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A case for tax credit extension

Mood of the Market

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I heart the stimulus plan. Specifically, I love the $8,000 first-time homebuyer ("FTH") tax credit. I won't bore you; if you read my columns, you know that I've deemed this credit "the stimulus that, gasp, actually stimulates!" because it made my real estate brokerage phone ring with buyers wanting to take advantage of it, unlike the other dozen stimulus measures that have had no obvious, direct results on the consumers I work with. (Though they might be effective at some higher, less direct level. Or not.)

If you've been wedged underneath a real estate-free rock for the first half of the year, let me brief you on the details of this program. Folks who (a) haven't owned a home for the past three years, (b) earn a "modified adjusted gross income" (don't even ask -- check with your tax pro) of $75,000 or less for singles/$150,000 or less for marrieds filing jointly, and who (c) close escrow on a home purchase no later than Nov. 30, 2009, can qualif...