22nd Oct, 2009

More Incentives to Buy Denver Homes

More government initiatives will further incentivize hesitant buyers in the Denver real estate market.  Incentives that motivated buyers in 2009 included bargain prices for Denver CO homes, low interest rates, first-time buyer tax credits, and provisions for investors to finance up to ten properties in Denver and elsewhere.  Other incentives are in the works.

Recent proposals could affect U.S. employees who have been out of the country, people heading for foreclosure, and anyone wanting to purchase a home.  Veterans who served overseas for at least 90 days in 2009 may receive an extra six months to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers offered during 2009.  A similar extension may affect all people who were out of the country serving in the military, intelligence or foreign services.

Moreover, congressional leaders are working with the White House to expand the tax credit that expires on November 30, 2009.  Various options are on the table.  Some kind of tax credit may become available to all homebuyers until May or even August.  Additionally, there is talk about removing income restrictions.  During 2009, only taxpayers who had incomes of $75,000 or lower could claim the full $8,000 tax credit.

Congressional analysts figure that the tax credit has cost about $1 billion a month in lost tax revenues.  Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi claims that the tax credit is responsible for almost 400,000 sales of new and existing homes out of the total 1.4 million that sold.  If the tax credit expires soon, Zandi figures that there will be further downward pressure put on house prices.

When the real estate market is moving along, it helps other parts of the economy.  Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors claims that each house sold yielded $63,000 spent on goods and services including moving vans and furnishings.

In another arena, the U.S. Department of Treasury is launching a new program to help homeowners escape foreclosure.  Its program, known as Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), will offer financial incentives to servicers and borrowers as well as associated secondary investors, in order to facilitate a short sale or deed in lieu of the property.

An improving economic picture is starting to accelerate interest rates.  However, they are still very low.  For example, a $250,000 real estate purchase with 20 percent down in a 30-year fixed product is running 5.125 – 5.250 percent with 1.25 – 0.25 percent points.  FHA assists buyers to get into a $200,000 home with 3.5 percent down at 5.000 – 5.250 percent interest with 0.75 – 0.00 percent points.

That is incentive enough for many.

For more information about real estate in the greater metro area, including farms and horse properties, call Michael Paul of Realty Oasis at (303) 268-6052.

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