Letters to the Editor

Congress' action makes sense

Occasionally politicians in our nation’s capitol get things right. Earlier this month, they did just that with the bipartisan passage and signing of the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit 2009/2010. With our housing market just now getting back on its feet, these targeted stimulus dollars will now help solidify the rebound of arguably our nation’s most important economic segment.

With the great success of the initial First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit now apparent to all, Congress overwhelmingly passed, and President Barack Obama signed the new bill on Nov. 6. It extends the current $8,000 credit through the first half of 2010. It also includes a new incentive of $6,500 to current home owners who purchase a new primary residence after living in their current home for five years.

A new family taking ownership of their first home is a dream as old as the American way. Pride, sense of community and a safe and wholesome environment to raise our children are some of the intangible benefits to home ownership. Many more profit when a home changes hands. Business activity will increase for home inspectors, handyman, title and escrow companies, Realtors, remodelers, mortgage professionals and many more. In addition, state and local governments collect an excise tax from the sale of a home to fund community development and services.

A few argue that many of these buyers would have bought homes anyway. This is correct, but misses the point. When congress approved the stimulus program many months ago, a huge challenge was to get the monies into people’s hands that would spend it. All of us who have purchased a home in the past know very well that given $8,000 after buying your first home, you will spend it!

These monies are now flowing to home furnishing stores, electronic dealers, landscapers, appliance manufactures and myriad other retailers and service providers

Acrimony and petty divisiveness dominate politics in Washington. So it is very refreshing to see our leaders agree to extend and improve a program that clearly has worked as promised. By stabilizing our real estate markets and stimulating spending the U.S. economy is now poised to move forward again. And the politicians did it the best way possible; by investing in the American family and home.

Terry Burns

Associate Broker

Windermere Real Estate-Poulsbo

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