A discussion I have been involved with here in the Baltimore area about the crippling snow and the effect on the Baltimore real estate market has people in the real estate world wondering if the homebuyer tax credit may be extended again.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal wrote an article about the credit, and how lobbyists are gearing up to try to have it extended.

In the northeast, the sheer fact of houses not being able to be shown for the majority of a month due to the snow is a big part of the issue.

Other areas of the country make the point, as recounted in the Wall Street Journal article, that banks often are often taking a long time to approve short sales. I personally have found that this delay creates the issue of buyers who qualify for the credit not considering these homes as options.

It will be interesting to see if it will happen. Washington stated that it would not be extended further, and I can understand if that does not happen. Without the urgency of it ending, the credit cannot do its’ job, which is to help people get into homes.

The other looming deadline we have right now is the upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium for FHA loans, and the fact that that rate is going up from 1.75% to 2.25% for loans whose case numbers are assigned after April 5, 2010. This means that buyers desiring to use FHA financing should be pushing to have a home under contract by the third week in March, giving them about three weeks from now, to ensure their case number is assigned prior to April 5, 2010.

Two very important deadlines are looming, and I will be following how the Baltimore real estate market responds to them.