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Uncle Sam's House Warming Gift Spurs Sales

Burlington, Vermont - June 9, 2009

Rachel Bulla is still unpacking boxes, having just moved into her new condo this weekend.

She liked the slate floor, the location and the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit that helped make the place affordable.

"The first-time home buyers' tax credit definitely pushed me over the edge to buy," she said. "I had been renting forever, and having the credit made the decision that much easier for me."

"We're seeing that this is legislation passed that is truly doing what it was intended to do," said Leslee MacKenzie, the president of Coldwell Banker Hickok and Boardman and the president-elect of the Vermont Association of Realtors. She said the summer season of June through August tends to be the busiest season for home sales, and several factors mean this year is looking especially promising.

"Interest rates are historically low; and between the $8,000 credit and rates in the 5 percent range; and in most pockets, a lot of inventory choose from; this is really an opportune time we may not see again for years," MacKenzie said.

MacKenzie says local banks are lending, but they're generally looking for a stronger credit score than they might have in the past. And in this time of high unemployment, job security is important -- both to the lenders and potential borrowers.

"There's a little bit of caution still," MacKenzie said. "No one's immune from the rest of the economy. That certainly affects people. They want to make wise choices and so I think they're looking really closely at conditions of the property, they're looking at location carefully."

Rachel Bulla says she put a lot of thought into making her decision and saving for a down payment. But now she's happy to be home.

Kate Duffy - WCAX News Click below to watch the television interview

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