Monday, June 21, 2010

Lower interest rates now eclipse savings on the $8,000 tax credit program

Because interest rates have gone down since April 30, homebuyers can still be ahead of the game in the long run

In looking back over the past year, did you really miss the opportunity of a lifetime by not buying a home and taking advantage of that $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit? The program did increase home sales and nudged people off the fence if they were considering a home purchase, but some potential buyers just weren’t ready to take the plunge.
But, with interest rates lower now and no sign from the Feds that rates will rise dramatically any time soon, the opportunity for a good buy is definitely there. In fact, this might be the best time to buy.

Here’s an exciting scenario for those of you who didn’t buy: interest rates have gone down so much since April 30, the end date for the tax credit program, that the buyer of a $350,000 home, financed with a $280,000 mortgage, would have seen quite a savings by waiting until May. With April’s average rate of 5.34 percent, a homebuyer would have locked in a 30-year fixed rate loan with a monthly payment of $1,561.82.

If that buyer waited for May to roll around, with a 30-year fixed rate loan at 4.625 percent, monthly payments would be $1,439.50. Computed on an annual basis, that’s a savings of $1,467. Over the 30 years of the loan, that’s $44,003 in savings. That’s an incredibly huge incentive to jump into the housing market and really diminishes the tax credit in the long run.

But for those of you who did take advantage of the tax credit and have found it difficult to close before the June 30 deadline, there may be help. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Harry Reid (D-NV) have offered an amendment to a house bill that would extend the closing deadline to September 30, 2010. The proposed amendment only extends the deadline to close, not to purchase. If passed, this would help a lot of buyers to still receive the tax credit and buy a home.

Written by Myra Vandersall

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