Spending $20K to get $8k

The $8k credit is running out November 30, but hurrying to buy a home now may be a huge mistake!
  • September 07 2009 - US
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Answers (102)

1. When the $7500 loan ran out, it was replaced by the even more lucrative $8k gift. who knows if they offer something better next?

2. In most starter home areas, there is now fierce competition for homes. Multiple bidders, and bidding over list price are common, even $20K and more over list price. Prices in some areas have quickly jumped by $20K and more. If paying $20K more to get the $8k credit seems like a good deal, you might want to brush up on your math.

3. Estimates from NAR are that 1/3 of all first time buyers are buying due to the credit. If correct, this means that we will have a 30% drop in demand immediately when the credit expires. Furthermore, even among those who did not buy directly for the credit, a substantial percent will have hurried their purchase in order to beat the deadline. There will be little incentive to hurry. a 50% drop in buyer demand does not seem out of the realm of likely outcomes (and winter is always slower anyways)

4. the number of homes in foreclosure, and/or delinquent on their mortgages has continued to climb. Short of just letting everyone who can't afford their homes keep them, it seems clear that supply will be coming eventually. [In phoenix, we had 23,000 homes in foreclosure in january, today we have over 50,000. The local mls only has 39,000 homes for sale, so any clearing out of the pending foreclosures will change the supply of homes by 50% at least, even if nobody else falls behind on their mortgage]

racing to buy today, and you might actually have done better by losing the credit, and buying a much cheaper home in 6 to 12 months.
  • September 07 2009
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It can be a mistake only if a home is overpriced or when the decision is made without a proper research.

There is an abundance of good deals available due to the foreclosures - banks are not is a business of keeping real estate inventory on their books so they must sell.

A good  buyer agent, preferably an ABR, should prepare a CMA to make sure that the purchase is indeed a good deal.
  • September 07 2009
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I absolutely agree Rob....if the 8k is the icing on the cake, by all means take it - but making it your primary reason to buy is foolish.
  • September 07 2009
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The $8,000 credit was meant to induce buyers to purchase ONLY if they are ready and able to purchase - to help them get off the fence....

Without first-time buyers there is NO real estate market, because existing homeowners in order to move up must have buyers to purchase their homes.

However, having said that, purchasing a home must be a good investment/business decision first, and should be approached as such.
  • September 07 2009
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viv, as usual, you are not understanding the entire thought.

you are evaluating "a good deal" as a one dimensional thought: is it a good deal today?

I am evaluating "a good deal" as a two dimensional thought; comparing it not only to prices today, but to likely market effects in the future: AFTER the credit ends.

A "good deal" today, plus $8k credit, is still a terrible decision, if the same home is available for $20K less a few months after the credit ends, and my hypothesis is that is very likely to happen, given NAR's analysis of the credits affect, and the burgeoning supply of foreclosure homes still coming.
  • September 07 2009
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Any the many foreclosures to come with all of the "extended" unemployment benefits that begin expiring soon.
  • September 07 2009
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Roberto,

I know precisely what you are trying to say: homes are on sale at 30% off now, but they may be on sale at 40% off after November 30.

This is a valid point and this is why I wrote: purchase only if you find a worthwile deal: discounted price, great location, floor plan.

Here is a link to bankrate.com: Despite being worried about the economy, 92% of Americans think that home is a good investment.
Most people like to own a home and nothing ever is going to change that.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/financial-literacy/poll-americans-fret-about-family-finances-1.aspx
  • September 07 2009
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From the article Viv's link referenced "Though homes do offer some financial benefits, experts emphasize that they're not the ideal investment vehicle."
  • September 07 2009
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But viv....points for linking to a more balanced article.
  • September 07 2009
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Profile picture for lamaSr
When I first heard of the $8k tax credit, it reminded me of my father's retail business years ago.  We had a store in tax free NH where we sold stock items for about 20% more than our stores in MA.  But, people used to flock to NH to save the 5% sales tax in MA.  I'm sure they were all happy with their purchase.
  • September 07 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
This is a valid point and this is why I wrote: purchase only if you find a worthwile deal: discounted price, great location, floor plan.

vivianne define valid then sound re logical arguments...

then define "worthwhile deal" and "discounted price"

i'm sure if we were all using the same definitions things would go smother... this reminds me of how you excluded all homebuyers who didnt put 20% down when talking about how this is the fault of greedy house flippers.

excluding all the purchases made today that "arent a worthwhile deal" is a great way to contribute nothing to the discussion at hand
  • September 07 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
>>>>>
Here is a link to bankrate.com: Despite being worried about the economy, 92% of Americans think that home is a good investment.
<<<<<
81% of Americans think their home wont lose value in the next 12 months


>>>>>
Most people like to own a home and nothing ever is going to change that.
<<<<<
92% of Japanese would disagree with that(sources unavailable)
  • September 07 2009
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Profile picture for Lady Chattel
"Most people like to own a home and nothing ever is going to change that."

