Nevada First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2021

NerdWallet
By NerdWallet 
Edited by Amanda Derengowski
Nevada First-Time Homebuyer Programs

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The Nevada Housing Division offers several loan programs to help first-time home buyers become homeowners in the Silver State.

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If you haven't owned a home in the past three years, you may qualify as a first-time home buyer. The Nevada Housing Division offers homebuying programs for repeat buyers, active-duty military and veterans, too.

National first-time home buyer programs to consider

With these national programs, home buyers in Nevada and elsewhere can get financing with low down payments, which are crucial for many first-timers.

Conventional mortgage

Best for:

Low down payments, limited mortgage insurance premiums

What you need to know:

A conventional mortgage is a home loan that isn’t guaranteed or insured by the federal government. Conventional mortgages that conform to the requirements set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow down payments as low as 3% for first-time buyers or lower-income home buyers. Unlike FHA loans, conventional loans allow borrowers to eventually cancel their mortgage insurance or avoid mortgage insurance altogether if they put at least 20% down.

VA loans

Best for:

Military, low down payments

What you need to know:

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs helps service members, veterans and surviving spouses buy homes. VA loans are especially generous, providing competitive interest rates, often requiring no down payment or mortgage insurance. Although there is no official minimum credit score, most VA-approved lenders require scores of at least 640.

FHA loans

Best for:

Low credit score, low down payments

What you need to know:

This is the go-to program for many first-time home buyers with lower credit scores. The Federal Housing Administration allows down payments as low as 3.5% for those with credit scores of 580 or higher. The FHA will insure loans for borrowers with scores as low as 500 but requires a 10% down payment for a score that low. Mortgage insurance is required for the life of an FHA loan and cannot be canceled.

USDA loans

Best for:

Low down payments, rural

What you need to know:

A USDA home loan is a zero-down-payment mortgage for eligible rural and suburban home buyers. USDA loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. There are income limitations, which vary by region. Applicants with credit scores of 640 or higher receive streamlined processing. Those with scores below that must meet more stringent underwriting standards.

Nevada Housing Division highlights and eligibility requirements

First-time home buyers in Nevada who meet income and other eligibility requirements can get 30-year mortgages at competitive interest rates through Nevada's Home Is Possible loan and assistance programs.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Help with down payments and closing costs for low- and moderate-income borrowers.

  • Active military and veterans may be eligible for below-market interest rates.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Most programs have income limits.

  • Some programs establish limits on home prices.

  • Home must be a primary residence in Nevada.

  • Minimum credit scores vary by program.

Nevada first-time home buyer loan programs

Home Is Possible (HIP)

Best for:

Down payment assistance, closing cost assistance

What you need to know:

The Home Is Possible program gives first-time and repeat home buyers up to 5% of the loan amount to pay the down payment, closing costs or a combination of both. The money doesn't have to be repaid if you keep the home as your primary residence. The program can be used to buy a manufactured home. Loans have 30-year terms and competitive interest rates. Borrowers have to meet income and home-price limits, must have a credit score of 640 or higher and have to take a home buyer education course. The fee is $755.

Home Is Possible for First-Time Homebuyers

Best for:

Down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, tax credits

What you need to know:

This variation of the Home Is Possible program is strictly for first-time home buyers. It combines down payment and closing cost assistance HIP for First-Time Home Buyers provides up to 4% of the loan amount that can be used to pay the down payment, closing costs or a combination. The money doesn't have to be repaid if you stay in your home for 15 years. There are income and home-price limits and a minimum credit score of 660 with a one-time fee of $755. Borrowers must take a homebuyer education course.

Home Is Possible for Heroes

Best for:

Military, low mortgage rates, government-backed loans

What you need to know:

Veterans and active military personnel are eligible for this version of Home Is Possible. It offers below-market interest rates with a one-time fee of $755. There are income and home-price limits and the minimum credit score is 640. Borrowers must take a home buyer education course. The program is for VA and USDA loans only and is open to active-duty military, honorably discharged veterans, members of the National Guard and surviving spouses.

Your next step

That's the general outline of first-time home buyer programs available in Nevada. For details, visit the Nevada Housing Division website.

The division does not lend money directly; instead, approved lenders do. If you see a first-time or repeat home buyer program that appeals to you, contact a lender directly.

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