First-time home buyers locked out during shutdown

Buying a home is already stressful, but Brittany Crosten said the government shutdown has made it the “most miserable experience of my life.”

Crosten and her husband were trying to buy a house where they live in Banks County, Georgia. They were going to finance it with a rural development loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but under the partial government shutdown that office is completely closed.

She said the family moved in with her husband’s in-laws temporarily while the sale went through. They thought they would only be there for three weeks and in the new house in time for Christmas, but now they have to wait until the government reopens.

“I never thought I would be able to purchase my own home, now I’m finally there and I can’t get it,” she told ABC News, adding “basically me and my husband are having to sleep on the bottom of a bunk bed and our kids are having to sleep up top.”

PHOTO: Brittany Croston says her family is living with her in-laws while they wait to find out if they can still buy their new house after the government shutdown ends.Courtesy of Brittany Croston
Brittany Croston says her family is living with her in-laws while they wait to find out if they can still buy their new house after the government shutdown ends.more +

She said feels like her three sons missed out on Christmas because they couldn’t put up a tree or play with their toys because they don’t have room. She said they’re storing the gifts in the car because there isn’t room in the house.

PHOTO: Brittany Croston says she is storing her sons Christmas gifts in the car because they have nowhere to put them until they can get into their new house.

“It’s been very stressful because you work so hard to be fortunate enough to buy a home,” she told ABC News.

Crosten, who is 28, said houses are getting more expensive where they live in Banks County, Georgia, and that she needed the loan to buy one of the only houses in the area they can afford. She said she’s worried now that the current owners of the house will decide to go back to renting the house or sell it to someone else if their loan doesn’t go through soon.

“If they decide to back out on the loan then what do I do? I have to uproot our whole family from the community we love,” she said.

The situation has also caused added expenses because they are helping with the bills where they live now, paying for a storage space, and eating out for almost every meal. She said her kids go back to school next week and she may have to work from home, adding even more stress to the situation.

Crosten’s real estate broker Robert White said he has at least one other client whose loan is on hold during the shutdown.

“[The government shutdown is] not only affecting government employees, it’s also affecting homeowners who are trying to fulfill that dream of home ownership,” he told ABC News.

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