Home At Last™ FAQs

Browse our FAQs to get answers to your questions! Still have a question? A Home At Last™ Specialist is here to help. Email us at HAL@nvrural.org or call (775) 283-0173.

FAQs for Homebuyers
FAQs (DPA) for Lenders & Realtors®
FAQs (MCC) for Lenders & Realtors®

FAQs for Homebuyers

How do I apply for Home At Last programs?
For both the Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program and the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program, you will apply directly with a Home At Last™ approved lender. There are no separate applications for the DPA program. The lender will assist with completing the MCC application. Working with an experienced Home At Last™ approved lender is encouraged. Click here to view a list of preferred Home At Last™ approved Lenders. To search for approved lenders in your area, click here.

Is the interest rate higher if I receive Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
It depends on the amount of assistance provided. The no down payment (0%) option provides a below-market rate for homebuyers that do not need down payment assistance. The assistance is provided as a percentage of the loan amount. Ranging from 1% to 5% of the loan amount, the interest rate will vary for each option. Home At Last interest rates are published on our website every morning. The interest rate is not the only (or best way) to determine if the mortgage will be most affordable loan. Once the lender reserves the loan and amount of assistance, the rate on the 30-year first mortgage is fixed and will never change. The down payment assistance is provided in the form of a 3-year forgivable second mortgage with no interest and no payments.  Consult with an approved Home At Last™ lender for a comparison of the options and to determine the most affordable long-term option for your situation.

How much assistance do I qualify for?
Home At Last™ approved lenders help determine the assistance and loan type a homebuyer will qualify for – loan options include FHA, VA, USDA, and Conventional.

What is the source of Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
The program is not government funded! Through a public-private partnership with Stifel Financial Corp., program funding is derived through the sale of mortgage-backed securities and there is no limit to the number of loans or amount of assistance that can be provided. Home At Last™ approved lenders advance the down payment assistance at the time the loan is closed and receive reimbursement when the loan is purchased by U.S. Bank, the master servicer for all loans originated in the program.

Can I work with any lender or real estate agent I want?
Homebuyers are required to use a Home At Last™ approved lender, but working with a Home At Last certified real estate agent is only strongly encouraged because of the training they receive. Go to our referral page here to search for lenders and real estate agents in your area. If you would like a referral, please contact us at HAL@nvrural.org.  

I already own a home, can I purchase another one with Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
The Home At Last™ program does not restrict homebuyers from owning another home as long as the new home being purchased will be occupied as the primary residence. There may be other restrictions depending on the type of loan (FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Conventional) – consult with a Home At Last™ approved lender to determine eligibility.

Will the Home At Last™ programs run out of funding?
For the Down Payment Assistance program, there is unlimited funding (refer to the question above “What is the source of Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?”).
For the MCC program, funding is derived from Private Activity Bonds and is limited. As of January 2021, current funding is estimated to last through December 2023. Each year, there is an opportunity for the Nevada Rural Housing Authority to receive additional transfers of Private Activity Bond Cap to add to the existing MCC program funding.

How much income does a Homebuyer need to earn in order to qualify for Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
There is no minimum income requirement, but homebuyers will need sufficient income to repay and qualify for a mortgage. A Home At Last™ approved lender will determine eligibility. Home At Last™ loans are not subsidized – if a homebuyer has very low income, call the USDA Rural Development office at (775) 887-1222 to inquire about the Section 502 Direct loan program that may offer a subsidized rate to lower the mortgage payment.
Home At Last™ has the following income limits:
FHA and VA – $116,000
Fannie Mae Conventional – $135,000
Freddie Mac Conventional – at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
USDA – determined by USDA (all income meeting USDA guidelines are income eligible for Home At Last™).

Don’t need down payment assistance? Why use Home At Last™ if no down payment assistance is needed?
Great news! Home At Last™ always promotes responsible homeownership – and providing affordable homeownership opportunities is our mission – only use the program if it’s in your best interest. Maintaining a healthy savings account and a separate emergency fund will help homeowners experience years of enjoyable and stress-free homeownership. Many homebuyers choose to use Home At Last™ down payment assistance and avoid draining their savings account to purchase a home. Setting aside funds for other expenses – such as moving, buying a lawnmower, buying new furniture, painting the interior or exterior of the home, etc., is another benefit to using the Home At Last™ down payment assistance program. We also offer the exclusive 0% assistance option with a below-market rate for homebuyers who want a low interest without being penalized for risk factors, such as low FICO scores. 

Can Home At Last™ be paired with an FHA 203k or Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)?
Yes! Home At Last™ approved lenders will provide you with additional information about these loan options and the specific qualifications.

Does using Home At Last™ slow down my loan closing?
No! The Home At Last™ approved lender handles everything from A to Z. The Nevada Rural Housing Authority does not underwrite loans or review mortgage applications – this is all handled by the lender originating the loan.

Is there a waiting list?
No! Plain and simple. 

FAQs (DPA) for Lenders & Realtors®

Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance

New Second Loan Questions? Email HAL@NVRural.org
1. eHousing provides 5 documents- Partial Exemption Disclosure, Gift Letter, Commitment, Note, and Deed of Trust.
2. Mortgagee Clause for Nevada Rural Housing Authority, its Successors and/or Assigns (NRHA, isaoa), 3695 Desatoya Dr., Carson City, NV 89701.
3. No title insurance on second loan is required.
4. Title company inserts their name as Trustee on Deed of Trust at closing.
5. Lenders follow CFPB compliance requirements.
6. There is no cap on the recording fee for the second loan.
7. Assistance is forgiven on a prorated, monthly basis equal to 1/36 of the original assistance amount each month.

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 allowed with Home At Last?
50% DTI for FHA and Conventional loans with a minimum 680 FICO
45% DTI for FHA, VA and Conventional loans with a minimum 640 FICO
36% – Manual Underwrites (Refer to U.S. Bank Bulletin 2016-05)
Note: Follow agency (FHA, USDA, etc. guidelines, if lower)

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

FAQs (MCC) for Lenders & Realtors®

Home At Last™ Mortgage Credit Certificate

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 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.

Can a homebuyer apply for an MCC after they have closed on their mortgage?
No, unfortunately this must occur 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 converted to real property are eligible.

If a borrower owns a manufactured home that is considered personal property (not converted to real property), will they meet the first-time homebuyer requirement?
No, if the borrower claimed any federal tax benefit during the previous 3 years – including mortgage interest and/or personal property deductions.

Is a home located in a planned unit development (PUD) eligible for an MCC?
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.

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.