The National Association of Realtors issued a call to action today to contact your Senators and Congressmen about extending the deadline on the $8,000 home buyer tax credit. Click the link above and you can see NAR's video on this subject.
While I am glad that the tax credit has probably helped stimulate the real estate market and the economy some, I also wonder about the longer-term effects of this so-called "stimulus" money on this nation's deficit and national debt.
I would rather see the money in the hands of the people as opposed to Wall Street fat cats or failing banks though. However I also hear stories on the news and elsewhere of people using the $8,000 to pay for frivolous items. Kind of a windfall shopping spree. I also don't like mortgaging the future of this country by giving free money to people while increasing massive debt that may end up crushing our nation one day (if it hasn't already). Kind of "socialized" real estate buying if you can call it that. Take from my pocket and put it in yours.
I did some quick research in our Mid-Florida Regional MLS system which covers portions of some 14 counties surrounding Orlando and Tampa. Of 55,500 sales since 12/1/2008, some 23,594 (42.5%) sold for all cash. Which means some 31,906 (57.5%) sold for some type of financing terms. I am assuming that most of the cash buyers are investors who won't be getting the tax credit, while most of the financed buyers are owner occupants many of which will be getting the tax credit. I'm not sure exactly what these numbers mean though. However it does show that many people are buying regardless of whether they are getting the $8,000 tax credit. Personally I bought an investment property earlier this year and didn't get a government check out of it.
So what's your take on extending the tax credit? Is that a good thing? Or should the government simply butt out and stop meddling with the economy? I haven't made up my mind, but overall I tend to be against most government programs that involve spending my tax dollars on items that aren't prescribed specifically in the Constitution.