House Bill 1495 has been introduced into the legislature and is now in committee. In these times filled with hope, I am hoping this bill dies or at least comes out looking substantially different. Let’s take a look.
AN ACT Relating to real estate excise tax exemptions to stabilize neighborhoods…
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
The legislature finds that there is a substantial inventory of unsold or foreclosed vacant homes on the market that is driving property values down and destabilizing neighborhoods. These homes also present an opportunity to provide affordable homes to low-income families, addressing some of the unmet need for affordable housing in the state of Washington. The legislature also finds that providing targeted incentives to housing developers will stimulate the sale of these vacant homes to low-income buyers now and stabilize neighborhoods affected by this growing inventory. The legislature intends to provide such incentives through excise tax relief on sales of homes to low-income first-time homebuyers.
I’ve been asking Realtors in all my classes to begin watching the percentage of financially distressed sellers with homes for sale in their market area. Agents can do an MLS keyword search using terms such as “short sale,