Hum, me thinks that everyone who is in default right now is rethinking the virtues of homeownership.  

The person who got a job offer (finally) in another area can't sell his home and move for the job unless he takes a huge loss and gets spanked.  Of course without a job he is eventually going to get spanked....right out of homeownership.

81% of Americans are slowing waking up to the reality.......

This hangover is going to need major meds....

 
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for frisky1
"banks are not is a business of keeping real estate inventory on their books so they must sell."

There are many people who don't believe that is the case anymore and that banks are holding homes (not just bcuz of moratoriums or processing delays) but to keep the losses off the books until a future date.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/28898377
  • September 08 2009
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I believe there is a regulation that allows banks to keep only up to 3% of real estate assets on their books.

Unless banks are above the law, I do not know how it is possible...
Perhaps banks are holding the inventory - they have a right to do what is best to minimize their losses - but still are within the allowed limit.
 NOTE: The above information may not be correct, independent research required. 
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for Lady Chattel
Regulation also stipulted that banks loan money to good borrows and lump that into a AAA rating investment......but hey, they didn't do that.....banks are being allowed to do whatever it takes to keep the charade up so that more will go to the slaughter to help mitigate the enormous losses.....
 
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for frisky1
They're letting people stay in the homes without paying for longer periods of time--they're delaying the foreclosure procedings. there are now quite a few stories here in NJ, including from RE brokers, that if you stop paying your mortgage you can live rent free for up to and possibly more than 2 years before they come after the house.  its possible that banks assess how likely the house would sell on the open market as to how quickly they foreclose but I dont know.

Thats just a minor point and one of the many reasons why buying now is not wise. I'd suggest that there are probably less than 1000 people in the entire country who can find that right house that makes sense and should be buying a house right now.
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for klarek the realist
"The $8,000 credit was meant to induce buyers to purchase ONLY if they are ready and able to purchase - to help them get off the fence...."

Do you realize what an oxymoron that is?

"I know precisely what you are trying to say: homes are on sale at 30% off now, but they may be on sale at 40% off after November 30."

This is like in 2007 where all the RE noobs would call current prices "discounts".  Those weren't discounts, darling.  That is overpaying for a property that hasn't reached its inevitable price discovery.  People that are buying now for the $8000 are idiots, in my opinion.  Bidding wars, re-inflated prices.... what do they think, that getting $8k in taxpayer-funded Congressional-appropriated bribes can mitigate the extra $20k they paid for the house since the program was enacted?  How can people be so naive? 

So yes you can think of it as "30% discount now versus 40% discount later," but the reality is that they will likely be UNDERWATER on their house.  How the hell is that a discount??
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
to keep this in perspective i think about 80% of the people here who called the bubble and warned about it; the original "doomers", have all purchased a home in the past year, presumably within 5-10% of their "target price". being neither fools nor beguiled by pretty NAR charts. there is some value to home-ownership that cannot be expressed in a mathematical equation and so i have congratulated each one, as i believe these purchases will continue to fufill their needs.

conversely to suggest that its a risk free environment is ignorance, the degree of risk is measurably correlated to the fundamentals of a given area and the distribution of house prices across the median income. given that in most areas, these two things are fluctuating wildly, it is an investment that could perform extremely poorly and should require extensive research
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for Lady Chattel
NTETS........I swoon for you........
  • September 08 2009
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^^^ i dont ACTUALLY sound like that in real life ^_)^
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for Blue in d Nile
Amazing how so much of our behavior has been conditioned by propaganda cliches during our early years (sometimes known as "Grandma-isms"); such as "There is no such thing as a free lunch", implying that everything costs something, and that it will be paid for one way or the other.

Or how about "freedom is not free, it is very costly"?

So, I don't know anyone that pays for the air they breathe, unless they import it in an oxygen tank.  And I've never seen a squirrel pay for the nuts  or seeds it takes from the trees.

If we look at the full economy, it appears that many that believe in a pure capitalistic system think everything should cost something; but over half of the work and production that occurs for the items sold is not done by people.  So is the work of the sun or the work of "nature" free???  And if not free, does the eutriprinuer have the right to the profits from this work they didn't do and didn't contract to have done?


