Homebuyer credit extendedPublished 10:39am Thursday, December 3, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
In neighborhoods large and small, the real estate industry is still working to rebound from the crisis that recently crippled the housing market.
A little help, however, may be seen in the announcement last month that the First-Time Homebuyer Credit was given an extension.
Current homeowners and first-time buyers alike will now be able to take advantage of the credit that could give back up to $6,500 to existing homeowners or $8,000 for first timers.
Those first-time buyers will also see an extension of the credit through April 2010.
The credit originally was scheduled to go away at the end of last month.
The question is – will it encourage more potential buyers to purchase and more potential sellers to sell?
“They’re now looking more aggressively,” said Shawn Ashley, of Cressy and Everett Real Estate.
The credit has indeed been a help to the industry, Ashley said.
“It’s the best time to buy,” she added, as the news of an extension can be coupled with low interest rates increase the benefit for buyers.
“I show them the benefits of purchasing now and the money they get back,” Ashley said. She added that prices for homes have also gone down.
“I talk about it with all my clients,” she said.
The idea that the housing market is still risky, Ashley said is a misconception. “Buyers are still buying,” and sales are “gradually going up.”
While the credit extension means some much-needed money in more potential buyers’ pockets – it’s also good news for those who may have been holding off selling their homes.
“It’s a benefit to the seller because it gives them hope,” Ashley said.
For what is “an excellent time of year” in the industry, the tax credit may just jump-start the market.
“There are a lot of misconceptions out there,” Ashley said.
Talking to clients, the local realtor added that she’s not hearing a multitude of concerns with the market as far as more individual based concerns with more homebuyers and homeowners concerned with issues like their own state of employment.
Such concerns can be fueled by the media, Ashley added who did say there were still “quite a few people who are real hesitant” to make any moves when it comes to buying or selling their home.
Still, riding on the news of the homebuyer credit and its expansion to become a benefit to existing homeowners as well, Ashley speaks optimistically.
“I can’t see there every being a better time to buy,” she said.