Home At Last™ FAQs

Browse our FAQs and get answers to your questions! Still have a question? A Home At Last™ Specialist is here to help via email HAL@nvrural.org or just give us a call (775) 887-1796.

What kind of question do you have?
FAQs for Homebuyers
FAQs for Mortgage & Real Estate Professionals – Down Payment Assistance
FAQs for Mortgage & Real Estate Professionals – Mortgage Credit Certificate

FAQs for Homebuyers

Is the interest rate higher if I use the grant?
Our rates are slightly above market, but your Home At Last™ approved lender will show you a comparison to determine what will actually benefit you the most. The interest rates are fixed for the entire 30-year term of the loan. Each morning, Home At Last™ sets the rates based on the current market for the type of loan, which varies depending on the amount of grant assistance provided. Home At Last™ is committed to providing homebuyers with the programs, education and resources to make affordable homeownership a reality.

How much grant assistance do I qualify for?
Your Home At Last™ approved lender will determine how much grant assistance you qualify for, which will vary depending on the loan type chosen (FHA, VA, USDA RD, Conventional).

How do I apply for Home At Last™ programs?
Your Home At Last™ approved lender will determine how much grant assistance you qualify for, which will vary depending on the loan type chosen (FHA, VA, USDA RD, Conventional). There are no additional applications for the Down Payment Assistance grant – your lender will handle the entire process for you. Your lender will also determine if you qualify for, and would benefit from, the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC),  and take care of the application for you.

How do I raise my credit score?
We partner with local non-profit agencies who are experts in providing credit counseling, budgeting and tools to help raise your credit score, while simultaneously providing you with the resources and education that will lead you to confidently managing your finances. Many of our Home At Last™ approved lenders will provide a no-cost credit analysis and may provide guidance needed to raise your credit score.

Where does the grant money come from and how does it work?
The Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance program is not federally funded, but rather we use a public-private partnership model that enables us to provide a variety of grant options paired with 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans. Our investment banking partner is George K. Baum & Company, and all Down Payment Assistance loans are serviced by U.S. Bank. Your Home At Last™ approved lender will advance the grant funds at closing and U.S. Bank will reimburse the lender after closing when the loan is purchased for servicing.

Can I work with any lender or real estate agent I want?
In order to use the Home At Last™ programs, you will need to work with an approved lender – check out the list here, or give us a call at 775-887-1796 and we’ll be happy to provide some lenders who are experts in the area you are purchasing.

I already have a home, can I purchase another one with Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
Yes, of course you can! As long as the property you are purchasing will be occupied as your primary residence and you meet normal underwriting requirements for the type of loan you will be getting (FHA, VA, USDA RD, Conventional).

Can Home At Last™ run out of funds?
The beauty about our Down Payment Assistance program is that the public-private partnership model allows us to have continuous, revolving funding. In other words, we will not run out of grant funds! The Mortgage Credit Certificate program utilizes Private Activity Bond Cap to fund the program, so potentially it has limited funding. As this time, there is plenty of funding to help a great number of Nevadans!

How much do I need to make to be able to qualify?
We don’t have a minimum income requirement, but you will need to earn enough to to meet the standard loan requirements – one of our approved lenders will determine this for you. Home At Last™ loans are not subsidized, so while the grant assistance does not have to be repaid, the loan is repaid the same as any other home mortgage loan.

I already have my down payment saved up, so why should I use Home At Last™?
Great news! Home At Last™ always promotes responsible homeownership, so use the program if it is in your best interest to do so. Our program does not have an asset limit, so you are not required to use your own savings unless you want/need to. Maintaining a healthy savings account, as well as a separate emergency fund, will ensure years of enjoyable and stress-free homeownership. Many homebuyers choose to use the Home At Last™ grant to purchase their home, then use some of money saved to make upgrades and other home improvements, which can increase the value of your home. 

Can Home At Last™ be paired with an FHA 203k or Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)?
Yes, most definitely! The Home At Last™ approved lender you work with will need to be signed up with US Bank as 203k approved (streamline only).

