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Layoff Insurance? Another Incentive for Homebuyers

Home buyers… receive the gift!  Right now we’re looking at historically low interest rates, the most affordable home prices in years, what looks fast approaching bottom of the real estate market in general, improved buyer confidence, an $8000 first time buyer tax credit, and now buyers can even get “Layoff Insurance”. These incentives are stacking up like gifts under a christmas tree!

Last week was filled with news reporting that the market bottom seems to have arrived in some areas of the country and forecasting that all parts of the country will have bottomed by the 1st quarter of 2010.  It seems that the free-fall is ending and that’s good news!

We’re still hearing negative news as well.  The most troubling is our country’s high unemployment numbers.  Nearly 8.5% of Americans are currently unemployed. Over 20% are classified as “underemployed”.  We’ve been told for some time that during a recession we can expect unemployment to skyrocket.  We’ve also been told that an improvement in employment numbers will signal the end of the recession so we’d like to see that happen as soon as possible.  Forecasts by the “experts” estimate that we’ll see the signs we’re looking for later this year.

In the mean time, it’s a MEAN time for workers.  People are concerned about losing their jobs and it’s a fear that keeps many from taking advantage of purchasing a home today.  So… how do you convince someone who’s sitting on the fence because of employment concerns to make a decision to buy?  Eliminate that concern by offering them “Layoff Insurance”!

That’s just what several home builders including Lennar Corp., Pulte Homes Inc., The Ryland Group Inc. and Toll Brothers Inc. are doing.  For between $450 and $900 a buyer can be insured against loss of employment within 2 years of the purchase.  The insurance will cover payments (including taxes, interest and insurance) up to $2500 per month for 6 months.

It seems to me that just about every day there’s another reason to jump in and make a real estate purchase.  I believe that those who take advantage of these unprecedented opportunities will be happy they did.  Those who don’t pull the trigger may have some major regrets a few years from now.

Buyers certainly don’t have to buy “today” but in my opinion they should be looking and they should be getting things in order so they are well positioned to obtain a mortgage.  Prices aren’t going to skyrocket this year and neither are interest rates.  There’s no big rush, but this looks like the year to buy in most parts of the country, especially for 1st time buyers.

Of course the increase in market activity is great news for real estate agents and brokers! I’ve been monitoring hundreds of them via Twitter and it’s amazing to hear reports of “multiple offers” and even “bidding wars”.  Mostly though, these people are simply reporting that they have suddenly become very busy after a long period of quiet.

Many readers of this blog are considering a career in real estate and are waiting for the perfect time to jump in.  I’m not sure that the timing could  get much better than it is right now.  I read a couple articles last week about what the real estate market recovery will look like.  In the past we’ve seen fast steep recoveries (sometimes referred to as “V” shaped) after market downturns,  but experts today are thinking this recovery will be more gradual (referring to it as a “U” shaped recovery).  So for someone who’s looking for a career that has excellent near and long term potential, real estate fits the bill.  Here’s where to learn how to get your real estate license!

Hopefully we get some more good news this week – I expect we will!

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

About David GoldsteinDavid Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.

Comments / Questions

  1. Tax Guy says:

    I’ve been interested in taxes for longer than I care to acknowledge, both on the personal side (all my working life-time!!) and from a legal standpoint since satisfying the bar and following up on tax law. I’ve put up a lot of advice and corrected a lot of wrongs, and I must say that what you’ve posted makes complete sense. Please continue the good work – the more individuals know the better they’ll be outfitted to deal with the tax man, and that’s what it’s all about.

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