The $8,000 tax credit is set to expire very soon. Buyers must be under contract by April 30, 2010.
The consensus seems to be that Congress will not renew the tax credit. I’m torn between wanting our country to pursue responsible fiscal policy and reducing the national debt, and wanting this tax credit to continue as I’ve seen first-hand the effect it’s had on the market.
Buyers I’ve been working with are quite aware of the tax credit. It remains to be seen what happens to the market after the tax credit expires.
The good news is that we’re entering the traditional busy season in real estate, so it’s likely that the tax credit expiration will not have a measurable effect on the number of contracts given that we’re entering the spring/summer strong season. Final analysis will likely have to wait until next year.
Call or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the tax credit, or Boulder or Denver real estate in general.
Uncle Sammy has agreed to keep his pockets open through April 30, 2010. And now, even more home buyers will be eligible to reach in and grab $8,000. Here are the details:
First-time home buyers are eligible for an $8,000 tax credit.
Current homeowners who have lived in their current home for 5 consecutive years are eligible for a $6,500 tax credit if they purchase a NEW home.
If you have bought a home previously but have not owned a home in last 3 years then you’re eligible for the $8,000 tax credit.
Income limits: $125,000 for an individual, $250,000 for a couple.
The home must be $800,000 or less and cannot be a vacation or second home.
Pretty generous overall.
I’m torn about this tax credit. I’ve come out pretty consistently in favor of the tax credit as it appears to have a direct effect on the buying habits of my Denver and Boulder clients. It’s clearly one of the issues they’re considering when making their decision to buy at this time. So expanding the tax credit will likely continue to help buyers get off the fence and jump in to home ownership if they were considering it in the first place.
But I just can’t help but to wonder what is going to happen with all of our debt in this country. Tax credits like this equal lost revenue for the Fed. God knows we’re already in hock up to our necks with China holding most of the purse strings. What happens if the Chinese decide to transition out of the US Dollar and into other currencies as suggested by this article?
In the land of the broke, the one-nickle man is king. Let me start by stating the obvious: I may be wrong. My opinion doesn’t really mean anything. It’s just my opinion. And I’m not brilliant, just average intelligence at best. But it seems painfully obvious to me that if you encourage a new round of first-time home buyers to jump in to the real estate game when they don’t even have enough for a down payment, then you’re just asking for trouble.
This is pretty much what the current administration is doing by creating this “fake” bond market. I’ve mentioned earlier how the housing collapse took this bond market with it. It just disappeared…there was no longer a bond market where investors bought and sold mortgage-backed securities. Makes sense, right? If those securities are worthless, then who is going to buy them. Well, you are. And me. We are buying them.
The Federal Government is jumping back into the mortgage security game and plans on buying up Fannie and Freddie assets backed by state bonds in order to finance loans to first time home buyers. Part of program also helps people with BAD loans get refinancing. I’m not opposed to that at all, in fact that seems like a good idea to me. If you can take someone from an arm loan that adjusted to 12% to a fixed loan at 5% and they can avoid foreclosure, then great! I’m all for it.
My problem with this program is that it appears that we haven’t learned anything from our recent mistakes. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could afford a home? Sure, that sounds really nice. Maybe even Utopian. But is that that case? Should we be messing around like this and continuing to encourage home ownership to people who just can’t afford it? What’s wrong with renting and saving for a down payment? I’m NOT talking about saving for a 20% down payment, no. The current FHA minimum down payment is only 3.5%. Just three and a half percent. That’s $7,000 down for a $200,000 home. Doesn’t it seem reasonable to expect a potential home owner to come up with 3.5%? And if they can’t, then that’s ok. It doesn’t mean your a bad person if you need to rent for a while in order to SAVE up that 3.5%. I’ve rented for more of my adult life than I’ve owned a home. I’m a decent guy, not some sort of miscreant.
Rent does not equal Bad. Ownership does not equal good. Let your reality dictate whether you rent or own. RESPONSIBLE home ownership is a great thing. Responsible renting is also a good thing, especially if it affords you the opportunity to SAVE some money.
Uncle Sam is indicating that he’d like to use a few of our tax dollars to finance billions in loans. Great. Now, I’m all for the current $8,000.00 tax credit as I’ve seen first hand benefits for buyers I’ve been working with in the Denver and Boulder markets. But this is a much different creature.
The program I’m referring to is the one announced today by the Obama Administration whereby the Federal Government will become the new buyer in the previously evaporated mortgage-backed security market, thus allowing state agencies to fund millions of mortgages. What? Basically, when the economy and housing market imploded last year the bond market for mortgage backed securities disappeared. This caused various HFA’s (housing finance agencies) to cease giving loans or raise rates considerably. So now Uncle Sam is Subprime Sammy!, your mortgage backed security expert and buyer extraordinaire.
All kidding aside- how is the potential of this program any different than what subprime lenders did over the last decade or so to “encourage” first time buyers to jump into the market? Aren’t we currently living through the aftermath of the collapse of just such a program?
Part of this program would allow first-time buyers to use the future $8,000 tax credit as part of their down payment. Another bad idea. This means that this new round of buyers will have the same amount of skin in the game as the subprime borrowers who got 100% financing in 2003. None. So there is no incentive to stay in the game, and we might as well look forward to another massive wave of foreclosures 3-5 years from now when some of these new homeowners realize that this is not their cup of tea.
I’m all for helping first-time buyers…we do it all the time at Real-a-Save. But if a potential buyer has ZERO dollars, then maybe, just maybe, they’re NOT a potential buyer after all. FHA loans require 3.5% down right now. That’s a pretty darn good deal. Why are we looking for ways to require zero down? Isn’t that exactly what got us here in the first place?
Email email@example.com if you have any real estate questions, or if you would like to know about our Colorado commission rebate program. And no, you cannot use a commission rebate towards your down payment;-)
Once in a while our government actually does something right. The bailouts are a complete joke imho. What do they do for the average citizen? Nothing. But the $8000 tax credit being offered to first time home buyers is putting money directly in the pockets of average Americans. And that is a good thing.
We’re hoping that they extend the tax credit into 2010 as it’s our belief that this will have a profound impact on the real estate market moving forward. Depending on where you’re looking in the Colorado Front Range region, the markets are either holding steady or fairly robust. The Louisville real estate market is red hot, and the Boulder real estate market is quite strong. Moving out into places like Aurora and the South Metro area shows a different story. But it’s safe to say that extending the tax credit would help to bring more buyers into all of these markets, reduce inventory, and get us a long way towards economic recovery.