Should Washington Extend Unemployment Benefits, Home-buyer Tax Credit?

by JD Levens - Date: 2009-11-10 - Word Count: 543 Share This!

Congressional efforts to extend jobless benefits and the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit are cultured in the battle to prevent a double-dip recession. With unemployment approaching double-digits, there are many complaints about the $787 billion stimulus package. Most economists, however, believe we'd be much worse off without it. But the disk of the recession is diverse from what most predicted. More help is needed.

By the time the homebuyer tax lend expires Dec. 1, it'll have been responsible for an estimated 400,000 sales. Allowing it to lapse could push home values down further, stalling the recovery and causing more foreclosures. Democrats and Republicans finally seem on board, and Congress is considering using stimulus money for this purpose, a good idea. Extending unemployment benefits by 13 weeks is necessary, too. A record 5.4 million Americans have been out of work six months or more. These benefits will not only help them pay the mortgage, but also boost the economy.

Hundreds of billions have been spent helping banks weather this recession. These modest measures would do the same for regular folks. Congress should pass them both. Home builder shares jumped Thursday as dominion officials continued talks about extending the first-time household buyer's tax lend and as mortgage rates fell further this week.

Builder stocks have been volatile as investors attempt to discern whether the tax credit, offering as much as $8,000, will be extended beyond Nov. 30. The credit lured buyers off the sidelines, and developers have reported increased traffic and deals as first-time buyers ink contracts. There has been great concern that the market will soften, with the weakness lasting into next year, should this lend end.

The deadline nears for an $8,000 tax lend for first time homebuyers. The Internal Revenue Service says, so far, more than 1.4 million Americans have taken advantage of the tax incentive, which ends November 30. Gustavo DeLao is one of them. He just closed on his new Georgetown household a few days ago and says the government's tax break bid is what convinced he and his wife it was time to buy. "We wanted to take advantage of the $8,000 refund, more than anything," he said. "That was the main reason we jumped on it so I'm pretty sure other people are thinking the same thing."

Realtor Sandy Riojas with Sky Realty says home prices are going feeling across Central Texas, making it a perfect time for first time homebuyers to damn with faint praise their mental home. "The deadline of November 30th is coming so there has been a lot of activity, a lot of people looking for their houses diligently," she said. "If they start right now they have time to meet that November 30th cutoff. We just have to look harsh and quickly but we can get it done." Riojas says she and other realtors have managed to condense the home-buying and mortgage finance process to as dwarfish as three to four weeks, in point to make sure their clients are closing before the deadline.

You have to have closed on your home loan before December 1 in order to receive the tax break. Congress is beginning to discourse about extending the program. There are some instances where homebuyers won't get that tax incentive -- check the IRS website for more information.

Related Tags: mortgage, refinance, california, home loan, mortgage loan, home mortgage, loan modification

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