First Time Home Buyers 6 MIN READ

Nevada First-Time Home Buyer Programs of 2021

Hoover dam at sunset Written by Aislyn Hobbs

Key Takeaways:

  • The state of Nevada helps low-income buyers purchase their first home via special programs like the ‘Home is Possible’ grant.
  • Home buyers in rural areas can get financial assistance through the Rural Nevada Development Corporation Down Payment Assistance (RNDCDPA).
  • The Home at Last Down Payment Assistance Grant gives Nevada first-time homebuyers a low down payment option – as little as 2% to 5% of the overall loan. 

Buying a home can be nerve-wracking – especially if you’re taking the leap as a lifelong renter. With so many expenses involved (think closing costs, long-term loans, mortgages, and down payments) a home for you and your family may seem like an unrealistic goal in this economy. 

But don’t give up! Even if you’re struggling financially, there are various homebuyer assistance programs in Nevada ready to assist hardworking people like you. Whether you’re searching for a house in Las Vegas or more rural parts of the state, there are dedicated first-time home buyer programs and grants that you may qualify for. Let’s explore the best programs for first-time homebuyers in Nevada.

Nevada Homeownership For First-Time Homebuyers: Do Your Research

Young woman on laptop researching

The first step, as always, is due diligence. You’ll want to research your options and educate yourself as much as possible. For starters, consider studying government websites such as HUD.GOV for accurate information regarding homeownership assistance in Nevada, including statewide and regional programs available to eligible individuals. 

Next, you may want to visit the State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry (business.nv.gov) site, which outlines a host of valuable resources, such as homeowner help (including Homeowner Assistance Programs), information about statewide homebuyer programs, mortgage programs, and other opportunities available for potential first-time homebuyers within the state of Nevada. 

Additionally, it’s important to learn about the purchasing process, especially for first-time homebuyers. A great place to begin is Money Smart – an FDIC financial education program designed to help people of all ages sharpen their financial skills and create positive banking relationships. This can be very beneficial to first-time homebuyers applying for a loan. 

HUD.GOV also offers sound advice for first-time home owners, including tips for maintaining and improving your new residence, HUD programs available in your area for home improvements, rural housing repair and rehabilitation grants and loans, ways to make your home efficient through the Energy Star program, and much more. 

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Financial Assistance For The First-Time Home Buyer In Nevada

Feeling good about your background knowledge? Ready to explore the grant programs and homebuyer programs available to first-time Nevada home buyers? Let’s get into it! Here are the programs you should know about:

Home Is Possible Down Payment Assistance Program

Realtor explaining paperwork to client

For first-time homebuyers in Nevada, a down payment assistance program called “Home Is Possible” can be an invaluable resource. Provided by the Nevada Housing Division, it helps low and moderate-income homebuyers buyers cover both closing costs and down payments. 

This money comes in the form of a fixed interest rate 30-year loan for as much as 5 percent of the total home loan value. In other words, if you’re taking out a $150K mortgage, this program could help you secure up to $7,500 for your down payment and closing costs. Note that this program also has a special option for both military personnel / veterans and teachers.

Home Is Possible program highlights:

  • Available to residents throughout the state of Nevada as a fixed-rate mortgage with a 30-year term
  • The loan can be as high as 5 percent of the home’s total loan amount. It  must go directly towards expenses associated with the home’s closing and down payment
  • A minimum credit score of 640 is required
  • Your family’s annual income must be less than $98,500 and the home price must be less than $510,400
  • You must complete a homebuyer education course
  • The Home Is Possible program also works in tandem with the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program offered through the Nevada Housing Division

For additional borrower and property eligibility requirements, click here

2. Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program

For many prospective first-time homeowners, the Nevada MCC program is a powerful financial resource. Provided by the Nevada Housing Division, the MCC offers both first-time home buyers and qualified veterans a federal income tax break of up to 30 percent of the annual interest paid by the buyer on the mortgage.

What does this mean? Every time you make a mortgage payment, some of that money goes towards paying off the interest on that loan. If you’ve paid off $1000 in total interest this year, the MCC program gives you a $200 tax benefit (20% of $1000). So if you would have owed $1,500 on your taxes, you now only owe $1,300.

On average, individuals enrolled in the MCC program can expect to save about $2,000 annually, which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the lifespan of the loan. 

