Nevada First-Time Home Buyer | 2024 Programs and Grants – The Mortgage Reports

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What to know about buying a house in Nevada

Home prices are higher than the national average in Nevada. That can feel like a challenge for new home buyers.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of support for first-time buyers in the Silver State. Eligible borrowers can get free counseling and even cash assistance with their down payment and closing costs. Here’s what you should know.

Verify your home buying eligibility in Nevada. Start here

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Nevada home buyer overview

The median home price in Nevada hit $447,300 in March 2024. That rose 8.2% year-over-year, according to Redfin. If you’re struggling to save enough money for a down payment in the Silver State, you may qualify for one of Nevada’s many first-time home buyer programs. Here’s how to get started.

Verify your home buying eligibility in Nevada. Start here

Nevada home buyer stats

Average Home Sale Price in NV1 $447,300
Minimum Down Payment in NV (3%) $13,419
20% Down Payment in NV $89,460
Average Credit Score in NV2 701
Maximum State Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance NV3 Up to $15,000 as a forgivable loan available in designated rural areas statewide

Down payment amounts are based on the state’s most recently available average home sale price. “Minimum” down payment assumes 3% down on a conventional mortgage with a minimum credit score of 620.

If you’re eligible for a VA loan (backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs) or a USDA loan (backed by the US Department of Agriculture), you may not need any down payment at all.

First-time home buyer loans in Nevada

If you’re a first-time home buyer in Nevada with a 20% down payment, you can get a conventional loan with a low interest rate. And you never have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Of course, few first-time buyers have saved enough for 20% down. But the good news is that you don’t need that much. Not by a long shot. Borrowers can often get into a new home with as little as 3% or even 0% down using one of these low-down-payment mortgage programs:

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  • Conventional 97: From Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. 3% down payment and 620 minimum credit score. You can usually stop paying mortgage insurance after a few years
  • FHA loan: Backed by the Federal Housing Administration. 3.5% down and a 580 minimum credit score. But you’re on the hook for mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) until you refinance to a different type of mortgage, move, or pay off your loan
  • VA loan: Only for veterans, active military members, reservists, and National Guard. Zero down payment is required. Minimum credit score varies by lender but often 620. No ongoing mortgage insurance after closing. These are arguably the best mortgages available, so apply if you’re eligible
  • USDA loan: For those on low-to-moderate incomes buying in designated rural areas. Zero down payment required. Credit score requirements vary by lender but often 640. Low mortgage insurance rates
  • Nevada Housing Division: May include competitive mortgage interest rates and can be used with down payment assistance. More information in the resource section below

Note that government loan programs (including FHA, VA, and USDA home loans) require you to buy a primary residence. That means you can’t use these loans for a vacation home or investment property.

In addition, most programs let you use gifted money or down payment assistance (DPA) to cover your down payment and closing costs. Depending on your mortgage loan, you could potentially get into a new house with minimal cash out of pocket.

If you’re unsure which program to choose for your first mortgage, your lender can help you find the right match based on your finances and home buying goals.

Nevada first-time home buyer programs

The State of Nevada Housing Division offers 30-year mortgages with options for down payment and closing cost assistance. This homebuyer assistance is available to Nevadans across the state.

Regardless of which mortgage program you choose, you’ll need to purchase a primary residence and complete a home buyer education course. Here’s what you can expect.

Verify your home buying eligibility in NV. Start here

Home Is Possible (HIP)

The Home Is Possible program offers a 30-year mortgage with an “attractive” fixed interest rate. You’ll need to be a Nevada first-time home buyer, which is defined as anyone who has not owned a home in the past three years.

The website explains: “If your family’s annual income is $105,000 or less, and the home you want to buy costs less than $, you’re in the ballpark for Home Is Possible bonus down payment money.” Household income limits can sometimes be up to $135,000 if there are two or more borrowers.

  • The down payment assistance offered can be between 2% and 4% of the value of your mortgage loan. So it’s well worth applying
  • This DPA takes the form of a forgivable second mortgage. So the interest rate is 0%, and you don’t have to make monthly payments. Better yet, providing you stick to the rules, your debt will be forgiven after three years

You’ll also need a minimum credit score of 640. But that could jump to 660 if your debt-to-income ratio is greater than 45%. Additionally, you’ll need to meet the standard underwriting requirements of whichever approved lender you choose.

Home First

The Home First program is also a 30-year mortgage for first-time buyers. However, you’ll need a minimum of six months Nevada residency to qualify. This loan program could be well suited for those who:

  • Require down payment assistance of up to $15,000 (cannot be applied to closing costs)
  • Require higher home purchase price limits (up to $570,000)

Eligible borrowers must fall within household income limits and have a minimum credit score of 660.

Home Is Possible for Teachers

Home Is Possible for Teachers provides below-market interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate loan for K-12 public school teachers in Nevada. Plus, it comes with $7,500 in down payment and closing cost assistance.

