How the newly passed package will affect SCV residents.
It’s been passed through the United States Senate, the House, and now it is on its way to be signed by President Bush. At last, the Federal Government’s golden ticket is headed for our mailboxes.
It is the Economic Stimulus package, and with it will come rebate checks in the neighborhood of $600 for single Americans making under $75,000 a year and $1,200 for couples making less than $150,000 annually. Also, an additional $300 per child credit will be given to parents and $300 will go to disabled veterans and seniors receiving social security checks.
The whole idea behind the package is to put money in the hands of consumers to fuel the sinking economy. And while many are already planning their flat screen TV purchase or their weekend getaway, Santa Clarita residents may be more interested in another item included in the package; loan limits have been raised.
A major increase in the size of mortgages the government will back could mean big things for Santa Clarita, which is among the many areas in Los Angeles County with sky-high home prices.
The package allows for the Federal Housing Administration to insure loans of up to $729,750, a boost from the current allowed, which is $417,000. This will particularly help first-time buyers, according to Fred Arnold, President of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers. “Now it’s gone up substantially, so you can actually buy your first house and take advantage of the 3% down FHA program because the limits are higher.”
In addition, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will be allowed to purchase loans up to the same amount.
The increase should bring some relief for those in Santa Clarita looking to refinance their mortgages.
“This will be so positive, because it’s not only Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, it’s also the Federal Housing Administration,” said Mary Funk, President of the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
Although, it will be better to act fast, because the increase is only good through December 31st 2008. According to Funk, the time limit is the only negative point; “We’ve been lobbying for years to get the limits increased.”
While the loan limits made it into the package, some items didn’t. Illegal immigrants will not be receiving any rebate checks, after steps were taken to prevent it. In a released statement, our Congressman McKeon, who supported the bill, said he was happy with the way the package was worked out.
“The Senate made some positive changes to the economic stimulus package, and I believe these changes will work to the benefit of my congressional district. I was particularly pleased to see the inclusion of our disabled veterans and low-income seniors under the economic stimulus package provisions, and I was even more encouraged by the explicit language denying illegal immigrants the rebates.”