Rural housing offering new homebuyer grants |

Rural housing offering new homebuyer grants

Staff Reports

First-time homebuyers and honorably discharged military veterans may be missing out on millions of dollars of free cash grants available now from lenders participating in the Nevada Rural Housing Authority’s Home At Last program.

The program gives a non-repayable down payment grant equal to 4 percent of the original loan to low-to-moderate income, first-time homebuyers and honorably discharged military veterans.

“First-time” homebuyer is defined as someone who has not owned a home in the past three years.

D. Gary Longaker, NRHA executive director, and his staff have raised over $80 million since 2006 in mortgage assistance funds through the sale of tax-exempt bonds.

“Cash down payment grants seem too good to be true, but in the past year we’ve helped about 200 Nevada families buy their first homes,” said Longaker.

“In Douglas and Storey Counties, a qualified family of three with a household income of $89,000 may receive over $10,000 toward the purchase of a $250,000 home,” said Longaker. “Statewide, our average homebuyer receives $8,000 towards a $200,000 mortgage. Furthermore, most Nevada counties have down payment assistance funds available to supplement funds.”

The Nevada Rural Housing Authority provides cash down payment grants to qualified homebuyers buying newly constructed or existing homes in Nevada communities with a population of 100,000 or less.

Borrowers can apply at any of several participating lenders administering FHA-insured, VA-Guaranteed, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mac Eligible Conventional or Rural Housing Service 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. The updated list of participating lenders and eligibility criteria are available at NRHA’s Web site or by calling (775) 887-1795.

Assist to Sell Realtor Helen Mayotte attracts prospective buyers by mentioning the program in descriptions of several homes she is now trying to sell.

“Buyers are still out there, even if they’re a bit harder to find than a few years ago,” said Mayotte. “Home At Last is a great marketing tool for every Realtor and it’s a great service for buyers and sellers alike.”

The rural housing authority has been in the forefront of increasing affordable housing opportunities for those priced out of home ownership in rural Nevada. Longaker remains optimistic about Nevada home ownership by veterans and first-time buyers.

“Now is a great time to buy in rural Nevada and every veteran and first-time homebuyer should ask their lender or Realtor if they qualify for Home At Last buyer’s assistance money,” said Longaker.