Does using Home At Last™ programs slow down my loan closing?
No! Our programs are integrated into the loan process you already go through – so it won’t slow down your closing. Working with a Home At Last™ approved lender ensures the closing process is seamless and timely. For the grant program, your lender will simply use our online reservation system to reserve your funds, then have you sign the gift letter documents at closing. For the Mortgage Credit Certificate program, your lender will complete the application forms for you, and you’ll sign the necessary forms with your other loan documents. It’s as simple as that!

Is there a waiting list?
No, there is not a waiting list to use our Home At Last™ programs.

FAQs for Mortgage & Real Estate Professionals

Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance Grant

Are Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers permitted?

Do Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers need to complete the homebuyer education course?

What is the maximum debt-to-income ratio?
The maximum combined debt-to-income ratio for HFA Preferred/conventional is 50%, for FHA/VA/USDA is 45%. Manually underwritten loans have a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 36% – please refer to US Bank Bulletin 2015-07 and 2016-05 for full details.

Can Home At Last™ be paired with an FHA 203k or Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)?
Yes, most definitely! You must be approved by US Bank to offer these loans through the Home At Last™ program, and this is for 203k streamline only.

Home At Last ™ Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)

Is Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and Basic Allowance for Subsistence (BAS) taken into consideration?
Both should be taken into consideration for income purposes.

Who receives the MCC after closing?
The homebuyer who receives the IRS Form 1098 (Mortgage Interest Statement) at the end of the year receives the MCC.

Do Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers need to take the homebuyer education class?

Do we need to include the Non-Occupying Co-borrower’s income on the application?
No, only include income of persons intending to reside in the home AND who are liable (or who may be secondarily liable) for the loan.

Do borrowers need to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for the MCC program?
 Yes, in most cases. The MCC program is available to first-time homebuyers (those who have not owned a home within the last 3 years). The first-time homebuyer requirement is waived for qualified Veterans who will live in the home as their primary residence, and for borrowers purchasing homes located in designated targeted areas.

How do prospective borrowers apply for the MCC program?
As a Home At Last™ approved lender, you will obtain the MCC forms from our website, then complete the MCC application for your borrower and email to MCC@nvrural.org for processing and approval before closing their loan. If you’re not an approved lender, contact us to learn how to become a Home At Last™ approved lender.

Can a homebuyer apply for a MCC after they have closed on their mortgage?
No, a homebuyer must apply and be approved for the MCC prior to closing on their mortgage.

Can a homebuyer refinance the loan and continue using the MCC?
Yes, to continue qualifying for the MCC Income Tax Reduction, the homebuyer must apply for Reissuance of the MCC each time they refinance.

Can the MCC be used with a construction loan?
No, the loan must be the permanent financing for the home.

Can the MCC be used with a loan to finance a manufactured home that is considered personal property?
No, but manufactured homes that have been converted to real property are completely eligible.

Is a person that owns a manufactured home that is personal property (not converted to real property) considered a first-time homebuyer?
Not generally, please contact the Home At Last™ department to determine if your borrower may be eligibile.

Can the MCC be added on a loan to finance a home located in a planned unit development (PUD)?
Yes, the home can be an attached or detached unit in a PUD.

What is Anticipated Annual Income?
Anticipated Annual Income is defined as the gross income (w/no adjustments or deductions) the household anticipates it will receive in the 12-month period following the MCC commitment date.

Should the calculated MCC tax benefit be included in the Anticipated Annual Income?
No, the extra income resulting from the MCC is treated as a tax credit and should not be included when calculating the Anticipated Annual Income.

Do co-borrowers not intending to live in the home have to be included on the MCC application?
No, only household members intending to live in the home need to be included on the MCC application.

What is the turn-time once Home At Last™ receives a new MCC application?
The MCC Commitment will be issued within 24-48 hours from the time an application is received, if it is completed properly and no required information or documents are missing. All lenders are encouraged to submit MCC applications well in advance of closing in case additional information or documentation is required to approve the application.

Do lenders have reporting requirements to the IRS?
Yes, every year lenders are required to file IRS Form 8329 to the IRS, postmarked by January 31st. Nevada Rural Housing Authority’s Home At Last™ department will provide lenders with a list of the MCCs they closed and provide a pre-filled IRS Form as a courtesy.