By now, you’ve heard the news: the U.S. government has shut down for the first time in nearly two decades after Congress failed to pass a resolution that will fund government operations.
Unfortunately, the effects of the shutdown could be felt in the housing market, and delays are expected in the processing of government-backed loans. Some programs that affect federal housing and mortgage programs have been suspended or slowed as a result. This means you could face possible setbacks in closing if you were in the process of obtaining an FHA loan.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which is closely monitoring the impact of the shutdown on the housing market, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) “will continue to endorse new loans in the Single-Family Mortgage Loan Program, but it will not make new commitments in the Multi-Family Program during the shutdown.” NAR also reports that borrowers might encounter delays with the processing of Veterans Administration (VA) and FHA loans.
What does this mean for buyers who are in the process of purchasing a home with these loans? Your closing could be delayed, and your agent might have to ask for an extension. Because it’s unknown how long the shutdown will last, it’s hard to pinpoint how much extra time you’ll need for an extension. Your agent and lender should communicate with the listing agent to keep them informed along the way.
Sellers, you’ll need to be patient if the buyer for your home is using FHA or VA financing. There might be delays, or things might stay on schedule; there’s no reason to panic just yet. Keep in mind that while an extension might be problematic, it will likely take much longer to put your house back on the market and wait for another buyer to come along.
To stay on top of the shutdown’s impact on housing, visit NAR’s website for continuous updates.