Tax Credit Rush? Maybe Wait…

Are you better off buying AFTER the tax credit expires? Maybe.

Everywhere you turn you read about the Obama $8,000 1st time homebuyer tax-credit and how you need to hurry up and “Buy Now” (anybody remember that NAR ad from 2006?). Use it or lose it by the Dec 1st expiration date!

(Sidenote: that expiration means you need to CLOSE by then. If you are looking for a short sale gamble, and you want the credit, you better get it under contract NOW. And everyone else, don’t be an idiot and scheduleyour closing on the 1st. At least close a week early. There will be a backlog and hiccups and you might miss your tax credit.)

So Warren Buffet says whenever you see a herd running in one direction, you are supposed to walk the other way.

Well there IS a stampede in Virginia, DC and Maryland trying to buy homes in time for the tax credit. People LOVE tax credits. Kinda like people love to “SAVE” by going FSBO, when it will likely actually NET them less.

Has anybody stopped to wonder whether this mad dash might be temporarily INFLATING prices beyond the credit that it offers? And the day after the credit expires, might there be an even MORE dead of a winter following it?


If you are buying under the $100,000 price point, sure that $8k credit will likely be better to take now. A 8% drop overnight is unlikely, but possible.

If you are buying from $400k-$700k, you have to ask yourself, “Once the flood of buyers evaporates, won’t that send prices down?” Maybe.

Am I saying “DO NOT BUY?” No, I am just saying, don’t be silly and get into some crazy bidding war or overpay for a place to get in under the wire.

Kinda like the Cash For Clunkers campaign. How many “Deals” do you think the Dealers were really giving in that last week when their phones were ringing off the hook? They probably jacked prices up. And sometimes that $5,000 credit was in place of a $3,000 valued car. So the net saving was really only $2,000! And on a $20,000 car, I bet a month after the tax credit, (after inventory catches up) you can get that $20k car for well under $18k.


Don’t get too greedy! You also want to sell into this flurry. Ask for too much and watch the dead Winter-time come (unless Congress extends it, which they might).

Normally I am not an advocate of Market Timing. But for those that like to try and play the game, I just wanted to give some food for thought.

Also please attach comments with links to any other blogs that might question the value of rushing in to get the tax credit (I didn’t see any, they were all “buy now”). Even CNN subscribes to the “hurry up” articles.

And stay tuned (subscribe) for a flurry of new posts. I had an 18 hour trip to Africa (see Wheel Estate Cam Below) to write a ton.

Written by Frank Borges LL0SA Broker

Inman 2009 Innovator of the Year (more on this soon too)

Random Wheel Estate Cam video from Africa:

Please report all typos!
Photo Credits:Tax photo by Aimeesblog, Clunker by ThreadedThoughts, Warren by Tedizen

  • 29
  • August
  • 2009
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