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2022 Nevada First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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In Nevada, new homeowners have access to multiple first-time homebuyer programs. Through the available initiatives, Nevadans can receive down payment and closing cost assistance, low-interest mortgages and a federal tax credit. To qualify for first-time homebuyer assistance, applicants must meet specific income, credit and residency requirements.

This article provides an overview of first-time homebuyer programs in Nevada.

Nevada statewide and local first-time homebuyer programs

The Nevada Housing Division and the Nevada Rural Housing Authority offer statewide first-time homebuyer programs. In addition to state programs, local governments and community organizations may also offer first-time homebuyer assistance. Here’s a glance at available homebuyer programs in Nevada.

Program nameAssistance amountAssistance typeWhere it’s available
Home Is Possible (HIP)Up to 5% of the loan amount for down payment and closing costsThree-year forgivable second mortgageStatewide
Home Is Possible For HeroesLoan amounts up to $647,200Low-interest fixed-rate 30-year mortgageStatewide
Home Is Possible For Teachers*$7,500 for down payment and closing costsFive-year forgivable second mortgageStatewide
Home At Last (HAL) Down Payment AssistanceUp to 5% of the loan amount for down payment and closing costsThree-year forgivable second mortgageStatewide in communities with populations under 150,000
Home At Last Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)Up to 30% of annual mortgage interest paid, capped at $2,000Annual federal income tax creditStatewide in communities with populations under 150,000

*Home Is Possible For Teachers is scheduled to end on March 31, 2022, but could eventually be extended.

What to know about different types of down payment assistance

Closing cost and down payment assistance can come in many forms. Borrowers should understand how each program works before applying.

  • Second mortgages. The down payment assistance programs in this guide are zero-interest forgivable second mortgages with no payments. These loans are forgivable as long as the homeowner remains in the property for the required time. Other down payment assistance programs may offer second mortgages with deferred or traditional payments.
  • Grants. Some community and local programs offer down payment assistance in the form of grants. Applicants do not need to repay grant money; however, these programs are typically income-sensitive and are subject to funds availability.

How Nevada first-time homebuyer programs work

To apply for one of Nevada’s first-time homebuyer programs, borrowers must follow the program’s application process. Here’s a look at the steps you can expect to take.

1. Review program details. Familiarize yourself with the programs available through the Nevada Housing Division and the Nevada Rural Housing Authority. Be sure to review the income restrictions, residency requirements and fees of each. Additional Nevada first-time homebuyer programs may be available at the city and county levels.

2. Attend a homebuyer education course. Both the Nevada Housing Division and the Nevada Rural Housing Authority require all program applicants to attend an online homebuyer education course available through each agency. Upon completion, borrowers receive a certificate to give to their lender.

3. Find a participating lender. Homebuyers apply for programs through either a Home Is Possible lender or Home At Last approved lender.

4. Prequalify for your loan. Your lender will guide you through their application process and program requirements and will request information to prequalify you for a loan.

5. Apply for the MCC. Buyers who plan to claim Nevada Rural Housing Authority’s Mortgage Credit Certificate must apply for the credit at the time of the home purchase.

6. Follow program guidelines. Be sure to review and understand any program requirements you must follow after closing, such as remaining in the home for a set time.

Nevada first-time homebuyer program requirements

Nevada’s first-time homebuyer programs have mortgage-specific requirements and other guidelines. Borrowers may also have to meet additional lender criteria, such as minimum credit score or maximum DTI ratio.

Program name Credit score minimumDTI ratio maximumMaximum income limitHow long you have to live in home
Home Is Possible (HIP)64045% (50% allowed on some loans with a credit score of 680 or more)$57,920 to $135,000, depending on loan type, county, and family sizeThree years to receive full forgiveness
Home Is Possible For Heroes64045% (50% allowed on some loans with a credit score of 680 or more)$57,920 to $135,000, depending on loan type, county, and family sizeN/A
Home Is Possible For Teachers640, 660, 680, depending on loan and property type45% (50% allowed on some loans with a credit score of 680 or more)$57,920 to $135,000, depending on loan type, county, and family sizeFive years to receive full forgiveness
Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance640 or 680, depending on property type45% (50% allowed on some loans with a credit score of 680 or more)$57,920 to $151,600, depending on loan type, county, and family sizeThree years to receive full forgiveness
Home At Last Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)As per mortgage requirementsAs per mortgage requirements$78,700 to $125,580, depending on county and family size ($94,440 to $152,880 if home is in a targeted area)N/A (Borrowers who sell their home within nine years may be subject to recapture tax.)

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Most closing cost and down payment assistance programs for first-time homebuyers have income restrictions. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) establishes these limits and bases them on the median income for each county. It’s a good idea to learn the income limits for your county as you review and compare homebuyer programs.

National first-time homebuyer programs

In addition to state programs, homebuyers can access multiple country-wide loans. National mortgage programs are not all limited to first-time buyers; however, many feature favorable terms, including low down payment minimums and flexible qualifying requirements. Some of Nevada’s homebuyer programs pair assistance with a national loan.

Conventional loans. Non-government loans are called conventional loans. Typically, conventional loans are harder to qualify for; however, some programs have lenient borrower requirements. Both Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible® are available to low- and moderate-income borrowers and have a low down payment minimum of 3%. First-time buyers (including those who haven’t owned a home in three years) can qualify for Freddie Mac’s HomeOne regardless of income. The program also has a 3% minimum down payment.

FHA loans. The Federal Housing Administration’s loan programs make homeownership possible to borrowers with less than perfect credit. FHA loans have a minimum credit score of 580 and a down payment requirement of 3.5% Buyers with scores between 500 and 579 can qualify with a 10% down payment.

VA loans. Veterans, active-duty servicemember, and eligible spouses can qualify for loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans offer 100% financing and have flexible credit requirements.

USDA loans. Low- and moderate-income borrowers in designated rural areas can qualify for loans guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with no down payment requirement.

FAQs about Nevada’s first-time homebuyer programs

Who qualifies as a first-time homebuyer in Nevada?

Most of Nevada’s statewide loan and assistance programs don’t require first-time homebuyer status. However, borrowers who plan to claim the MCC need to be new homeowners, which includes anyone who hasn’t owned their primary residence for the past three years. Some borrowers, such as eligible veterans, may be exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement.

Can I qualify for down payment assistance in Nevada?

Nevada has a few statewide down payment assistance programs. To qualify, borrowers must meet income and residency requirements and additional guidelines. Applicants will also need to pay any applicable program fees and qualify for a first mortgage through a participating lender.

How much of a down payment do I need to buy a house in Nevada?

Some mortgages, such USDA loans and VA loans, have no down payment requirement. Other loan programs have low minimum down payments, such as FHA loans at 3.5% and some conventional loans at 3%. Additionally, borrowers who qualify for down payment assistance can pair the program with a loan to purchase a home with no money down.

Home price trends in Nevada’s major areas

Home prices in Nevada saw double-digit increases in 2021 compared to a year earlier, according to data from the National Association of Realtors®. In Washoe County, included in the Reno Metropolitan Area, the median home price increased 15.4% to $460,647 in the second quarter of 2021.

The typical monthly payment for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the county rose by $189 to $1,748. Increases were a little more modest in Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, at 10.5%. The median home price there is $358,832, and the typical mortgage payment jumped about $93 more a month than the prior year, to $1,362.

 

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