Of the 528 families in Nevada helped by the program over the last year, 155 of those have been in Sparks — 32 percent of the total participants.
The program provides a free cash down payment equal to 4 percent of the home loan amount. The grant does not have to be repaid and it can also be used for closing costs since sellers are less likely to help with closing costs nowadays due to the competitive market.
“Somebody can get this down payment assistance and they don’t ever have to pay it back or stay in the home for any period of time. Those two major benefits have just increased our originations dramatically over the past two years compared to our previous programs,” Nicole Larrimore, Mortgage and Marketing Specialist for the Nevada Rural Housing Authority, said.
The program is not just for first time homebuyers or veterans. It was designed to help middle class, working Nevadans, who took the brunt of the housing bubble and the economic downturn.
The program was also created in order to help families compete with investors who are putting cash offers down on houses in order to accumulate rental properties. With the extra 4 percent, families can increase their offers and potentially outbid the investors.
“It really is helping our community right now, especially in the Sparks area because this low inventory is really hurting us right now,” Larrimore said. “I’m just happy to be part of such a great program.”
Currently, the program also offers a competitive 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate of 3.875 percent.
In order to use the program, a buyer must have a minimum 640 credit score, meet normal FHA, VA or RHS underwriting requirements, and not make more than $97,500 a year.
The home must be the primary residence, so investors cannot use this program. The home also must be purchased in rural Nevada (population of 150,000 or less), so that’s a big reason Sparks is at the top of the list since homes within the city limits of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and Reno are not included.
The home must cost less than $400,000.
Buyers are also required to take a homebuyer education course, which teaches information like how much money you should have in your savings account in case of emergencies or sudden loss of a job, so you can maintain that home without worrying about going into foreclosure or being forced to short sell.
For more information, visit nvrural.org or call 775-887-1795.