Federal USDA home loans on hold during government shutdown

Local News

Local realtor Stacy Miller says a pair of real estate transactions almost fell apart recently when the financing for one of the deals was put on hold because of the federal government shutdown.

Miller, a realtor at the Susan Wainfor Advantage Group in Hilliard, says she had a client who was selling a home in Clark County and buying a home in Hilliard. The deals were made, the contracts were signed and the closings were set for Jan. 2.

But during the Christmas week, Miller learned that the buyer for the home in Clark County was financing her purchase through the USDA Home Loan Program. When the federal government partially shut down, the USDA loan program stopped operating and all deals were put on hold.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on,” Miller said. “Ultimately, I thought the whole thing could have fallen apart.”

Miller said without the equity from the sale of the Clark County home, her client would not be able to buy the new home in Hilliard.

The USDA loan program provides 100 percent financing with low-interest rates for buyers in mostly small towns and rural areas. It provides more than 100,000 such home mortgages each year.

Other federal loan programs such as VA and FHA mortgage loans have been unaffected by the partial shutdown.

Miller says the speed at which homes can sell on the market became a consideration. “The other thought was, ‘Oh, the government doesn’t shut down for very long – maybe we’ll just stall for a while,’”Miller said. “But here we are at Day 19 and you could take it off the market, put it back on the market and find another buyer in just a week.”

Miller says in this case, the buyer in Clark County applied and was quickly approved for a different type of loan and the deal was salvaged. “The buyer wanted that house. That was the only house she wanted. It was her dream house… so they all wanted it to really happen.”

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