Key benefits of the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program

  • Available to residents throughout the state of Nevada
  • Tax credit up to 20% of the interest paid on a mortgage loan
  • Any remaining interest can be claimed as a deduction on taxes 
  • Savings are scheduled to continue each year based on the actual mortgage interest paid annually
  • A $500 rebate is available when the MCC program is used in conjunction with the “Home Is Possible” program for down payment assistance

For additional borrower and property eligibility requirements for the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program, click here

Home At Last Access Down Payment Assistance Grant

Available through the Nevada Rural Housing Authority, the Home at Last grant can help potential buyers secure two key forms of assistance: A) a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage, and B) up to $25,000 in down payment assistance. 

Unlike the “Home is Possible” program, down payment assistance from Home at Last does not need to be repaid. It’s technically structured as a second mortgage – but as long as you maintain the home as your primary residence for 3 years, it’s completely forgiven. 

If eligible, you’ll receive a customizable grant that works with a variety of different home loan types. These loan types may include VA, FHA, USDA, or a preferred conventional loan obtained through Fannie Mae. 

Key features of the Home At Last Grant

  • A 30-year, fixed rate mortgage and up to $25,000 in down payment assistance
  • Applicants using a VA, USDA-RD, or FHA loan funding source make low down payments – just 2 to 5 percent of the overall loan amount.
  • Certain income limits apply – either $135K or $116K, depending on the loan type
  • Minimum credit score of 640 is required
  • Your debt-to-income ratio must be less than 50%

For additional borrower and property eligibility requirements for the Home At Last Access Down Payment Assistance Grant, click here

Rural Nevada Development Corporation Down Payment Assistance

This program gives first-time home buyers in rural Nevada up to $15,000 to help cover both the down payment and the closing costs. This financial assistance is a loan, rather than a grant. In other words, you do have to pay it back. The good news is that you don’t need to do so until you sell the house.

This arrangement is incredibly helpful for people who would have trouble scraping together a $15,000 down payment. It allows you to pass that cost onto the state (for now). If, someday, you decide to sell your home, you’ll pay back the state with the proceeds from the sale.

Eligible properties must be residential and meet the quality standards for housing set forth by HUD. In order to take advantage of this program, applicants must be considered first-time homebuyers under the program rules. In addition, income restrictions will vary based on a number of factors, which include household size and the county in which the purchased home is physically located. Need more clarification? Click here for the income limits for the State of Nevada.  

Rural Nevada Development Corporation Down Payment Assistance highlights

  • This program assists low-income, first time homebuyers in rural Nevada with up to $10,000 or $15,000 for down payment and closing costs
  • Through the program, closing costs are also assistance-eligible. Examples of costs include items like document prep, home appraisals, home inspections, credit reports, and loan origination fees
  • Certain prepaid aspects of home buying, such as home insurance premiums or annual property taxes, are not eligible to be paid with program funds
  • Rather than functioning as a “forgivable” loan, the funds remain attached to the property as a lien. If the buyer decides to sell the property in the future, the loan will come due in full, albeit without any accrued interest charges

For additional borrower and property eligibility requirements for the Rural Nevada Development Corporation Down Payment Assistance program, click here.

Homeownership In Nevada: Finding The Right Loans For First-Time Homebuyers

Whether you’re single, in a domestic partnership, raising a family, newly married, or semi-retired, owning a home is an exciting prospect – but it doesn’t have to be something you just daydream about! With so many attractive financial resources available in the state of Nevada, there’s likely a loan program, grant, or trust fund that may be tailored to suit your individual needs. 

Sources Cited:

1)      “Homebuyer Programs.” State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry (business.nv.gov), (no published date), http://business.nv.gov/Homeowner/Homeowner__Assistance_Programs/. Accessed September 4, 2020.

2)      “FHA Down Payment Grants for 2020 | Mortgage Assistance for Home Buyers in Nevada.” FHA.com, (no published date), https://www.fha.com/fha-grants?state=NV. Accessed September 4, 2020.

3)      “Home Is Possible™ Program.” Nevada Housing Division (homeispossiblenv.org), (no published date), https://www.homeispossiblenv.org/home-possible-nevada-down-payment-assistance-programs. Accessed September 4, 2020.

4)      “Grant Programs.” Nevada Housing Division (housing.nv.gov), (no published date), https://housing.nv.gov/Programs/Grant_Programs/. Accessed September 4, 2020.


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