Buyer Beware!!! – $8,000 Tax Credit?

UPDATE: signed and passed 2/17 at $8,000. See more details here.

Original post below does not indicate the change to “must not have owned a home during the last 3 years” which was added to the final bill before it was passed.

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If you are currently in the process of buying a house, be aware that there is a $15,000  ($8,000) Tax Credit in the new stimulus bill which may, or may not, pass tonight. Then it has to be signed, hopefully by President’s Day they are saying.  Then we have to watch the effective date closely “for homes closed on or after ?” Likely that will be on or after the day the bill is signed, which presumably will be some time during the month of February.

Just a day or so ago an RCG reader asked if she could take the old credit on this return, and she bought ONE DAY too early to get the credit!  Aaaargh…you don’t want that to be you, especially since this credit in this stimulus package is not a loan and is doubled (as of last night) to $15,000 as it stands right now!

That’s a lot of moolah to forfeit by closing one day too early!

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There are a lot of discussions all over the internet, the news and Twitter about the pros and cons of this, but very few warning buyers who are currently in escrow or looking at houses today!  Watch this closely, and sellers should be prepared to move the close date a day or two, if needed.  NO ONE wants to be responsible for a buyer losing out on a $15,000 (an $8,000) credit!

This is like every SELLER getting a $15,000 (an $8,000) price reduction, complements of Uncle Sam and President Obama!  Big NEWS for both buyers AND sellers of homes. Watch the news VERY closely in the coming days.

About ARDELL

ARDELL is the Managing Broker of Sound Realty in Seattle/Kirkland. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has over 22 years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. Follow Ardell on Google+

Comments

  1. poor boomer says:

    I’m already seeing suggestions that a lot of older parents will scam millions by selling their homes to0 their adult children and splitting the tax credits.

  2. biliruben says:

    The one news article I read that had some details suggested it would be any house bought in 2009, but it wasn’t so specific as to make be sure of it. It will probably change some before/if it gets under Obama’s pen.

  3. I read what Bili read. There is also a provision that will allow it spread 2 years. Those who are operating under the current $7500 tax credit may have the payback clause relieved.

    I think they are picking up steam on raising the cap on the conforming loan limit to over $700k.

    Other housing stimulus ideas being bantered about……

  4. Greg,

    I don’t think (not positive) that this is true in your comment:

    “Those who are operating under the current $7500 tax credit may have the payback clause relieved.”

    I don’t think that is true for people who bought between 4/9/08 and 12/31/08 – only those who buy/bought in 2009 before this package passes.

  5. The ideas actually STALL the market even MORE, as no one wants to buy a house and find out they “could have had” a huge benefit if they bought a few days later. Why do you think January closings were so DISMAL!? So too much talk about a new stimulus coming does more damage than good.

    They need to make their decisions final, and pass them quickly, or they cause MORE people to be on the fence, and rightly so.

    NO ONE wants to be a day early and $15,000 short!

  6. “…the conforming loan limit to over $700k.”

    Is that the $417,000 “conforming” limit to $700,000 OR the $506,000 conforming-jumbo limit to $700,000? Seems to me it should be the conforming-jumbo. Maybe Rhonda knows.

    Last I looked there was a 3/8 point spread or so on the rate between a conforming and a conforming-jumbo.

  7. Off topic comments WILL be deleted. This is not a post about whether the stimulus plan is good or not good. This is a post about how buyers and sellers of real estate need to focus on the bill, both while it is traveling through, and once it passes. It is not a political debate post. It is a REAL ESTATE post. Thank you.

  8. I am not positive about any of this at this point……

    From the NYT Caucus blog:

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/tax-credit-for-homebuyers-small-business-break-pass/

  9. Thanks Greg. I’m not expecting anyone to be positive of anything at this point :) Just making sure the readers aren’t picking up unclear info by showing both possibilities in the comments.

    Are you going to either of the events over at Zillow next week? Would love to see you again.

  10. Ardell,

    Does the $15,000 need to be payed back like the previous $7,500 tax credit?

    Per http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com FAQ page:

    Q. Does the credit have to be paid back to the government? If so, what are the payback provisions?
    A. Yes, the tax credit must be repaid. Home buyers will be required to repay the credit to the government, without interest, over 15 years or when they sell the house, if there is sufficient capital gain from the sale.