So, since the "free" $8k is obviously not free, it appears obvious that the buyers are conditioned to believe the cost of receiving the "free $8k" is reasonable.  They may believe the "government" is paying for it.  They may believe the tax payers are paying the government to pay for it.  They may believe the Chinese are "financing" it for the long haul, and that the government will never pay the Chinese back.  But even with those "free gifts" that the various companies offer, there is always a cost to the buyer, even if they don't buy.  You waste your time and resources to get that "gift", and are often put on an advertising list forever to continue to get trash mail and unwanted phone calls.  And at the soup kitchen?  Sure, someone else paid for the food, and someone else volinteered time to prepare the food, but you wait in line for extensive amounts of time, that you could have been using to earn some money.

So, when it comes right down to it, the American Public is "conditioned" to accept paying $20k extra to receive an $8k "incentive", and they think it is absolutely nothing, and explain it away with nonsense.

Until people evaluate the lies inherent in the cliches, they will continue to follow the same programmed behavior, and still wonder why the outcome doesn't come out the way they expected.


Perhaps the cliche "it takes money to make money" may also apply?  Or "grab all the gusto"?  Or "you only live once"?  Or "if you don't, somebody else will"?  Or "just do it"?  Or "if you snooze you lose"?  Or "opportunity only knocks once"?  Or "keeping up with the Joneses"?  Or "if at first you don't succeed, try try again"?  Or "if you don't succeed, you are a failure"?  Or "the american dream is a white picket fence, 3 cars, a spouse and 1.5 children"?  Or "prices always go up"?  Or, "there are only winners and loosers, so you better win"?  Or "if you rent, you are paying your landlord's mortgage"?  Or "a person's value is in what they own"?  Or "a person's value is in what they do"?  Or "I have good luck"?  Or "the power of positive thinking"?...

If you haven't evaluated the lies of the cliches, you are lying to yourself.
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
government regulation is very costly and without it, the air would be unbreathable, the waters undrinkable and the landfills unthinkable.

 The land on which that chestnut tree grows is taxed and its been bought and sold 100 times. there is a cost to not replacing that old tree with a treehouse in the opportunity of a child's fond memories, even if it means lopping off 2/3s of the tree's most productive branches to make the floor sturdy. financially that tree could make a fine wooden chair or about 100 bags of chestnuts per year, this squirrel costs us that aswell. someone pays. someone always pays.

so where is the lie?
  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for Blue in d Nile
The lie is in that if you had no government and no commercial interests, the tree and the squirrel would still be there, and the air would be of much higher quality.  It is the "people" that have decided that the majority of resources should be put in the landfill prematurely, and that the air and water should be poluted so that it would have to be "clean up".

So, who is paying for the $8k?  It really doesn't matter.  Just because you get an $8k "free lunch" does not mean it is worth it to you to pay $20k extra in order to get it.  Decissions shouldn't be made based on what is "free" or what present incentives are.  Most of the time what is advrtised as a "give away" is actually more expensive then just negotiating a reasonable purchase without the "incentive".

But really, those things of most importance cannot be assigned any monitary value at all.  Such as life, mobility, health, love, contentment, peace, satisfaction, happiness, enjoyment, compassion,  purpose, appreciation,  motivation, hope, generosity, wisdom, beauty, friendship,  hearing, vision, taste, trust,...  these things can only be given and received as "gifts".  Sure "costly", but completely outside all economic systems every developed.

So, we say the squirrel and the tree are too expensive where they are, so we kill them, and in so doing, kill our environment.  And we do it little by little until such time as we recognise that we have destroyed the balance and biodiversity, and that the "system" no longer can function in a healthy manner, and that all along we have been creating our own extinction. 

Really, everything was NOT created for the economic benifit of mankind, and the tree is one of the few things that maintains an atmsphere to support animal life.  By putting the wrong dollar sign on it, we destroy something that should never have had a dollar sign in the first place, that was worth well over $500k, and cash it in for $500, or worse, pay someone $5k to take it down and haul it away.  We made the mistake when we stated "mine" when it never was.  And what did you pay the squirrel and blue jay for stealing their property?

