3 more months and $8,000 vanish into thin air

Wednesday, September 2, 2009, AM | Leave Comment

Time is running out to claim the $8,000 first-time home-buyers tax credit. Passed earlier this year as part of the economic stimulus package, the credit is good for up to $8,000, or 10% of the purchase price, and applies to people who have not owned a home in the previous three years. There are some income restrictions as well.

There is good news and there is bad news. The good news is unlike a similar program from 2008, the credit does not have to be repaid. The bad news is the program ends on Dec 1, 2009.

Because it usually takes around 90 days to close on a house after a contract is signed, buyers have very little time left to act. As of Tues., Sept 2, there are only 90 days left before the credit ends.

The National Association of Realtors estimates that 1.8 million buyers will file for the credit, and 350,000 of them wouldn’t have been able to buy without it. That means the program has definitely helped first-time home buyers.

In a Nutshell
Of course, analysts worry that this frenzy will dry up once the tax credit expires. They argue that without the incentive, much of the pressure on home-buyers to act quickly will vanish, and the emerging housing recovery could slump.

Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., who is a former real estate broker, is pushing legislation to extend the tax credit through next year, increase it to $15,000, include non-first-time home-buyers, and remove income restrictions.

What do you think?

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