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Can You Use Some Stimulus Money?

Eight months ago, the stimulus package went into effect and still, today, there is approximately 48% of these funds that has not been spent. Can you use some of this money? Whether you are planning to purchase your first home or you already own a home, take a look to see if you can access some of the stimulus money made available to the American people:

1. First time home buyers can still claim their $8,000 tax credit for purchasing their first home until November 30, 2009. All transactions for this tax credit must be closed prior to the December 1, 2009 deadline. There is talk about extending this credit for 6 months, but to date, this has not yet been passed.

2. $5 billion is set aside through the stimulus package for the Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program. If you want to weatherize your home, now is the time to do it if you qualify for the program. The program is open to anyone whose income is under 200 percent of the federal poverty level which is about $44,000 per year for a family of four. Through this program, the average family can make energy efficient improvement and upgrades up to approximately $6,500. By contacting your individual state energy office, you will be referred to a local nonprofit. They, in turn, will visit your home and perform an energy audit to ascertain what improvements need to be made.

3. There is also a program called the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program. This program is covered by the Recovery Act's $300 million grant. Under this program dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines are covered and eligible, that is provided they are an Energy Star qualified appliance. The details of this program are still in the works and will be administered by each individual state.

With the move to going green in every area of our lives, now may be a good time to take advantage to the assistance that is being offered to you to attain that goal. Take some time and look into this now before the cold of winter is upon you and heating bills start to roll in.

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