Friday is the deadline for the federal tax credit. It is being met with A flurry of activity at offices nationwide, there’s a last-minute rush by buyers looking to take advantage of a soon-to-expire tax break.
To spur the nation’s moribund housing market, Uncle Sam has been dangling a tax credit worth up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers and up to $6,500 for those who already own homes. To collect the credit, the buyer must sign the contract on or before April 30 and close by June 30.
The tax break seems to have boosted sales. Nearly 1.8 million Americans had cashed in on the credit as of Feb. 20, and March home sales in Florida jumped 24 percent compared to a year ago.
Now real estate experts wonder what comes next. Many fear sales will slump once the federal tax incentive is gone.
Others worry that some buyers who have signed contracts won’t be able to close by the June 30 deadline.
For people that are prepared, closing in 60 days shouldn’t be an issue for most however.
But if the property is a short sale, all bets are off, said Myles Minns, owner of Continental Properties in West Palm Beach.
“If anybody anticipates closing a short sale in two months, they’re insane,” Minns said. “It’s like trying to win the lottery.”
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