Even Houston, with its booming economy, can't ignore the federal government's shutdown

Local realtor Michael Weaster says a prolonged shutdown could hit us where it really hurts -- the housing market, where first-time home buyers make up a majority of purchases.

“Any length of time, two to three weeks even, is going to cause a lender to go back and get verifications of employment, verifications of deposits, verifications of their job, so they'll basically have to start over on the loan,” Weaster tells KTRH News.

“Most of the lenders right now aren't even letting the buyers know there's a potential problem,” he says.  “I think they're just sitting back and waiting to see if Congress and the House can get something resolved before they panic the buyer.”

Thousands of local NASA workers also are sitting at home, furloughed from the Johnson Space Center Tuesday.  Though Bob Mitchell with the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership insists there's no need to worry yet.

“They all have contracts to work on and we have to continue to push the boundaries of space,” says Mitchell.  “So I'm not the least bit worried at the end of the day, all those people will go back to work.”

Essential services such as the military, U.S. Attorney's Office and federal court houses will remain operating.  However, national parks are closed and federally funded projects could be put on hold.

Citizens also could see delays in passport applications, or even Social Security and Medicare payments in the coming weeks.

Former FBI deputy director Danny Coulson says shutdowns and furloughs are just part of a government job.

“You know if you're in the public sector and you're employed by the FBI or any other agency like that, there can be a definite downside like losing your job, but you get another one,” he says.