Just about anyone interested in buying a house right now has heard about the $8,000 tax credit. If not, here is an explanation for you.
The deadline to purchase a home and still qualify for the program is Nov 30th. Since it often takes 45 days or longer to close on a sale these days most buyers will need to chose a house and move forward soon or they risk missing the deadline.
- Close before Nov 30th – you should aim for a date earlier than that in case the closing gets delayed, or you could miss the deadline – especially with Thanksgiving getting in the way. So let’s say you should close on Nov 20th to be safe.
- Count backward 45 days – lenders will be overwhelmed and won’t be adding staff to help with the loan rush because they expect sales to slow down after the deadline passes. (This is a generalization – your lender will be able to give you a better idea of how much time they will need.) So you should have a signed purchase contract by October 6th.
- That leaves you about 5 weeks to find your house if you start today.
Do you Believe It?
If you believe that Congress will let the Tax Credit will expire, and you really want that money back, you need to get out there now and find something to buy.
What are you waiting for? Start researching, driving, viewing, and getting advise. Now.
The thing is, there are a couple bills out there right now that would extend or even INCREASE the tax credit. The 2009 credit was better than the 2008 credit, so it’s possible that there will be another incentive offered in 2010 and it will be better yet. But there is no guarantee.
So the question is, Do you feel lucky, Punk?
If you like to gamble you could (possibly) win double. If it were me I would take the $8,000 – but I don’t go to Vegas either.
First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Extension Possible
Bills to extend the maximum $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, which expires Nov. 30, are pending in both the U.S. House and the Senate.
Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, is co-sponsor of a bill with Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson that would raise the credit amount to a maximum of $15,000.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid of Nevada favors an extension of the current credit. He was quoted by the Las Vegas Sun saying, “It’s something we can get done.”
Odds are that the credit will be extended and broadened to cover all buyers next year, but the chances of the amount increasing aren’t as good, observers say.
Source: Washington Post Writers Group, Kenneth R. Harney (08/22/2009)