to realize their dreams, it will also have the added benefit of giving a boost to that segment of the housing market. Strengthening our economy is good for everyone and keeps Delaware moving forward."

First-time home buyers are eligible for a tax credit up to $2,000 each year so long as they purchase a home as their primary residence, occupy it and the mortgage is in their name.

"Not only do these programs help get you into a home; but the education process - which is so important - also prepares you so that you can sustain it," said Dean Hagans, a first-time home buyer in Delaware. "Homeownership, to me, means stability and the opportunity to establish yourself and be a part of a community."

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