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 833-Go-HAL-NV.

FAQs for Homebuyers
FAQs for Lenders & Agents – Down Payment Assistance
FAQs for Lenders & Agents – MCC

FAQs for Homebuyers

How do I apply for Home At Last programs?
Simply meet with a Home At Last™ approved lender to apply for a mortgage loan and tell the lender you want to use the Home At Last™ program. Your lender determines eligibility for both the DPA and MCC programs. There are no separate applications to fill out or submit to the Nevada Rural Housing Authority. Click here to connect with an approved Home At Last™ lender.

Is the interest rate higher when financing the purchase of a home through the Home At Last™ program?
The Home At Last™ DPA program offers many options for home financing, including “no assistance” options with a below-market interest rate. For loans with down payment assistance, the rate for the 30-year first mortgage will vary depending on the amount of assistance provided and the loan type. Consult with an approved Home At Last™ lender to compare loan options and determine the most affordable long-term option for your situation. Click here to view the loan options and corresponding rates published each business morning.

How much assistance will I qualify for?
Home At Last™ approved lenders determine eligibility and will discuss the loan and assistance options. Refer to the section above on how to apply for Home At Last™ assistance.

Is Down Payment Assistance funding limited?
The Home At Last™ DPA program is not government funded – so there is unlimited, revolving funding. The program is provided through a public-private partnership with revenue generated through the sale of mortgage-backed securities. At closing, the Home At Last™ approved lender will advance the down payment assistance, then receive reimbursement after closing.

Is Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) funding limited?
The Home At Last™ MCC program funding is derived from Private Activity Bonds; therefore funding for MCCs is limited. The Home At Last™ program anticipates sufficient funding to issue MCCs through December 2023, or beyond.

Can I apply with any lender to use the Home At Last programs?
You must select an approved Home At Last™ lender to provide the mortgage financing for the purchase of your home. Go to our referral page here to search for lenders and real estate agents in your area. Click here to connect with an approved Home At Last™ lender.  

Can I work with my own real estate professional when using the Home At Lastprograms?
There is no requirement to work with a certified Home At Last™ real estate professional – but we highly encourage it! Agents across Nevada have received comprehensive Home At Last™ training and stand ready to assist you on your journey to homeownership. Click here to connect with a certified Home At Last™ real estate professional.

Can I own another home and use Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
For Down Payment Assistance, Home At Last™ does not have a restriction on owning other property, as long as the home being purchased will be your primary residence and occupied within 60 days of closing. There may be restrictions on owning other property depending on the loan type, please consult with a Home At Last™ approved lender to determine eligibility.

Can I own another home and obtain a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC)?
No, the MCC program does not permit ownership of another home. Generally, the MCC program is limited to first-time homebuyers who have not owned a home within the previous 3 years. Qualified veterans, and eligible buyers purchasing a home in a designated Targeted Area, are exempt from the first-time homebuyer requirement.

What is the definition of a Qualified Veteran for the Home At Last™ program?
Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations defines a veteran as “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.” 

Is there a minimum amount of income required to qualify for Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance?
There is no minimum amount of income required, but all homebuyers must have sufficient qualifying income to repay a mortgage. Other factors, including current market values of homes in the area you wish to live, will determine if your income is sufficient to repay a mortgage. To learn more, click here to connect with an approved Home At Last™ lender who will determine eligibility.

How much subsidy is provided when obtaining a mortgage through the Home At Last™ program?
There is no subsidy provided when obtaining a mortgage through the Home At Last™ program. For lower income households that may benefit from a subsidized mortgage payment, consider contacting the USDA Rural Development office at (775) 887-1222 to inquire about the Section 502 Direct loan program or visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans/nv.

Don’t need down payment assistance? Or, wondering if Home At Last™ will benefit you?
To further the mission of Nevada Rural Housing Authority, the Home At Last™ program promotes responsible and affordable homeownership. There are many ways we accomplish this, including providing a below market interest rate on mortgages for borrowers who don’t need down payment assistance. The 0% option is ideal for homebuyers who want access to a very low interest rate without being penalized for risk factors, such as lower FICO scores. We encourage homebuyers to maintain a healthy savings account and a separate emergency fund to experience years of enjoyable and stress-free homeownership. Many homebuyers choose to use Home At Last™ down payment assistance to avoid draining their savings account when purchasing a home. Setting aside funds for other expenses – such as moving, buying a lawnmower or new furniture, or even giving the home a facelift with a coat of fresh paint, by using the Home At Last™ down payment assistance program, you can free up your cash to help make your new house a home. 

