As home tax break expires, mad dash for a deal.

Benjamin Kaskel, a would-be first-time home buyer, hasn’t been sleeping much lately.

He and his wife, Samira, have to move out of their rented home — and they want to find a house to buy.

By Friday.

That’s when the sun sets on a discount for the proverbial American dream, an $8,000 tax credit to first-time home buyers who have a contract signed by Friday and close by June 30. Repeat home buyers can claim a $6,500 credit under the same deadline.

“We have to act quickly,“ said Kaskel, 31, a guitar teacher. “And so we definitely haven’t been resting a lot.“

Neither have real estate agents, who have been working long past dark and fielding middle-of-the-night e-mails from buyers desperate to get their share of the billions of dollars doled out nationwide.

“I feel like there’s a big clock,“ said agent Lisa Dority, who has been working with a couple for the past two weeks to find the perfect home in time for the deadline. “Tick tick.“

No one can say how much of the recent increases in home sales can be traced to the credit, but everyone agrees there has been some effect. Likewise, it’s hard to predict what will happen once the credit disappears.

Analysts say the credit has, at the least, prompted potential buyers to make a move earlier than they might have otherwise.

“Did we stimulate overall demand or did we just move it around? We don’t know yet,“ said William Hardin, professor of finance and real estate at Florida International University. “We know we’ve had a lot of first-time home buyers in the market. We know that that’s helped. The question is: Is anybody left?“

. . .

Read: “As home tax break expires, mad dash for a deal,“ an article from the MiamiHerald.com.

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