Weichert Sees Expanded Tax Credit As a Final Step to a Healthy Market
MORRIS PLAINS, N.J.,– Nearly two years
ago, James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors, began
calling upon Congress for a homebuyer tax credit that he felt would help repair
the struggling national economy. Three
versions later, the leader of one of the nation’s largest independent real
estate companies believes the current tax credit now has enough stimulus power
to get the job done.
“Previous versions of the homebuyer tax credit were
successful in helping put a floor on declining home prices and the economic recession
as a whole, but they lacked a few key elements necessary to create a
sustainable recovery,” said Weichert. “Congress and the President should be
commended for not only recognizing the impact the existing credit has had on
our economy but for also understanding the need for even further action.”
The new bill extends the existing $8,000 tax credit
for first-time homebuyers until April 30, 2010.
The enhanced tax credit also gives financial incentive to a larger crop
of buyers by providing a $6,500 tax credit to current homeowners, who have
lived in their home for five consecutive years in the past eight years, and by
increasing the income limits for eligible home buyers to $125,000 for singles
and $225,000 for couples.
To avoid the demand for quick closings that was
created by the previous tax credit, time has also been added to allow for
closing the home purchase. As long as
buyers have a binding contract by April 30, they will then have through June
30, 2010 to close the transaction and be eligible for the tax credit.
In Weichert’s view, the most vital component of the
current bill is the expansion of the tax credit to include repeat buyers. While the tax credits that have been in
effect have clearly stimulated home sales and eased price declines in the
affordable, first-time buyer market, they have not had the desired “trickle-up”
effect on mid- to high-priced homes.
“This new bill should help spread the recovery we
are seeing at the entry-point level to the rest of the housing market. Clearly it was already a great time to
purchase for first-time buyers. But this expanded credit coupled with low
interest rates and affordable home prices makes it a great time to purchase now
for current homeowners too. If you have
been wanting to trade up or think that might be in your near future, the
current market conditions really make it financially attractive to do so before
April 30,” said Weichert.
Weichert was also optimistic about the effectiveness
the enhanced tax credit would have on the overall economy. “Housing has always been a key economic driver. It is no surprise then that as housing has
begun to recover that we are also seeing a rebound on Wall Street, a decline in
the job loss rate and the first quarterly increase in our gross domestic
product in a year. I think the extension
and expansion of the homebuyer tax credit will help keep that positive momentum
Weichert has nearly 18,000 sales associates
in approximately 500 company-owned and franchised sales offices in key markets
throughout the U.S. A family of full-service real estate and
financial services companies, Weichert helps customers buy and sell both
residential and commercial real estate, and streamlines the delivery of
mortgages and home and title insurance.
For more information, Weichert's customer service center can be reached
at 1-800-USA-SOLD or at Weichert's Web site, www.weichert.com. Each Weichert franchised office is
independently owned and operated.