  • Loan is fully forgivable if you stay in the home for five years
  • No first-home requirement, but borrowers cannot own real estate at time of closing
  • Purchase price and median income limits apply
  • Minimum credit score of 660 for FHA loans and 640 for VA and USDA loans
  • Conventional loans not permitted

Home Is Possible for Heroes

Home Is Possible for Heroes offers competitive interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate loan for active duty service members and veterans. The details and eligibility requirements of all the programs can be quite complicated. But, if you call one of NHD’s approved lenders, a loan officer will walk you through the whole thing and tell you whether you’re eligible.

Nevada first-time home buyer grants

In addition to the Nevada Housing Division’s DPA offering, the Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA) also runs two DPA programs. However, the NHRA offers interest-free second mortgages instead of grants.

Assistance comes in the form of three-year forgivable loans with 0% interest and no monthly payments. And, as long as you don’t refinance or sell during those first three years, this second mortgage will be completely forgiven.

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You may also be able to get a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) with either of these loans, which might save you money on your federal taxes. But speak to an adviser to see if a tax credit will help you.

Home At Last DPA

Nevada first-time home buyers may be eligible for borrower assistance up to 4% of their mortgage loan amount. You can apply these funds to both down payment and closing costs. The Home At Last program also offers refinancing to eligible homeowners.

Home Means Nevada Rural DPA

If you’re buying in officially designated rural parts of the state, NRHA offers up to $15,000 in forgivable down payment assistance to eligible buyers. Check out the resource section below for more information on the Home Means Nevada Rural DPA eligibility.

But, whatever NHD and NRHA are offering, don’t automatically choose either of them. First, check out any down payment assistance programs offered by the city or county where you wish to buy. Then select the one that suits you best.

Buying a home in Nevada’s major cities

First-time home buyers in Nevada have plenty of options for home buying assistance. Unfortunately, the state’s three largest cities do not offer programs of their own.

So if you need help bridging the gap between your savings and down payment, the NHD and NRHA may have your best options.

Verify your home buying eligibility in NV. Start here

Las Vegas first-time home buyers

The median list price in Las Vegas was $449,900 in March 2024. That rose 3.7% year-over-year, according to

At that median price, your down payment options might fall between:

  • $13,497 for 3% down payment
  • $89,980 for 20% down payment

The City of North Las Vegas has offered a down payment assistance program in the past. Details were not available at the time of this writing. But check with the agency at the time you apply to learn whether there’s help available in your area.

Henderson first-time home buyers

The median list price in Henderson was $549,000 in March 2024. That increased 5% year-over-year, according to

At that median price, your down payment options might fall between:

  • $16,470 for 3% down payment
  • $109,800 for 20% down payment

According to its website, “The City of Henderson does not currently administer a First-Time Homebuyer Program or a Housing Rehabilitation Program.” So you may have to rely on statewide programs. But you can also try calling (702) 267-2021 to see if that policy has changed since this was written.

Let us help find the right mortgage for your first home in Henderson. Start here

Reno first-time home buyers

The median list price in Reno was $599,000 in March 2024, according to That rose 1.7% year-over-year.

At that median price, your down payment options might fall between:

  • $17,970 for 3% down payment
  • $119,000 for 20% down payment

There are plenty of pages on the City of Reno’s website about down payment assistance (DPA), including the Washoe County HOME Consortium, which covers Reno, Sparks, and the rest of the county.

But all those seem to relate to historical programs. And if there’s information about any live DPA programs in the city or county, it was too well hidden for us to find.

So, just like in Henderson, you may have to use statewide programs. But, by all means, call (775) 334-3853 to see if Reno has its own DPA.

Where to find home buying help in Nevada

All the organizations we’ve listed above should provide advice freely to any first-time home buyer in Nevada or their local area.

In addition to our selection, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a few lists for statewide and regional resources:

Verify your home buying eligibility in NV. Start here

Statewide and regional first-time home buyer resources in Nevada

NV home buying programs by city and county

You can find additional resources and assistance programs by city and county on HUD’s webpage for Nevada first-time home buyers.

What are today’s mortgage rates in Nevada?

You can see today’s live mortgage rates in Nevada here.

When you’re ready to start the home buying process, experiment with a mortgage calculator to see how down payment and interest rates will affect your mortgage payment. Then, get personalized rate quotes from at least three to five mortgage lenders.

Don’t just look at advertised rates online. Apply for preapproval and compare the interest rates and fees you’re offered. Because that’s the only way to know you’re getting the best deal possible on your new home loan.

Time to make a move? Let us find the right mortgage for you

1Source: Redfin Nevada Housing Market report

2Source: study of 2021 and 2020 data

3Based on a review of the state’s available DPA grants at the time this was written

This post was originally published on 3rd party website mentioned in the title of this site

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