    If it doesn’t have to be paid back do you have a reference for that?

    Thanks in advance!

  11. biliruben,

    Had you bought the house that didn’t happen for you a week or so ago, and closed they day before you could get this $15,000 credit…well, its not quite a question.

    Now that you know about it…don’t you want to make sure you get it? It’s a poll :)

  12. There appears to be a lot of bad info in that link, Greg. We’ll have real facts soon enough…hopefully. Twitter seems to have better info than that link :)

  13. Bad information? Well, what do you expect. The link came from the New York Times……..

  14. I got to this in the first sentence of the second paragraph: “The swift passage of a tax deduction for homebuyers” and shut it down.

    I don’t think there’s a “deduction” in there in addition to the credit. I could be wrong, but I dont’ think so. Big difference between a credit and a deduction.

    You seem to have a lot more hair these days :) Is that a no on the Zillow events?

  15. biliruben says:

    I do want the 15K, particularly since we don’t qualify for the $7500. Who wouldn’t.

    We are actually still waiting on the final answer from them. I may have to negotiate a more-distant closing, if they deign to allow us to buy their over-priced house. I’m certainly going to be very thorough with the inspection process.

    Those politicians better hurry themselves up.

    Intellectually, I don’t like the bill, however. Folks like us don’t need this to spur us to buy. And it shouldn’t be rewarding you for buying a more expensive house. In Seattle, it hardly matters because all houses are over 150K, but in bumblefuk Texas, should you really be getting a 1st time buyer considering buying a 100K house to stretch to get the full benefit? Just make it a flat credit, or even better, make it available to only people under a certain income level.

  16. The bill highly anticipated to pass today so it will be interesting to see what the details are.

  17. biliruben,

    While the buyer is getting the credit, the seller is really the person who gains the advantage of selling vs. not selling. The incentive to “buy” is not about the buyer…it is about moving out the inventory and helping sellers and banks who own properties, get out from under.

    If you think of it that way, it makes more sense as a “stimulus” to help houses get sold. The stagnant inventory of vacant houses is not a good thing, especially in areas around the Country where buyers are touring around in “foreclsoure buses”.

  18. biliruben,

    “I do want the 15K, particularly since we don’t qualify for the $7500/”

    Are you anticipating the 15k version will not have the same income restriction as the $7,500 version of 2008?

  19. So what’s the likely income restrictions? Also, any other restriction?

    first time buyer? live-in residence?

  20. Has anyone seen if this has a similar “first time buyer” restriction as the original $7,500 credit? If I recall, for that one you were considered a first time buyer if you hadn’t owned a home in the two years before the purchase. Is this kind of provision present? And, are there income restrictions?

  21. Fripp,

    It was 3 years and not 2 on the “first time buyer” in the current loan/credit. I don’t think it’s worth anyone’s time to scour through the detail on this with it changing so much. Remember, it was $7,500 until until 18 hours ago when it became $15,000. Chances are the doubling of the amount will come with some different restrictions.

    At this point we’re more in “wait and see” mode, at least for 72 hours or so.

  22. Listening to McCain right now…sounds like the Republicans are worried about the appearance of their not having enough input, so that if it ends up “working”…the Dems don’t get all the credit.

    I have to say that even my clients who believe in small government, are hoping this thing goes through…on both sides…sellers and buyers alike.

    The worst thing that can happen is if this stalls for too long.

  23. Ardell: Can you clarify on the income restriction on the 15K credit? Also, I am confused about the first time buyer part. So this 15K credit only applies to people who don’t own a home in the last 3 years? And you also said this is not a loan, it’s a credit. How is this credit being applied to the final sales price of the home? I am very confused.

  24. Not sure if this was covered in the comments above but as of right now this is not a loan IF you live in the home as a primary residence for 24 months… else it has to be paid back. But then again as you mention it still needs to clear the house and a conference committee so who knows what it will look like when signed

  25. Brian,

    No one can “clairfy” as this is all up to change in the House and Senate as we speak. Hang in there! I don’t want to spread mis-information. Who would have known when I wrote the last post that they were going to DOUBLE the amount…overnight!? That doubling could, and maybe should, come with some changes in the terms…so let’s not spread bad info and wait for the details to get hammered out on Capitol Hill.

