Picking holes in $6,500 tax credit

Some doubt incentive is enough to motivate homeowners

When President Obama signed into law the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009, it extended the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit as well as offering a new tax credit up to $6,500 for current homeowners who buy a new primary residence.

The law also extended the strongest driving force in housing today. How big of a force is it? According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 1.5 million claims were processed from individuals and families who have purchased a home between January and September 2009, and the National Association of Realtors estimates that some 350,000 of these buyers would not have purchased the home without the tax credit. In addition, analysts say that more than two-thirds of all current homeowners and nearly all first-time buyers will be eligible for the credit extension.