Government shutdown impacting some Tennessee homebuyers

Posted at 10:37 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 23:38:27-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Nashville housing market is booming, but while the government shutdown continues, some Tennessee homebuyers are being shut out.

"The government is highly involved in the mortgage business so there's a lot more hoops to jump through now," OneTrust Branch Manager Matt Helton said.

Many of those 'hoops' impact homebuyers in rural counties, looking to get help from the USDA home loan program. The program provides a no-money-down loan for people buying in certain rural areas who meet income requirements.

"That's a really great loan that's not available at this point," Helston said. It's not available because the USDA workers who process those loans are now on furlough as the shutdown enters its third week.

Helton said the loan is pretty common, about 1 in 5 eligible buyers use the program.

"Those people are having a challenge to get that loan through now, there's nobody even to look at it, they're closed," Helton said, adding that when the government reopens, the impact for those homebuyers could last for months.

"There could be hundreds of people, just files sitting on lenders desks and then when they open up they'll send it over there for a huge wait time."

The impact will be smaller for buyers not hoping for a loan through the USDA, but the shutdown could still lead to complications. Helton recommended people looking to buy in the next three to six months start preparing early, in some cases looking at loans before even looking for houses.