The expiration of the $8,000 first-time homebuyer credit is only 52 days from today. For those who qualify for the $8,000 credit they must close on their transaction no later than November 30th. And although there has been much speculation about an extension of the credit; to date nothing has been passed by Congress and their is growing skepticism that anything will get done before health care reform is enacted (which means it may not get extended).
That said, we are expecting that Monday, November 30th will be a busy day at the county recording offices because many homebuyers will wait to the last minute to close. The excess demand for recordings at that time is amplified by the fact that Thursday, November 26th is Thanksgiving day so all of the recording offices are closed. The problem of course is that the county recording offices may not be staffed to handle the additional capacity and if a transaction doesn’t actually record until the following day it may mean that the buyer does not receive their $8,000 credit.
We would encourage homebuyers to close a week or so before the expiration of the credit so long as time permits but realize this may not be feasible. That said, we have been pro-active in learning how the tri-counties are going to be responding to the expected additional demand. Here is what we found out:
Multnomah County: Will be open for the full day on Friday, November 27th (day following Thanksgiving)/ may add staff if needed/ is not allowing vacations to employees on November 30th/ currently planning on closing at 5PM
Washington County: Will be open for the full day on Friday, November 27th (day following Thanksgiving)/ planning on adding staff to help out/ is not allowing vacations to employees on November 30th/ will close at 5PM but staff will stay as late as needed in order to record all documents in that day
Clackamas County: Will only open for a 5-hour shift on Friday, November 27th (day following Thanksgiving)/ not currently planning on adding staff/ has not made any policies regarding vacations to employees on November 30th/ will close at 5PM as normally scheduled
Clearly Clackamas County recordings are the most at risk. Plan ahead!