How Will The Stimulus Package Affect The Housing Market — And You?

The government’s new Stimulus Package offers some very beneficial financing options for first-time home buyers. A first-time homebuyer is actually defined as someone who has not owned a principal residence in the last 3 yrs. If they have owned a vaction home or rental property not used as a principal residence, that does not disqualify them as a first-time homebuyer.

Stimulus Package Tax Credit

Stimulus Package Tax Credit

Some of the highlights for first-time buyers are:

  • A tax credit of $8,000 if you purchase a home in 2009.
  • The tax credit does not have to be repaid.
  • The tax credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.
  • Single taxpayers with income up to $75,000 and married couples with income up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit. Partial credits may be available based on income levels.
  • Buyers must use the home as a principal residence for at least 3 years or face recapture.
  • This is a tax credit—not a tax deduction and it is refundable.

Fannie Mae instituted in January 2009 some tough new requirements on mortgages for condominiums, which will adversely affect us here in Florida.

In part, Fannie Mae has now instituted the following guidelines:

  • No more than 15% of a condominiums’ units can be 30 days or more past due on association fees, as a condition of funding home loans to new buyers.
  • A condo association’s budget must allocate at least 10% of its annual revenue for funding replacement reserves for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance.

Although this will be hurtful to sellers and some condo buildings in particular, the rationale is that it will help safeguard buyers taking out loans by knowing they are moving into a condo complex that is adequately funded and has reserves, allowing the buyer to safeguard their purchase and better predict their monthly expenses.

Credit standards are becoming more stringent than they have been.  And, as we all know by now, it is long overdue. For qualified buyers today, there is ample financing available.  And for cash buyers especially, there are opportunities to purchase all types of housing at remarkably affordable prices that didn’t exist during the past few years.

The good news is buyers are beginning to recognize the values we’re now offering in South Florida, and it is believed that 2009 will be a year with a sharp increase in sales in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties!

Deena Landsman is a professional realtor who specializes in residential property in the Aventura area and surrounding communities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Sunny Isles Beach.  For more helpful market information, you can visit Deena’s website at

Deena makes it a priority to give her clients the attention and sound business advice they need in today’s marketplace to make wise decisions.

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