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How Will Real Estate Respond To The Stimulus


Ah, the million dollar question.  According to the National Association of Realtors a few hundred thousand extra transactions will take place as a direct result of the real estate portion of the recently signed stimulus package.  The provision directly responsible is the $8000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that does not have to be repaid as was the case for last yearís Ďcredití. 

While I am convinced double that amount for any buyer this year would have brought everyone off the sidelines to purchase, weíll take what we can get.  Iím proud of my fellow real estate professionals for fighting to ensure our clients at least didnít lose anything from a buying perspective, but my opinion is that the government lost an opportunity to truly allow real estate to lead an early recovery.  More incentives and tax breaks should have been given to absorb the current and upcoming inventory of foreclosures, while at the same time discard any plan that uses the tax money from the 92% of homeowners that are paying their mortgagesÖ.but I digress.

What really matters is that we remain in the same wonderful buyerís market.  It has improved for first-time buyers for sure with the new credit.  If you have not owned a home in the past 3 years or are a first-time buyer, find a good real estate agent pronto to ascertain your options as this is the definition of Ďbuy low.í

Itís still wonderful to sell and buy in this market.  As youíve heard me say many times, itís all relative.  Here in Northern Virginia, whatever you lose on the front end (your sale), you gain on the back end (your purchase).  You simply want to sit with your agent and go over a net sheet to see the opportunity Iím talking about.

One Ďrumorí that has been out there the past few weeks is this idea that the feds are going to mandate a 4% interest rate among banks to spur things along.  This did not happen and thereís no talk that it will.  Interest rates are driven by market forces and are still excellent.

So, the jury is out as to how much the stimulus plan will help, but regardlessÖ buyers, get out there.  Iíll next be reiterating the necessity to educate yourselves on the differences between short sales, bank owned properties, and Ďnormalí sales by homeowners.  Here in Northern Virginia it is imperative to understand the differences and Iím sure it is the same in your neck of the country.

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  Published Date - February 26 2009
  Total Views - 924
  Total Votes - 3
  Average Rating - 1
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  Mr. Todd Kolasch
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