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Area Real Estate Experts Say Gov’t Shutdown May Crimp Some Home Purchases

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(A home for sale in 2010.  File photo by Mark Ralston/ AFP/ Getty Images)

(A home for sale in 2010. File photo by Mark Ralston/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the real estate market on the upswing, many people buying homes have opted to obtain an FHA mortgage.

But if the federal government shuts down, what does that mean for those who are relying on a federally insured loan and have a closing date in the near future?

Debora Weidman-Phillips, sales manager at the Long & Foster real estate office in Blue Bell, Pa., said most prospective home buyers need not worry.

“They would still get their loan because they are handled by underwriting departments that are not government related,” she notes.

But she says that lenders are duty-bound to verify employment a day or two before settlement. If the prospective homeowner works for the government, it could jeapordize the proceedings.

Mike McCann, of Prudential Fox and Roach real estate in center city Philadelphia, noted a couple of other potential pitfalls.

“Fannie Mae will probably operate,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “VA (mortgages) goes directly through the VA for the appraisal, so that could be a slowdown. We won’t be able to verify Social Security numbers, if that is needed, or obtain a flood map (to determine if the home is in a flood plain).”

But McCann and Weidman-Phillips believe the vast majority of closings should go through. Nevertheless, prospective homebuyers are advised to stay in close touch with their lender.

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