    The Republicans are SCREAMING to get their hands into this in a big way…anything can happen.

    It’s like asking me who’s going to win a 15 round fight in the middle of the 3rd round with both boxers stills standing….

    I CAN answer that it will have NOTHING to do with the final sale price. If you bought in 2008, then it is a loan. This one is not expected to be a loan, and the old one is EXPECTED to turn into not a loan ONLY for those who bought after /1/1/09.

    BE confused…that’s OK because the info is confusing AND still subject to change. Trying to figure it out today is of no use to anyone and will just create more confusion.

    Even when they are done it will be confusing for those who bought in 2008 vs. 2009 trying to sort the differences between the provisions for each of these two years, which will likely be quite different.

    If you already bought a house in 2008…I could clarify the current credit…but it seems you did not, so no good answers for you yet. IF YOU DID already buy a house or are in escrow…then clarify that in a new comment.

  26. Dean #23,

    I am listening to the news as I’m working today, getting every detail I can from the House floor.

    I agree and add IF ANY AGENT HELPS AN INVESTOR PRETEND THEY ARE LIVING IN THE HOUSE FOR TWO YEARS – THEY SHOULD BE HUNG AT HIGH NOON!!!

    I do think the credit WILL come with the must live there two year restriction, and rightly so. A lot of the problems in the mortgage mess of the last few years was caused by investors pretending to live in five homes at once!! and agents acting like that was between the buyer and the lender and had nothing to do with them.

    We ALL have to do our part to keep things on the straight and narrow…

  27. I’m actually stalling on posting rates on Rain City Guide today in case the stimulus plan is passed…it will be interesting to see it’s impact on mortgage rates.

  28. This is clearly one of the most exciting days I can remember in my real estate history. On the edge of my seat and answering emails about this and other things…so much activity today!!!

  29. Yes…today is stimulating! LOL

  30. I see a comment in my email from jg, but not on the site or in the pending comments in Word Press. hmmm…

  31. I see jg up at comment 9…he must have been stuck in the first time commenting que.

    jg…I think all of your questions have been answered by now in the comment stream. If not, ask again. You are no longer a first time commenter, so you shouldn’t get stuck in moderation again.

  32. heard on the elevator just now:

    “… I’m gonna refi, and they’ll give me 15k!”

    Ugh.

  33. bili,

    LOL! Thank you for sharing that. Now you know what Rhonda has to deal with all day :)

  34. OMG Ardell and bili…I’m doing far more “ughs” than rate locks these days. Did you see my latest post at RCG? I need tap dance shoes to keep up with everything. I may post rates soon..I’m tired of waiting for stimulus.

  35. I don’t think it will change seattle area price slide trend. Just too expensive for 15k to make a dent. Will consider take the government money, buy a nice house with 15k downpayment then default though…

    unless they hav an income restriction. we never seen a cent of previous tax rebate. will no doubt be footing the bill when the whole ponzi scheme blows up.

    It piss me off. I know young people with 4Million networth, living comfortably without working and receiving government tax rebate. But not us, hardworking professional with kids.

  36. All I know is that this will be a great selling point for potential clients.

  37. I think this credit can help areas with very low prices as in the Midwest. In Seattle it will probably not make any difference. Stop and think about it for a moment, $15k is about 3 months worth of depreciation on a $500k home and 1 months on a $1.5m dollar home at current depreciation rate of about 1% a month. So, if you wait a few months to buy the depreciation gives you a bigger credit than the $15k (and you still get the $15k :) ). I can’t see this spurring any selling around here. In areas with $100k homes it’s a different ball game. $15k can equal to 1 years worth of depreciation, that can potentially spur a few to pull the trigger. A waste of tax payer money as the other bailout plans if you ask me. Hopefully we will see some real action next week. I hope for nationalization of BoA but I don’t think it will happen, to many chickens and corrupt people in Washington.

  38. cautious buyer says:

    Agreed TJ. Also consider that prices would likely fall an additional 15K once the program ended.

    We would have spent a tremendous amount of money and gotten no infrastructure in return. Same falling bridges, outdated power grid, inadequate health care, and a ton of debt spent propping up the prices of a bunch of homes that already existed.

