The deadline for First Time Home Buyers to receive the $8,000 tax credit is approaching very quickly. I know Realtors have been doing everything they can to promote this, and increase the public awareness, but I am amazed by how many people I talk to that are nearly oblivious to it.
The last time I really addressed this issue was when the Washington State Housing Finance Commission decided they were not participating in any kind of "bridge Loan" program to allow FHA buyers to access the Tax Credit proactively, and use it for a down payment. This was unfortunate as a lot of credit worthy buyers were simply unable to save up enough to cover the 3.5% down payment necessary for an FHA loan when the $8,000 would cover this completely. Granted, FHA still allows for gifting of the down payment from a direct relative, or true non-profit entity that they recently revised yet again, but in our current economic circumstances, only a few lucky buyers have that option.
There have also been a few issues with the acceptable organizations such as Tacoma Down Payment Assistance, and Pierce County Down Payment Assistance running out of available funds. Again, this is due to the economy we are in as there is increased competition for the Bond investment dollars used to fund these types of programs. There are only so many investment dollars, and specifically bonds, available right now. The good news is they are now expecting funding any day, but it may be too late for some.
In light of all these things, I have been hearing more people calling for an extension of the Tax Credit. There has been some movement on this, and I recently wrote a blog for Puyallup First Time Home Buyers on a local realtor's website. However, keep in mind that regardless of how much we in the real estate industry may want something, it is up to our elected leaders in the legislative branch of government to make it happen.
Ron Brown FHA & VA loan Specialist First Mortgage Company of Washington