What’s Happening with the $8,000 homebuyer credit?

Post Updated based on Info available as of 11/5/09 – No significant changes, but a few minor ones, so if you first read this back when I wrote it on 10/29/2009, take another look at the updates.

$8,000There are a lot of rumors flying around suggesting that the $8,000 credit has been extended. While that is not the case, as nothing has been signed yet, there seems to be strong support for:

1) Extending the $8,000 credit for 1st time buyers, including people who have not owned a home for 3 years

2) An added $6,500 credit for move up buyers who have owned their current home for at least 5 consecutive years of the last 8 years. (this provision is still under heated discussion and most subject to compromise before the bill is passed.) Updated 11/5/08

3) Expansion of the income requirement to $125,000 for an individual and $250,000  $225,000 for a married couple.

4) Extension to contracts entered into by April 30, 2010 that are also closed by June 30, 2010 (before July 1, 2010)

The most credible “rumor”/story going around [IMO] is CNN Money’s “$8,000 Credit Still in Play“.

In my opinion #1 and #4 make the most sense in that it seems senseless to drop the credit at the end of “Spring Bump” vs. just before 2010 “Spring Bump”.  Closing the door on the credit on Nov. 30th never made any sense, as seasonal factors will make it appear that the credit going away is having more of an adverse affect than it really is, given November through February sales are almost always lower as to price and volume.

Cutting the cord on the credit at the end of April (end of March even better) makes perfect sense, and gives the market the opportunity to compensate during its most robust season.  If the market can transition from 1st quarter 2010 with a credit, to 2nd and 3rd quarters without a credit on a flat market basis, it will be easier to get rid of it altogether. And yes…eventually…it really must go away. I certainly hope the industry isn’t going to keep lobbying indefinitely for its continuation. That would NOT be a good thing.

While it seems that “Senator’s Have Agreed” this credit is still not signed sealed and delivered, (Update 11/5/09 at last step, needs to be signed by the President) so stay tuned for the final version as I think the wheel may still be spinning with regard to the $6,500 move up buyer credit, as well as the expansion of the  income requirements.