When you’re buying a home for the first time, there’s plenty to consider, and where you choose to buy is important. Nevada draws residents thanks to industries including aerospace and defense, gaming and tourism, mining and natural resource management.

Though it is the seventh-largest state by landmass, only approximately 3.14 million people call The Silver State home. That means you could find some wide-open spaces depending on which city or town you choose, from Las Vegas to the state capital of Carson City.

When it comes to purchasing your first home, the Nevada Housing Division can be an important resource. The agency was created by the state in 1975 to help low- and moderate-income families and individuals secure affordable housing.

Nevada first-time homebuyer loan programs

NHD Home Is Possible for First-Time Home Buyers

The Nevada Housing Division’s (NHD) “Home Is Possible” programs help homebuyers with obtaining a mortgage and down payment and closing cost assistance. Among the Home Is Possible programs is a mortgage specifically for first-time homebuyers, which comes with down payment assistance of up to 4 percent of the total loan amount as a second mortgage, forgivable after three years (so long as you stay in the home). A first-time buyer under this program is someone who has not owned a home in the past three years.

You can work with one of more than 80 approved mortgage lenders throughout the state to determine your eligibility for the program, which comes with either an FHA, VA or USDA loan (no conventional loans).

Borrower requirements:

  • 640 minimum credit score
  • Maximum 50 percent debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
  • Must complete a free online homebuyer education course
  • Must meet NHD income limits, which depend on the county

The lowest income limit is $84,600 for two or fewer people in Churchill, Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing and White Pine counties. And the highest limit is $129,145 for three or more people in Lander County.

Property requirements:

  • Must be in Nevada
  • Must be a primary residence
  • Must meet NHD purchase price limits, which vary by county and range from $349,525 to $472,967

NHD Home Is Possible for Teachers

This additional Home Is Possible program for educators gives kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers in Nevada $7,500 for the down payment or closing costs for a home, as well as a below-market rate on a mortgage. There is no first-time homebuyer requirement for this program, but you must not own property at the time of closing and you must live in the home as your primary residence.

Other requirements include:

  • Income below $105,000 as a single borrower
  • 660 minimum credit score for an FHA loan
  • 640 minimum credit score for a VA or USDA loan
  • 680 minimum credit score for a manufactured home
  • One-time fee of $755 on the first mortgage
  • Take a homebuyer education course
  • Maximum purchase price is $548,200

Nevada down payment assistance

Home At Last Down Payment Assistance

The “Home At Last” down payment assistance program from the Nevada Rural Housing Authority offers down payment assistance in the form of a three-year, interest-free, no-payment second mortgage that is forgivable after three years of living in the home as a primary residence. Income limits and credit score requirements are based on the loan product chosen — either a 30-year, fixed-rate conventional, FHA, VA or USDA loan.

There are no purchase price limits for this program, though the mortgage lender can set its own limit. You also don’t need to be a first-time homebuyer to be eligible, but you must complete a free online education course and work with a participating lender to qualify.

WISH Grants

Greater Nevada Mortgage has partnered with the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco to offer matching grants of up to $22,000 in down payment assistance. To qualify, you must be a first-time homebuyer who meets income requirements for the program and membership criteria for the Greater Nevada Credit Union. You’ll also need to complete a homebuyer counseling program.

Other first-time homebuyer loan programs

While you’re considering first-time homebuyer programs in Nevada, be sure to explore other programs that could help you achieve your goal of homeownership. Get started with Bankrate’s guide to national first-time homebuyer loans and programs.

Get started

Now that you’re in the know on the first-time homebuyer options available in Nevada, you’re ready to get started with your home purchase. While the Nevada Housing Division doesn’t make loans or financing decisions, the agency does provide a list of preferred mortgage lenders who can help you determine what you qualify for.

Regardless of which program you choose, be sure to shop for the best loan for your unique situation, and compare multiple offers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.