MYRTLE BEACH — If nothing changes with the federal government for the next couple of weeks, area Realtors could have something to worry about.
But for now at least, said Lisa Verkuilen, director of communications for the Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors, real estate’s door is still open.
The Federal Housing Administration and the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development are still operating on a limited basis, she said. The FHA continues to provide financing for single-family homes, but has suspended multi-family financing during the shutdown.
There has been no change, so far, to loan guarantees from the Veterans Administration, and Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Financing Agency are operating as usual.
But the Internal Revenue Service has suspended sending out any forms, including tax return transcripts needed by most people who are seeking conventional bank financing to buy or build a home.
Verkuilen said the Association has been getting calls and email inquiries from area Realtors about the impact of the shutdown. In response, she said the Association has posted an article on its Facebook page to give them information. She said information also is available on the website of the National Association of Realtors, www.realtor.org.
The shutdown, however, could influence new foreclosures described by RealtyTrac as monster REOs (bank-owned properties) and vampire foreclosures. Think Halloween.
The national real estate tracking firm said that with the improving economy, banks could be expected to move these properties to the market.
Monster REOs are foreclosures with someone still living in them, RealtyTrac said, while zombie foreclosures are vacant but not yet on the market.
A prolonged shutdown could change that picture.
Verkuilen said that she would anticipate that a lack of a resolution for the shutdown also could change Realtors access to federal mortgage assistance.
Perhaps the monsters and vampires will end up as pilgrims and turkeys.
No construction data
Speaking of shutdowns, the Associated General Contractors of America said it cannot say what total construction spending was in August because the U.S. Census Bureau is unable to release the data because of the shutdown.
“It is hard to get a sense of where the industry is heading when basic construction spending data isn’t available,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist.
The association further concerned that the shutdown would mean a delay in solicitations for new federal construction projects as well as ongoing projects because federal supervisors won’t be available to answer questions.
The association is worried that some people might miss out on jobs and that the shutdown could pose a risk to the construction industry’s recovery.
En espanol, por favor
The Coastal Carolinas Association of Realtors is sponsoring two workshops to help legal Hispanics toward home ownership. Realtor Daniel Diaz of Nitor Realty will talk about the advantages of ownership, and banks, a law firm and the S.C. Housing Authority will be present to talk about home loans and the process of purchasing.
The workshops are scheduled for:
• 1 p.m., Oct. 13 at St. James Church, 1071 Academy Drive, Conway.
• 5 p.m., Oct. 19 at Iglesia Tabernaculo Do Avivamento, 1256 Third Ave. S, Myrtle Beach.
Contact STEVE JONES at 444-1765.