Flood insurance hiatus not likely to delay home closings
The National Flood Insurance Program is in suspended animation, starting March 1, thanks to congressional wrangling over legislation that would reauthorize it. The Post's Federal Eye blogger, Ed O'Keefe, explains the legislative drama, which is expected to be resolved within a few days. For home buyers and owners, it means the only source of flood insurance is temporarily unavailable.
I asked Tim Wilson, president of affiliated businesses for Long & Foster, which includes a title company and two mortgage companies, whether the holdup would delay real estate closings. "If FEMA shuts down for a few days, I think it would have very little impact," he said. (FEMA runs the National Flood Insurance Program, though policies are sold by individual insurance agents.)
All mortgage applications are run through an automated system to determine whether the home they're financing is in a designated flood area. Wilson said if they don't get an automated answer within 48 hours, they follow up on that application. Considering that it usually takes 30-60 days to go from contract to closing on a home loan, a few days' delay getting the flood insurance approval is not likely to delay closings, he said.
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