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

Does using Home At Last™ slow down my loan closing?
No! Your 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 your lender.

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

FAQs for Lenders & Agents – Down Payment Assistance Programs

Home At Last™ Down Payment Assistance

Questions? Email HAL@NVRural.org
1. eHousing provides the following documents: Partial Exemption Disclosure, Gift Letter, Commitment, Note, Deed of Trust, and HAL Pals Pet Adoption Certificate.
2. Mortgagee Clause for second loan: U.S. Bank National Association, Its Successors and Assigns as Their Interest May Appear, C/O U.S. Bank Home Mortgage, P.O. Box 961045, Fort Worth, TX 76161-0045.
3. No title insurance is required on the second loan.
4. Lenders must follow CFPB compliance requirements for disclosures.
5. There is no cap on the recording fee for the second loan.
6. Assistance is forgiven per the terms of the second loan promissory note.

Are Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers permitted?


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

Do I include non-occupying co-borrower income when qualifying a borrower for Home At Last down payment assistance?
No, and yes. Fannie Mae loans require non-occupying co-borrower income be included to qualify a borrower for the program. The Home At Last program does not require income from non-occupying co-borrowers be included to qualify for the program. Lenders must follow loan agency guidelines (FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional). Refer to the guidelines for loan-to-value and other requirements when a loan has a non-occupying co-borrower.

Can a borrower qualify if their income is derived from an employer who operates a marijuana-related business?
Yes, a borrower should qualify as a W-2 employee. Per U.S. Bank’s BSA/AML policy, owners of businesses that derive their income from the manufacture, distribution, or dispensing of marijuana cannot have that income considered for loan qualification purposes. Employees of marijuana-related businesses that receive regular and periodic payments may have their income considered for a mortgage so long as it is appropriately documented and verifiable in accordance with the Ability to Repay (ATR) requirements.

Is a Rapid Rescore permitted?
U.S. Bank allows additional credit reports or a Rapid Rescore to be pulled ONLY in those cases of documented erroneous, disputed or inaccurate information or if the credit report obtained at application has expired. Rapid Rescore are not allowed for purposes of trying to obtain higher credit scores.

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
45% DTI for all manufactured home loans
36% – Manual Underwrites (Refer to U.S. Bank Bulletin 2016-05)
Note: Lenders must follow loan agency guidelines, if the DTI maximum is 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.

**NEW** Home Means Nevada Rural DPA Program & Buy in Nye Homeownership Program

Is non-occupying co-borrower income included when determining program eligibility? 
For FHA, VA, and USDA loans, do not include non-occupying co-borrower income to determine program eligibility.
For Conventional loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie will require all income, including income from non-occupying co-borrowers, be included. 

Is funding for the Home Means Nevada and/or Buy in Nye Programs limited? 
American Rescue Plan Act funding is the source of down payment assistance funding for both programs.
For the Home Means Nevada Rural DPA Program, all funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024.
For the Buy in Nye program, all funds must be obligated by December 5, 2023.

FAQs (MCC) for Lenders & Agents

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, the MCC must be re-issued to the original borrower(s) each time the mortgage is refinanced. Please refer to HALMCC.org for additional information.

What if the borrower isn’t required to file tax returns?
Here is the Tax Return Affidavit form to be completed if the borrower is not required to file tax returns and cannot produce the previous 3 years tax returns.

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 (with 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.

Are non-occupying co-borrowers permitted?
Non-occupying co-borrowers are not permitted for the MCC program due to the IRS requirement to occupy the home as a primary residence. 

What if the seller won’t sign the Seller Affidavit? 
No problem. It is not mandatory for the seller to sign the affidavit. Make a note on the form that the seller refused to sign and submit with the MCC forms to eHousing.

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 will provide lenders with a completed IRS Form 8329 listing the MCCs issued for the year – the lender just needs to sign and file with the IRS.