    But yes Vernal, it would be a great selling point for you.

  39. biliruben says:

    Stimulus passed, and the house tax-credit sounds like it made the cut, unfortunately.

  40. biliruben says:

    767 billion in it’s final form, and pretty emasculated.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123393201756256999.html

    Yuck.

  41. tj,

    Do you think if the government takes over B of A they will continue to charge people over 30% on the credit cards? Mandatory Usury Laws should go into effect as part of the recovery plan.

  42. biliruben

    ‘Made the cut ‘ means it wasn’t cut…do I have that right?

  43. “Do you think if the government takes over B of A they will continue to charge people over 30% on the credit cards?”

    I think and hope so Ardell, credit cards is not to be used to run up massive debt and payback the minimum each month . That is like alcoholism a disease, shopoholism or what it might be called and should not be encouraged by the gov. A 30% interest rate for unpaid balance is a good deterent for people with bad financial control. Private debt is bad and people need to wake up and start realize it. I want credit to thaw not for consumers, if they have income they can pay with their own money and keep the economy going on a sound base but for businesses who needs loans and risk captial to invest and pay salaries until investments materializes into profits.

    I think BoA has been scrambling desperately lately to show that they used some of the bailout money as Franks, Dodd and Pelosi wanted and that’s why you have seen them making loans that noone else do at this point of time. They are under scrutiny and act now out of fear not to get another pile of tax money to burn.

  44. Dadtimestwo says:

    Hi all. Yes Ardell, it made the cut. Should be signed by Tuesday. You gotta think the prospects of a $15K tax credit and historically low interest rates is going to help stabilize the market. If not stabilize, at least slow the bleeding. I don’t think the masses will rush to buy, but for those who have been waiting to purchase, it’s going to be hard to resist a huge tax credit, rates in the 4.5% range, and lower prices. As potential buyers, it’s enough to get our family very interested in purchasing. Of course, we’re blessed to have stable jobs, good credit, a big down payment, and the knowledge that we’ll spend 15-20 years in our next house. What the house costs in 1-2 years in inconsquential. It’s what the house is worth in two decades that counts for us. That being said, it’s not the housing tax credit in this bill that really matters. It the fact that we finally have a President that understands that to encourage longterm economic prosperity, you have to invest in people, education, and children. Thank goodness for that.

  45. tj,

    You’re almost as tough as sniglet :) Not quite…but almost.

  46. Dadtimestwo,

    I don’t think anyone should “convince” someone to buy a house, not me or the government. But helping them feel better about that choice, helping make that choice a little more affordable as well, is what we strive for.

  47. BIG CHANGES!!!!

    In this story on Bloomberg, I am seeing quite a few changes:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a30KUnGy1VEM&refer=home

    1) Not ONLY for !ST TIME BUYERS

    2) Credit cannot exceed tax amount

    ““By doing it the way we did, people making $120,000 are more likely to be motivated to buy a house,

  48. “You’re almost as tough as sniglet Not quite…but almost”

    Ardell, if you think it’s nice to make people slaves to credit, yes I don’t like that concept. I don’t see myself as being tough on consumers but on the insitutions who want to take advantage of their weaknesses and when one such institution is the goverment it gets a bit scary.

    You see Dadtimestwo is a good example. He has tottally bought the idea that if he breaks even in 20 years it doesn;t matter what he pays today, totally ignorant about the extra couple of hundred dollars he will pay every month for 20 years compared if he waited 1-2 years. I’m sure that money would have been sitting well in collegue funds for his two kids. When propaganda and shortterm thinking hurts peoples future like that, I’m tough. Not even close to sniglet though :)

  49. tj,

    I only had a couple of clients buy houses in 2008, and you will be surprised that they are VERY happy. It’s not ALL about “an extra couple of hundred dollars” for most families. FAR from it.

    Making people feel bad about buying a house is as condescending as two years ago when people were made to feel bad about not buying them.

    Also, for all of the “waiters” like you, you really have to caution yourself not to be giving self-serving advice. If you want prices down, convincing people not to buy under ANY circumstances is self-serving.

    Advice that very few can adhere to (and be happy) is not good advice. Too tight is just as bad as too loose. Children want happy parents and a home and sacrificing their happiness and security for a couple of hundred bucks, is NOT something a Dad should do, no matter how “smart” that may appear.

