There are many first-time homebuyer loans and programs designed to help Nevadans purchase homes of their own.
The entrance of companies like Tesla and Switch into Nevada means great things for the local economy. What they also mean are raising housing prices, as more and more people move into the Silver State, creating a housing shortage. This is good news for existing homeowners, but concerning for first-time homebuyers.
According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, “In January 2012, the median price for a home in northern Nevada was around $135,000. More than two and a half years later, home values have jumped by about 85 percent.”
What does this mean to the first-time homebuyer? It’s time to buy, while interest rates are still low and before prices go up any higher. But you’re also probably going to need some help.
Nevada is full of first-time homebuyer programs, all designed to educate homebuyers on their responsibilities, and then to help them into homes they can afford.
The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lists several options on its website, www.hud.gov. These include first-time homebuyer programs and loans with little to no down payment requirements, programs specific to veterans and programs that give homeowners money back every year in the form of tax credits.
• Habitat for Humanity was founded by former President Jimmy Carter and has a mission to provide homes for low-income families. Applicants must meet specific income requirements and be willing to complete 500 hours of “sweat” equity toward building their home or another home in the program. In exchange, the first-time homebuyer can purchase a home with no down payment and a monthly mortgage that is typically about half of normal rents for the area.
• The USDA Rural Housing program provides low interest mortgages, typically with little or no down payment requirements, in rural areas of the state. In Nevada, this is defined as any city with fewer than 30,000 residents.
• The Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA) has two programs that can help homebuyers in rural Nevada (every city except for Reno and Las Vegas). Their Home At Last TM down payment assistance program (which is not limited to first-time homebuyers) includes both government (FHA, VA and USDA Rural Development) and conventional (HFA Preferred) loan alternatives, coupled with granted down payment assistance of up to 5 percent, depending on the loan type. NRHA also offers the Mortgage Tax Credit (MTC) program that gives the first-time homebuyer a federal tax credit equal to 40 percent of the interest paid on the mortgage loan – this could equal up to $2,000 a year in free money!
• The Nevada Housing Division offers programs similar to the NRHA programs that help first-time homebuyers living in urban areas of Nevada.
Many of these first-time homebuyer programs can be used in conjunction with one other. The first step in buying a home is to visit with a qualified home lender - one who understands and is certified to work with these programs. They will look at your financial situation (including any credit issues) and help you come up with the best financing plan to get your family into a home of your own.