I’d like to see the credit expanded to all primary residence purchases without increasing it from the current $8000 to see if that can stimulate the entire real estate market. I’d support lowering it to help pay for it to- $5000? I also think that a lot of people may find the three year requirement a challenge; things change. Ultimately lending requirements and perhaps more price softening is what it is going to take to stimulate the $500,000-$750,000 range in Portland.
I’d also like to see it used for investment back into the house, not for a European vacation, and don’t know how you control that. Could it be done by having the IRS give the credit and then the buyer providing an accounting of how it was spent on the following year’s returns with what wasn’t spent as taxes owed? Then how do you determine what was a valid expense? What about a move-in ready house or condo? Spending $8000 might be frivolous…
The changes (not saying they are bad) in lending have taken away the ability to draw on the equity in the home which means that many buyers have lost the ability to put money into their houses after closing making the move-in ready house more appealing and taking away some of the ability to build sweat equity.
Of course, as has been pointed out, asking a Realtor if the Credit should be extended is a bit like asking the fox if the door to the hen house should be removed. The smart fox though needs to keep the future in mind while contemplating the present. The Credit has helped but I don’t think the wheels are going to come off if it expires and I do think it can be improved.