It's back...President Obama has again called for limitations on the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction. Lenn Harley has been telling us about this for quite a while.
This IS a big deal, so contact your congressional representatives and share your opinion. If you don't know how to contact them click here.
Here's the letter I just emailed to my representatives. Feel free to use it all or in part.
An Open Letter to Senators Lautenberg and Menendez & Congressman Adler:
As a REALTOR® and an Accredited Buyers Representative® working with home buyers in southern Ocean County, I'd like to call attention to a portion of President Obama's budget message that is cause for concern.
The President's budget proposal includes changes to the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction. This proposed change only effects families earning over $250,000, but it could be the first step toward total elimination of one of the primary benefits of home ownership.
President Obama doesn't target the Mortgage Interest Deduction directly, rather he wants to cap the rate of all itemized deductions for couples or families over that $250,000 ($200,000 for individuals) earning limit.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR®) claims enactment of this proposal will set off a new round of home price depreciation, creating a new housing crisis.
I'll leave the depreciation arguments to NAR®. What I do know is my first time home buyer clients cite the Mortgage Interest Deduction as the major reason buying rather than renting makes financial sense.
Don't underestimate the importance of first time home buyers. The Consumer Confidence Index by the NAR® Research Division in December 2009 indicated 43% of the homes sold were purchased by first time home buyers.
Enactment of President Obama's limit of Mortgage Interest Deductions could have a chilling effect on these first time home buyers and buyers at all economic levels. Consumer doubt and uncertainty is not what our Country's economy needs as we struggle toward recovery.
Please oppose any changes to the Mortgage Interest Deductions.