Buying a home has long been the American dream, but it’s not always easy. While many can afford the monthly mortgage -which oftentimes is less than rent - coming up with the down payment can be daunting.
That’s where the Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA) comes in. Founded in 1973, NRHA has a mission to put rural Nevadans into homes they can afford, which is the cornerstone for building healthy communities.
Based on that philosophy, NRHA created the Home At Last™ (HAL) Home Buyer program in 2006, providing qualifiedrural Nevada families with the help they need to purchase a home.
The Home At Last™ homebuyer program has two components:Home At Last™ Access provides a grant ranging from two to five percent of the loan amount that may be used for down payment and/or closing costs. You heard correctly – it’s a grant. That means it NEVER has to be repaid. You do not need to be a first-time homebuyer to get this grant. And, there are no loan origination fees. There are income limitations but they’re set for hard-working Nevada families, so the maximum qualifying household income is $95,500 annually. The home purchase must fall below a maximum purchase price of $400,000, which would putfamilies into very nice homes throughout most of rural Nevada.
NRHA recently started offering the HFA Preferred program, which allows a loan-to-value ratio of up to 97 percent for single-family homes. This means that the potential homebuyer only has to come up with a three percent down payment, so the Home At Last™ Access grant could cover both the down payment and some of the closing costs!
To complement Home at Last™ Access (or to stand alone), is the Home at Last™ Mortgage Tax Credit program (MTC), which offers qualified first-time buyers a federal income tax credit equal to either 20 or 40 percent of the interest paid on their mortgage loan. For most families, this will average around $2,000 a year, every year for the life of the loan. This money can be used for making an extra mortgage payment, home improvement, landscaping, furniture, or college tuition – really anything the family chooses. The first-time homebuyer qualification is waived for qualified military veterans.
“We compare the Home at Last™ Access grants to having a rich uncle,” explained NRHA Northern Nevada Mortgage Specialist Laura Lau. “It’s money you can use to buy a home and you never have to pay it back.”
Buyers interested in learning more should visit the NRHA website at www.nvrural.org to find a qualified lender. They’ll meet with the lender to find out more about these and other programs that might be available. The lender will also analyze income, credit scores and other factors and then give the homebuyer a very accurate idea of how much house they can qualify for. Most homebuyers are surprised to discover just how high that number can be. And then they get the fun part – finding a REALTOR® and shopping for a new house!