Shutdown impact on USDA preventing some East Tennessee families from buying a home

Local News

Hope Cudd has been in the real estate business for more than 25 years. She says nearly 60% of her clients that are first time home buyers utilize the USDA rural home loan program.

To qualify for a USDA home loan, you need to have low-to-moderate income, it needs to be in an approved rural-zoned area…and the government needs to be open.

Due to the shutdown, no new loans are being approved and existing, approved, loans aren’t been paid out. Cudd says it’s left many of her clients, many of whom were ready to close on a new home, possibly homeless. 

She says the situation has created uncertainty and stress, not just for those selling and buying a home, but for Cudd as well. As her income is dependent on her ability to sell, this has left her with anxiety about the future. 

Contracts are time sensitive, she explained. While this particular home owner has given the realtor and potential buyer an extension, there is still no guarantee the deal will go through.

“We asked for a two-week extension thinking that would have been more than enough and it’s not. I would have never thought in all of my years of real estate that it would have taken this long. And maybe the possibility of not being able to purchase the home,” she said. 

Cudd was ready to close a home in Maryville December 31. She says her client said yes to the house in November, beat out the other bidders and got approved by USDA. 

Cudd says she’s worried for her clients and for the future of her job.  

“Am I going to be able to put food on the table? More than me, I am more concerned with my clients that I can leave them homeless they’ve already made plans,” she said. “They were all ready but they’re not able to close now and don’t have a home to move into.”

She’s hoping for changes so she can start handing over keys again soon. 

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