The home buyer tax credit effect
I'm sure this wouldn't be true of a scientific poll given to truly random people, but more than 80 percent of you Wonk readers say the home buyer tax credit had some impact on you.
The most popular answer: "I tried to buy before the deadline but couldn't because so many others had the same idea." (One in four people said that applied to them.)
Next, with 21 percent of the vote, were the folks who got the credit already or qualified and will be getting it.
Seventeen percent of you said you've been purposely waiting to buy until after the credit expired.
No homeowner said they've been purposely waiting to sell, but 12 percent picked this option: "I tried to sell before the deadline but wasn't able to."
Only a small handful said they sold to a buyer getting the credit, including those who turned around and got the $6,500 repeat-buyer credit. (A lot more first-time buyers took the poll than sellers.)
About 19 percent of polled folks said the credit had absolutely no effect on them.
Of course, I forgot to include another option: "Sure, it's having an effect on me -- it's having an effect on us all because that's taxpayer money they're handing out." Sorry about that. An answer along those lines was a fairly popular choice in an earlier poll.
While we're on the subject of the tax credit: Kenneth Harney had a recent column warning folks not to blithely assume that closing by June 30 -- as the credit requires -- will be no sweat. He lists things you'll want to keep in mind, including this recommendation:
Jay Delmont, vice president of Freedmont Mortgage in Hunt Valley, Md., said home buyers who seriously want to close in time need to get the process moving with lenders immediately to avoid the late-June crush. The "main concern," Delmont said, "is that a lot of contracts are being written for a June 28-30 settlement and people need to schedule a slot" with title or escrow agencies as early as possible.