Deadline nears for incentive

 

By RICHARD CONN/ rconn@c-dh.net

 

Colene Dooley said Thursday may have been "the busiest day in any real estate agent's career in Columbia."

 

Dooley, managing broker and vice-president of Crye-Leike Realtors said there was a rush of folks in her office this week who were looking to take advantage of a federal tax credit of up to $8,000 available to first time homebuyers that expires at midnight Friday.

 

Dooley said one of her Realtors had written two contracts in the last couple of days and was working on another one Thursday to beat the deadline.

 

"There were several of them in Tuesday's sales meeting who were talking how busy they are with just the tax credit thing," Dooley said.

 

The tax credit is available to buyers who haven't owned a home for three years and is valued at 10 percent of the purchase price, up to $8,000. Another credit, for up to $6,500, was available to those who have owned a home for at least five years.

 

Kasey Cox, a Daily Herald employee, said the availability of the tax credit prompted her and her husband into purchasing their first home. They've had the contract signed since March.

 

"We were planning on doing it anyway, but, you know, that's $8,000 free money," Cox said. "So we were really trying to find something by then."

 

To qualify, buyers had to have a signed contract in hand by the deadline and must complete the deal by June 30.

 

"It's been very busy this week ? and last week," said Becky Thomas, a Realtor with Re/Max of Columbia.

 

Thomas recalled the rush of purchases with the arrival of the Spring Hill Saturn plant's workforce.

 

"The other busiest time was when Saturn was first announced twenty-something years ago," Thomas said. "But, these are first-time homebuyers, so it's been very busy and fortunate."

 

While saving $8,000 is enticing for prospective buyers, Thomas said it is more important for people to be happy with their purchase.

 

"You want it to be a good house for them, too. You want it to be a good experience," Thomas said. "So if they can't find what fits their needs and what they really want, I hope that they would look at something the next week, or the next week, not just to buy something just to save the $8,000."

 

Local Realtors said they were hopeful business would continue to boom after the deadline for the tax credit expires. Dooley said she would have like to have seen the deadline extended.

 

"There is life after the tax credit, but it would certainly be wonderful if it was continued," she said.

 

Story created Apr 30, 2010 - 14:03:19 EDT.