Housing Costs Drop…Sort of

USA Today reported that the US Senate voted to extend the homebuyer tax credit until May 1, 2010. If it becomes law, the credit will be $8,000 for first-time homebuyers. This time, the measure’s been expanded to allow a $6,500 tax credit for repeat buyers.

I’m not arguing for or against the politics of this—as a designer, I’m apolitical and focus on just the technology and cost of building. For the next half year at least, this tax credit will effectively cut the cost of construction and home ownership and perhaps make a house affordable that otherwise might not be.

With the current troubles in the economy, the focus of families I’ve talked to and worked with has been on smaller houses and less expensive construction. Based on client designs that have recently been cost-estimated, this tax credit could cut the cost of the house by 3%-9%. That’s an amount that can make a difference to a family on a budget.

Jim Kaslik is the principal designer of Cloud Hidden Designs, LLC, an exclusive designer of residential domes since 1997.