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A relief for us Realtors who were just beginning to see an increase in business could be here. I am hoping for myself (and my buyers, especially the ones on the fence) that this holds to be true. Also, for move-up buyers, this could mean $6,500 in their pockets too!
CNN reported today that a compromise proposal based on bills that have already been introduced could pass the Senate as early as this week (assuming that it is attached to a bill to extend unemployment benefits).
The compromise bill would likely open the program to some existing homeowners. The expiring tax credit is limited to buyers who have not owned a home for at least two years.
According to a CNN.com story today:
* First-time buyers could continue to claim up to $8,000. But existing homeowners who have lived in their home for five years could receive up to $6,500 if they trade up to a larger principal residence.
* The full credit would be limited to buyers who earn less than $125,000 a year and for married couples with annual incomes up to $225,000.
* The credit could only be used for homes selling for $800,000 or less.
* Contracts must be signed by April 30, 2010 and sales must close by June 30.
Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy.com (MCO), told me recently that he supports the extension because the housing market could take a big step back without it. But he agreed with critics that it is one of the most inefficient ways for the government to support housing.
According to Zandi, only 22% of about 1.8 million buyers who will claim the soon-to-expire credit would not have bought a home but for the incentive. Expanding the credit to include previous homeowners and extending the credit through June will cost about $30 billion, on top of about $8 billion that would have already been spent, he said.
The compromise bill outlined here might be cheaper because it seems to more narrowly define the existing homeowners who can take advantage of the credit.
While this is not official until the bills is approved and signed into law, its a start! I do think that we need to look at coming to a point that we don't rely on the government for help, but an end to the credit right now could throw us farther back, just when it began to pick up. The only worry is that this will continue to drive down home prices. What do you all think?
Deryck Wilson, Broker, Realtor, e-PRO RE/MAX Preferred Realty - Greenville NC "The Tallest Man in Real Estate, Above the Crowd, Literally!" www.REMAX-GREENVILLE-NC.com
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.