Extending the Home Buyer Tax Credit – So Close, Yet So Far Away

Real Estate Agent with Weichert, Realtors - Engle and Hambright

Here is the headline from the AP Story that ran yesterday "Senators agree to extend homebuyer tax credit".  Look spretty good, doesn't it?  Reading that, you would think we were in the clear, tax credits for everyone!   Well, I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but we still have a long way to go. 

close up moon


Think of this process like looking at the moon through a telescope, it's there, you can see every detail, you almost feel like you can reach out and touch it....... yet it is still thousands of miles away.Moon in sky


So, why am I being so negative?  Because it isn't done!  What happened yesterday was an excellent beginning, we needed this or this thing would have been dead in the water.  But Congress didn't extend the credit.  A few "key players", as in Senate leaders, agreed to include provisions (more details on that are in the post I wrote 2 days ago) to extend the tax credit  in a Bill to extend unemployment benefits.  Here are the highlights of what they agreed on:

  • Extending the $8,000 First Time Buyer Credit to 4-30-10.
  • Giving a tax credit of up to $6,500 to Repeat Buyers who have owned their current home for at least 5 years, through 4-30-10.
  • Allowing Qualifying Buyers who have a contract written before 4-30-10 a 60 day extension to close, so as long as the sale closes befores 6-30-10, they are good to go.

This is wonderful news, I want it to happen, I support it, a tax credit extension for First Time Buyers along with incentivising Repeat Buyers would go a long way towards helping make markets continue to move forward, but this thing still needs to be voted on in the Senate, pass through the House unchanged and then be signed by the President.

That process could take weeks, if not months more, depending on how those "negotiations" happening in both Houses of Congress progress.   Remember, this was supposed to be voted on 2 days ago, yet still hasn't happened.  It's a great start, but until it is done, signed and in place with all provisions, requirements and timelines in place and available to review, it can all go away. 

Do I think it will?  No, I think we have a good chance of getting something, but remember, when the credit in place now was first proposed it included a larger amount (up to $15,000) for every buyer.  That didn't happen and while I would love this thing to pass as written, we can't say it's done yet.  So close, yet so far away.

Keep pushing Congress to make it happen, write those letters and emails, spread the word, go to http://www.realtoractioncenter.com/ and take action, we need your help if this thing is going to fly!

I'd like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please, comment, forward The Lancaster Connection to your friends, subscribe and as always, if you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-490-8999!

Your Friend in Real Estate,

Jason Burkholder

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As always, I'd like you to be part of the conversation, so if you like what you read here please comment, forward this post to your friends and subscribe! 

If you have questions, need real estate advice or want to buy or sell a home, you can call or text me at 717-371-0557, email me at Jason@JasonsHomes.com or contact me at the office at 717-291-1041!

Search for Lancaster County Homes for sale at www.JasonsHomes.com by clicking here!



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Dan Rabourn
RE/MAX of Grand Rapids Inc. - Grand Rapids, MI


You make great points. Extending the credit will go SO far, especially in our Michigan market, towards correcting a bad situation.

Thanks for your insight!

Oct 29, 2009 03:23 AM #1
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

I am even in favor of them carrying a silent second for the amount of the tax credit that will have to be repaid when they ultimately sell.  This silent second would improve their LTV and decrease the MIP and make it easier for lenders to free up cash too!  People won't complain as much about the bailout if they know the person getting the "bailout" will have to bail themselves out, not the tax payer!

Oct 29, 2009 03:31 AM #2
Jane Nicastro-Disch
Weichert Realtors - Watchung, NJ
NJ Estates Real Estate Group of Weichert Realtors

The National Debt will kill the real estate industry!


See the U.S. National Debt Clock:



Oct 29, 2009 03:34 AM #3
Jason Burkholder
Weichert, Realtors - Engle and Hambright - Lancaster, PA
Sales Manager, Assoc. Broker, Realtor, e-Pro

Dan - Thanks for reading, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Jim - I agree, we have a program like that in place here in my area that allows qualifying first time buyers to get up to $5,000 for closing cost assistance, then a silent second is placed on the home for furture payback, it's a great program!

Frank - Maybe, I agree debt is a huge problem, but I'm sure there are some $10,000 toilet seats and ketchup subsidies Uncle Sam could do away with before dropping a program like this with clear benefits for buyers.

Oct 29, 2009 03:48 AM #4
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