Extending the Home Buyer Tax Credit – So Close, Yet So Far Away
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.
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.
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!
Your Friend in Real Estate,
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