  50. As to credit and credit cards, NO LENDER should be permitted to charge 30% interest. Usury laws MUST come back in a big way. Usury laws came from RICO to stop THE MOB from charging high rates. No excuse for reputable lenders like B of A charging MOB rates.

  51. I would happily give $15k of my taxes to a single mother or father who lost their job as a check in the hand. But to someone who makes $120k+ and have the income and stability to qualify for a mortgage today? Sorry but no I don’t like that. Self-serving? What is self-serving in financial tips that works and makes sense?

  52. Dadtimestwo,

    I remember my kids saying, “Dad, we’d rather you worked at McDonald’s, than moving us every couple of years so you could make more money.” There’s a balance between doing “well” and merely doing well financially.

  53. tj,

    “I would happily give $15k of my taxes…” There, that statement is self-serving..

    The money is NOT “for the buyer of the home”. The money is to get homes sold, and has much broader purpose, the least of which is about anyone buying a house.

    Look at the big picture. It’s more for the guy who had to move out of state to get a job, after he was laid off, who needs to SELL his home…than the person who buys that home.

  54. Trying to discredit advice by calling it self-serving is beneth you Ardell, I’m a bit disappointed.

  55. It’s for the builder with standing inventory going belly-up…it’s for the old couple whose life savings in the form of equity in their home is dwindling. It is LEAST about the buyer of a home.

  56. tj,

    Clearly one must find the balance between an agent and a fence sitter. I’m an agent…you’re a fence sitter.

    It is just as bad for you to give advice that lowers prices as it is for me to give advice that stablilizes them…no more, no less.

    Telling people they should not buy a home is not good advice, tj. Not today.

    Sorry to disappoint…but some day I was bound to say something you didn’t like :) The January sales stats are impossibly low…no one is served with that kind of reduced volume…no one.

  57. tj,

    I think you ticked me off when you wanted people to pay 30% interest :) Also when you called Dadtimes two “totally ignorant”. You can have your say without acting like anyone who doesn’t agree is wrong or ignorant.

  58. Believe it or not my life revolves around more than the housing market. I’m telling things that I think can help families and the economy as a whole. Letting “happy NOW” rule your wallet is not very good advice. I’m sure the people who bought a McMansion in 2006 with a toxic loan was also happy. It’s part of the problem, not the solution. Sorry if it ticked you off.

  59. NO house and NO credit is NOT “good advice”, tj. Sorry if you think it is. It clearly is not.

    Do you really think no one should buy a house or go out with a credit card and buy a new TV? No one?

  60. I think what is going on…is I’m at that point, where I do think now is a good time to buy. I’m coming out the other side of the tunnel. From what I am seeing (some screaming deals), interest rates, all things considered…I think we are reaching that “right time to buy”.

    That will create some conflict for us, tj. But I will still do the stats for you:)

  61. “Believe it or not my life revolves around more than the housing market. I’m telling things that I think can help families and the economy as a whole.”

    That’s why I am comparing you to sniglet. He does podcasts on armageddon, and more power to him. This is primarily a housing industry blog, not a political blog.

    Some day it will be a good time to buy…it was inevitable. My life DOES revolve around the housing market…it’s what I do…and giving good advice is not easy. No one should buy for a couple of years. Telling someone who plans to live in their home for two decades that they are “ignorant” is not only not good advice…it’s mean.

  62. Kathy Sims says:

    Ardell, I have been reading columns and comments on here and found that today I needed to tip my hat to you. As an agent from WV and in a depressed area of sales, I am realizing that now it is time to grab all the FSBO’s and expireds that I can. I was thinking this was good for buyers like the office shop has instilled into me. But you are right, there are 2 sides of the fence and this time it is good for both parties. Your advise is down to earth and common sense. Do you have advise to give a seller now that it has passed ? Thank you, Kathy

  63. Kathy,

    It’s “passed” but not yet “law”…it needs to be signed and I need to confirm some of the detail before we go much further. Unlike the previous “loan/credit”…this one can be better used by sellers in their advertising…but not today.

    I will answer your question once the bill is signed, and likely do a new post on it as an update of this one.

