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Archive for June, 2010

 

WASHINGTON June 16 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to give homebuyers another three months to settle on their contracts and take advantage of a popular tax credit that sparked a rush of activity in the housing market.

The Senate, with a vote of 60-37, accepted an amendment by Democratic Leader Harry Reid that extends the closing deadline to Sept. 30 for buyers who met the April 30 deadline to have a signed contract.

The current deadline requires buyers to close by June 30 to get the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers. Existing homeowners buying a new primary residence are eligible for a $6,500 credit.

Reid offered the measure as an amendment to a bill that would extend some popular business tax breaks and extend unemployment insurance benefits for jobless workers.

The proposal would not have a significant impact on future home sales as the extension would be only for home buyers who already had a contract in hand by April 30.

The popularity of the tax credit has caused some anxiety because settlement offices are inundated with buyers trying to close on transactions by the end of this month to get the tax break. (Reporting by Donna Smith; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

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Rate versus Price Reduction

 Since the Fed’s Mortgage Backed Securities purchase program ended, the markets have seen much more volatile price swings…and rates overall are off their lows. For potential buyers who are waiting to see if home prices come down a little more, that means the wait could well cost you more money in the long run. Let’s look at an example to see why. Say a home buyer wants to buy a home that costs $300,000. But the buyer wants a better deal on the home, so she delays a transaction until the home is reduced by $10,000.

If, in the meantime however, rates were to rise .75% to 6.00% and the buyer financed 90% of the purchase price, the amount of total payments over a 30-year term would be over $35,000 more than paying the $300,000 purchase price and locking in the 5.25% interest rate. In other words, the buyer would save $10,000 only to end up paying $35,000 more.

 Now these prices and rates are just for the sake of example. But the point is that home prices are already very affordable…and rates are still low for now. So in the end, waiting for a home price to reduce may end up costing you much more than you expect if rates rise.

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