The "Stimulus" & What It Means For Real Estate

As different versions of the so called stimulus package were coming through Congress, there were many different ideas batted around concerning tax credits and home buying. The Senate's original bill had a tax credit of up to $15,000 (depending on how much you pay in taxes) for ANYONE who bought a home this year. The $15,000 credit was one of the only stimulating things that the bill had going for it but unfortunately it was drastically changed in the final version.

The final version of the stimulus only gives an $8,000 credit and is restricted to first time home buyers. This could also include people who have not owned a home in the last 3 years. First time home buyers can receive the credit on their 2010 taxes and the home has to be bought sometime between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009.

First time home buyers that bought in 2008 are still eligible for the old $7,500 credit, however, there is a big difference in the old $7,500 and the new $8,000. The $7,500 credit is more like a loan than a tax cut. It is interest free but you still have to pay it back. The $8,000 is a true tax cut that you don't have to pay back. The only catch is that you have to stay in the home for at least 3 years.

While I am always for tax cuts, I'm afraid that this one comes with a lot of junk. The only real stimulation happening here is in stimulating the size of our government.

George Clements

Greenville SC Realtor