    I never make decisions based on only one single facet influencing the housing market. The market turns on ten issues…and I’m a week or four away from being certain regarding market direction.

  64. I did not mean to say the personis ignorant as a personality trait but that he is either unaware of the main problem with buying high or choose to ignore it. If that’s mean than so be it. Blog comments easily becomes pretentions, all I try to do is to make people think, it’s the nice thing with blogs like this. Noone know’s my academic and empirical credentials in the subject and is not colored one way or the other by them, the comment stands by themselves and hopefully make people think more before taking important financial decisions one way or another. The media has enough of cheerleading to counter weight any other point of view.

  65. tj,

    I feel badly about being “at odds” with you today…but one of my clients just lost a house today. by listening to someone at work at the last second vs. what we all had agreed upon.

    The people at work didn’t lose the house. It’s “cheap” advice when you have nothing to lose.

  66. “…it’s the nice thing with blogs like this.”

    Real Estate Blogging is in its infancy, and we at RCG are clearly at the forefront of shaping what “blogs like this” are.

    Bottom line is they are advices from the writers, each writer of each post being responsible for the comment stream not hijacking the author’s basic point. So to change the advice, you have to convince me…and I am clearly open minded in that regard.

    But bottom line is the buck stops here…with the author…and their “point” at the end of the day.

    My point is that you are doing a disservice to people who are now making the tough decision to buy a house, just like the people at work advising my clients from the peanut gallery.

  67. When you tell someone paying $200 a month more for their family’s home is ignorant…you cross the line. Clearly the average family wastes $200 a month on less important things than a home for their family every month.

    Better to tell them to spend that $200 on a home and stop eating out so often, as many people do these days. One meal out at a fancy restaurant could cost a family $200 in a month. Better to have a home, I say.

  68. $200 a month for 20 years compard to wait another year or two? C’mon.
    I’d rather put that money in college funds.

    If this blog turns into “His advice is bad because he is a doom sayer,bubble head, real estate agent, lender etc” I’ll loose all interest in it (to manys satisfaction I’m sure ). You are normally pretty good at taking on the comment and not the commenter.

  69. Go back in the comment stream tj,

    You are the one who went after Mr. DadTimesTwo. I cried foul first :)

    It’s fine for you to say you would like to wait a year or two…not fine to tell others they are a good example of ignorant thinking when they don’t agree with you.

    Doom and Gloom is over…face it.

  70. biliruben says:

    This credit was written expressly for us, I will benefit the maximum from it, and I hate it.

    This money should be spent on stimulus. It should be used to build trains and windmills, not to try slow a necessary correction in a segment of the economy most responsible for our current situations, and keep housing unduly unaffordable for people who would have, in a better time, easily afforded a house.

  71. Ardell wrote: “one of my clients just lost a house today”

    What exactly does “lost” mean? Did their home go into foreclosure or something? If this is just saying they “lost” their chance to buy a home they were interested in then it might not be such a bad thing. If median prices in King County have dropped another 20% by mid 2010, they might be very happy they “lost” their chance to buy now.

    As far as the tax credit goes, this is yet another scary event for the real-estate market. Just like low mortgage rates, government incentives to buy are the result of extreme weakness, and only occur when things are set to get considerably worse. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see even larger tax credits sometime in the next couple years, and mortgage rates at below 4% for conventional loans (without having to buy down points) over the next few years.

    As always, you can get a better understanding of the argument for deflation (i.e. of severely declining asset prices) in my in-depth podcast on the subject. http://www.surkan.com

  72. “You are the one who went after Mr. DadTimesTwo” I used him as an example of a person who has been mislead and bought into a lie. I did not mean to go after hime but the people who spread propaganda that fools people into risky decisions. DadTimesTwo I truly apologize if I hurt your feelings, it was not my intent.

  73. “It’s fine for you to say you would like to wait a year or two…not fine to tell others they are a good example of ignorant thinking when they don’t agree with you.”

    I humbly disagree. I don’t tell you what to say or not to say so please don’t tell me. You can attack my point of view but if you start telling what and what not to say, it’s bye, bye RCG for me. There are many other sites to discuss this kind of stuff.

  74. tj,

    Understand that RCG is not a “message board”. You can talk to me from any and every point of view… But when you start standing on your own pulpit and beating down the views of other people who are commenting…you cross the line.

