$8,000 Tax Credit a Plus, But Not a Decision Driver

July 27, 2009


First-time buyers have been driving the market in Chicago for months. They are taking advantage of both the low prices and the nearly record breaking interest rates available to them. First-time buyers are also helping the market by buying homes from sellers wanting to also take advantage of the market by buying something larger. In my experience, this is typically the beginning of a larger market improvement.

For Most the Tax Credit is a Bonus, Not Reason to Buy

The Chicago Skyline Viewed from Buckingham Fountain

The Chicago Skyline Viewed from Buckingham Fountain

The $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit has been a nice bonus for many of these buyers. I haven’t seen evidence that the tax credit was the driving force for first-time buyers in Chicago; they look at it more like an added bonus to the already low prices and interest rates. It has helped push a few on the edge of the decision to buy or rent to move toward buying, but overall it has not been a tremendous influence on people’s decision to buy.

The number of first-time buyers has been strong over the last three months. Multiple offers (have not said that in a while!) have been taking place on well-priced homes that appeal to first-time buyers. The trend looks like it will continue, especially with many flexible first-time buyers taking advantage of short-sale opportunities.

The deadline for the first-time buyers tax credit is fast-approaching: you must close by November 30 and most closings are now taking much longer?perhaps averaging 60 days. Because of this timer constraint, I expect some will act a little more quickly now. However, it will most likely not have a large impact either way.

Nice If Extended, but Not Necessary

It will, of course, be better if it is extended but should not have a tremendous effect if it is not. The tremendous supply of places for sale in the Chicago area, aggressive pricing by some sellers, and low interest rates will be much more important. But, hey, throwing money at somebody will never hurt.

We’d like to thank Albany Tim for sharing today’s photo via the Creative Commons License.
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About Paul Gorney

Paul Gorney has been selling real estate on Chicago?s north side for 18 years. He is the #1 salesperson in homes sold company-wide at Sudler Sotheby?s International Real Estate (2007). He has sold over 675 homes in his career and is one of the most experienced and productive agents in the Chicago area. He specializes in representing clients who are buying or selling townhomes, condos, single family homes, or multi-units. Paul was born and raised on the north side of Chicago and ran track and field on a full-scholarship in college. He has 5 children. You can contact Paul at paul.gorney@SothebysRealty.com or at www.TopRealEstateAgentChicago.com.

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