Consensus seems to have been reached on the economic stimulus package which is reportedly now on its way to final approval this week.
That can only mean one thing; it’s pop quiz time.
1. We haven’t written about the implications of the new stimulus package to the housing market here because:
a) We have been too busy working with clients lately to write much of anything;
b) The details of the stimulus package have been changing as often as Celine Dion on a Friday night at the Caesars Palace;
c) Both (a) and (b).
2. The stimulus bill, once approved, will include a tax credit of:
a) $15,000 for anyone who purchases a principle residence;
b) $8,000 for anyone who purchases a principle residence for the first time;
c) Some amount with three zeros to the left of the decimal point for home buyers meeting certain criteria as outlined in the language of the bill, the details of which have not yet been released, assuming the bill is not again revised, in which case it could be more or less.
3. $789 billion dollars can also be expressed as:
a) $789,000 million dollars;
b) The combined 2008 adjusted gross income of the Olsen twins;
c) Enough to treat every person living in the U.S. to one Bloomin’ Onion appetizer and dinner at Outback Steakhouse – in Brisbane (ordered from the full menu, no substitutions, checked baggage fees not included).
4. You should watch CNN for updated coverage of the specifics of the stimulus package because:
a) I will be sequestered in a conference room all day for the 789 billionth session in which we will be evaluating alternatives to our current MLS software in an attempt to allow Realtor-members to perform basic property searches for their clients, clients who have already seen all of the homes available on (insert the URL of one of 789 billion third-party search sites here), without watching their computers freeze for the 789 billionth time in ten minutes;
b) Wolff Blitzer is fun to watch and doesn’t have to attend a property staging this afternoon;
c) Both (a) and (b).
I’m thinking “c.”
First-time home-buyers could qualify for an $8,000 tax credit.
The credit is slightly larger than the $7,500 credit in existing law, but it is substantially less than a proposal in the Senate bill that would have boosted the credit to $15,000 and broadened the eligibility.
In addition, the compromise bill waives a requirement that the tax credit be repaid. The credit applies only to homes bought between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31 of this year.
Homeowners who install new doors, windows or furnaces to make their home more energy efficient would be able to get as much as $1,500 back through new tax breaks.