  • September 08 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
yes but without "commercial interests" you would have no electricity, no zillow, and more than likely some kind of Darwinian social contract, as there would be no police, no commerce, no science, no education, no books... i cant imagine the opportunity cost of that.

in a closed system of commerce, there is no free lunch.
  • September 09 2009
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Profile picture for Lady Chattel
My kids thought going to the bathroom was free.....but alas I pay for the water, toilet paper, the light to be on while they are in there.......as in most things in life, just cause you don't literally place a dollar bill in someone's hand right there on the spot does not mean that some form of (monetary) exchange did not take place.  There is very little a person can do that does not cost them money, including breathing the air (emissions testing on my car, etc).  

This $8K credit is costing the gov't way more than $8K to service, yet the person taking that money to buy a home doesn't say no to it as a show of patriotism to the country, Yes, I said it, it would be the best thing you could do, taking that bribe enslaves the next few generations of Americans. 

I know many people who are out of work, not even looking for a job, waiting to run their unemployment out.....they figure they will take all they can out of the system......
  • September 09 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
it would be pretty silly to overpay by 20,000 just to decline your bribe...
  • September 09 2009
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Profile picture for Lady Chattel
Yep

But the realtor will try and tell you with a house it is okay to overpay cause you are paying yourself for the next 30 years, and of course their commish if you close within 30 days.......
  • September 09 2009
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Profile picture for Blue in d Nile
Education existed way before any monitary system.  Even the animals educate their young.  There is even some indication that other life forms have a means of "teaching" and "learning".

There is no such thing as a "closed economic system".  All economic systems have resources input from outside the system, and losses that can't be controlled by the system.

Even pricing structures are all "arbitrary" and only designed to keep the control within a small group of the "powerful".

Books?  Very few written for "commercial interests", but religion, politics, family history/herritage, and the desire of artists to communicate   &  entertain.  Primarily it was religious interests that desired to share more good news faster that caused printing presses to be developed.

"Science" is one of the least efficient methods to learn something, still, the scientific method was being used more than 7 thousand years ago.  But still most of the "scientific discoveries" didn't use the scientific method at all, but were "coincidence", or "accident".  Most of the possible hypothesises were never even thought of , let alone tested.  And they still don't properly teach students to develop hypotheses, come up with testing methods, impliment the testing methods, nor have them repeat the experiment a minimum of 1000 times each to verify if the hypothisis is "valid", or "disprove" their hypothesis.  Nor do they teach them proper error analisis.  Instead, the students just fudge their results to conform with what the teacher stated the results should be.  And true scientists do research because "they want to know" and they are facinated by the subject, not because of any commercial interests.

So, look at all that useful work that is "WASTED" by those that go to the gym to "work out"!   And they PAY to do that "work"!  And look at all that money we waste keeping people locked up so they don't do "harmful work".  And look at all those students that play games endlessly because it is fun, and the "work" the accomplish doing it.  And look at those select baseball players or football players... that receive millions of dollars a year to play a few games, when others are paying to be able to play.

And look at all those "gamblers" that put billions of dollars into the pockets of the gambling institutions relying on "free lunch" or "luck" to give them more than they put in at the expense of others, but all the others are being ripped off by these "institutions" (including the state of California) as well.  So they give some crazy excuse about the adrenilin thrill, and that it is helping schools... when the majority of the cash given goes to the contractors that provide the gambling.

A large portion of what is taught about money and economics in the public schools is false propaganda, only designed to create slave labor for the economic machine to benifit the mega-wealthy.

Pay $20k to decline a bribe?  They are paying $20k (or more) in order to get a bribe because they are told "no free lunch", so they think the $8k "gift" is worth an additional $20k to them.


And what is this crazy lie about "what goes down must go up"???  It used to be "what goes up must come down", be we've seen with several space craft that once launched out of the earth's orbit they will never come back again.  And people really think that French plane that left Brazil and blew up over the Atlantic Ocean will come back up?  They were not even able to find the recorder boxes, let alone most of the other parts and all the people.  It is not coming back up.

But we continue to use these worn out cliches since it gets people to "conform" to some behavioral standard that keeps some worn out broken system turning.

And again, there is no such thing as a true "supply and demand" market.  It is all "advertising", and artificially making things "scarce".  Read "the Hidden Persuaders" again.

  • September 09 2009
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Profile picture for Mr Caveat
most of what you say is pushing paranoia on the pendulum again, but i will respond to one thing.

They are paying $20k (or more) in order to get a bribe because they are told "there is no free lunch", so they think the $8k "gift" is worth an additional $20k to them.

that is quite clearly the logical opposite of what "no free lunch" actually means.

i welcome you to try to live without using anything produced by commerce, for profit... it would be worth a chuckle.
  • September 09 2009
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