    I hope you are not going to be one of those people who only likes me when I saw things you agree with. Clearly I have stuck my neck out as an agent, and didn’t care if agents got mad at me for disagreeing with them. I’ve done that for as long as it was true. For you to be just like those agents now…is beneath you. Taking your ball and going home because the market isn’t going to hit twenty cents on the dollar…well, I expected more of you.

  75. No worries Ardell, I relaized today that I spend to much time on the internet(almost like an addiction) that I can make better use of, one less site to visit is a good start. Thanks for the info the and discussions the last years it has been fun and enlightening. All the best and keep up the good work.

  76. Thanks tj…best to you as well.

  77. Interest…feels like a “break up”. Blogs are amazing.

  78. Comment #1 was trapped in the first time commenter filter, and I missed it when Dustin released it.

    Yes, I am seeing concerns posted that people will game the $15,000 credit by “pretend selling” their homes to family members. I just mentioned this in a comment on Tim’s recent post about lender fraud.

  79. My husband and I bought a house Sept. 2008, we will definitely qualify for the $7500 tax rebate/loan. The way I understand it, the 15K will replace the 7500. But the 15K will only be given to people that bought a house this year ( ’09).
    Anyway, my question is, if the 15K will replace the $7500, does that mean we will not get any rebate, since we bought it in ’08? We have been delaying the filing of our taxes because of these reasons. Do you think it would be wise to just file now and not wait for the bill to be passed?

  80. grace,

    Not to worry. The replacement of this one for the old one will not negate the old one. The main issue will be the overlap period.

    Bush’s was 4/9/08 to 6/30/09. I expect if this one passes on 2/30/09 (as example, it will replace the old one AS OF 2/30/09 and have a retroactive provision of some kind…maybe not.

    When they were both $7,500, this was more clear. Will January buyers get a credit vs. a loan only to $7,500 or to $15,000? I don’t know that, and I don’t think anyone can be certain until this one is actually signed.

    But for you and September of 2008, I’m 99% positive it is clear as someone called the IRS about it a few days ago and said so in one of these posts. For you…it is what it is now and has been since 4/9/08. You can pay someone to look over your completed return to be sure. It probably wouln’t cost much to have them review that one provision.

  81. Thanks Ardell!
    One more question, is zillow.com pretty accurate in giving estimates? It just seemed kind of weird to me since my house is now worth $246,000 ( I bought in for $155,000 in Sept.08). Isn’t that such a big jump? We are first time home buyers so we don’t really know anything about the housing market. Most houses, like my sister’s and my brother’s houses have gone way down. But not ours, which I am feeling doubtful. I mean, my house is pretty well kept, very clean etc.
    Thank you again for the fast reply. :)

  82. That sure doesn’t seem right, grace, unless you bought a foreclosure. Where is the house?

  83. Hello! We live in Aurora, CO (very, very close to Denver). It’s not a foreclosure and it has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and 1800 sq ft. bi-level. The total lot area is almost 8000 sq.ft.

  84. I must sound crazy since I am asking about the CO market while oyu’re in Seattle. Anyway, you don’t need to answer if you don’t want to. Thanks!

  85. grace,

    You don’t sound crazy. We both know there’s no way your price went up like that, but if you want to “report it” and have someone look into it, email davidg@zillow.com

    If it was local I’d do it for you, or tell him when I see him on Friday. But given it’s in CO…you can take it to him.

  86. Thank you, thank you! I will do that.

  87. I own four paid-off properties. Their values have been destroyed. I worked my butt off to pay these off. I do not have heat or hot water now as I want to afford taxes on these properties.

    I am not eligible for a buyer credit. My taxable income last year was $4000. I am not eligible for senior credit, unemployment, and all the other stuff others can get.

    I hate my fellow citizens.

  88. Winston,

    Reminds me of my cousin who hated my Mom for “using up her Social Security”. My Dad died when my Mom was 43 and had 7 children 4 of them minors at the time and two of whom were very sickly children. So my Mom received Social Security long before she was “old”.

    At some family function one of her 2nd cousins screamed at her “YOU are using up MY Social Security and there won’t be any for me when I get old!”

    Not sure why your comment reminded me of that, but it did.

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