Owed to a busy workload that didn’t afford a day off for over six weeks, I submitted this blog well past my intended deadline. And, ostensibly, this crush of homebuilding (and our adroit drywalling) activity in our work area of southern Pennsylvania was owed to the looming end of the Federal Government’s tax credit for first time homebuyers. This generous tax credit was part of the budget busting $787 billion stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by the President in February, and provides an $8,000.00 incentive for newbie homebuyers to make an important investment during turbulent times.
How important? Consider this: According to the National Association of Homebuilders, “approximately 200,000 additional home sales are attributable to the tax credit and that it has resulted in a net increase of 187,000 jobs,” a salient flow contrasted against the seeming daily ebb of jobs that pushes the national unemployment figure closer to 10 percent.
A healthy (not hyper-charged) homebuilding environment is elemental to adding vigor to the unresponsive economy and the Federal government’s intervention, through the homebuyer tax credit, is essential to encouraging wary, credit worthy individuals to disregard doomsayers and purchase a home.
As an avowed conservative, I cringe to acknowledge the necessity of a government subsidy to help stabilize and grow the housing market, especially since the government was partially culpable in creating the historic housing market horrors.
Yet, apparently, my newfound hypocrisy is genuine, as I cheer an article in the Wall Street Journal that details House and Senate Democratic efforts to extend the beneficial tax credit for first-time homebuyers. And for good reasons, as NAHB estimates that “extending the credit through November 30, 2010 and making it available to all purchasers of a principle residence would result in an additional 383,000 home sales and generate 347,000 new jobs in the coming year.”
While I realize there is no such thing as a free lunch, when it comes to this allocation and payment of government funds, as part owner of a family-owned drywall company, I know this as well: After experiencing one of the worst years in Taneytown Drywall’s 25 year history, it’s preferable, aided by the homebuyer tax credit, to now be able to afford to buy not only lunch, but breakfast and dinner, as well …