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Need Down Payment Assistance? Curious about what programs are available and what you qualify for?

Need Down Payment Assistance? Curious about what programs are available and what you qualify for?

We asked a professional lender, Ms. Myriam Ramirez from Amerifirst Financial Inc.

What Down Payment Assistance Programs Are Available?

There are a few down payment assistance programs being offered to Nevadan families or families that want to relocate and purchase in Clark County, Nevada. Some programs target first time homebuyers, which is a borrower that has not owned a property in the last 3 years and others target borrowers that do not own property at time of the closing.

WISH, a first time homebuyer program, provides a $4 match to every $1 contributed by the qualified household. The maximum amount of $4000 is matched with $16,000 and the total $20,000 is applied to the down payment and the closing costs. This program allows gifts of any amount from family members and WISH can be used with an FHA, VA or a Conventional loan. This is a 0% interest, no monthly payment silent second loan. The borrower (s) must occupy the home for 5 years and at the end of the 5 years the WISH silent second is forgiven. There is no minimum FICO score requirement. 

In the HOME IS POSSIBLE (HIP) programs, provided by the Nevada Housing Division, families can make up to $98,500 annually and must have a mid FICO score of at least 640 to qualify.  There are HIP programs that target teachers and veterans as well as first time homebuyers and other buyers that do not currently own property even if they have owned in the last 3 years. The programs offer down payment assistance amounts based on 3% to 5% of the loan amount, and the interest rates are set by the State on a daily basis. Loan products include FHA, Conventional, VA or USDA.  The property must be owner occupied and the loan is usually forgiven within 3 years, but this can vary depending on the specific program being utilized.

How does DPA Affect my loan? What does this do to my timeline to buy my house?

If the homebuyer is pursuing the WISH program, they must apply at one of the non-profits in town that provide that program. They will be required to take an 8- hour Homebuyer Education class and meet with one of the agency’s counselors to make sure their household meets the income requirements. They will also be expected to meet with a loan officer who is knowledgeable of the program, and get pre-approved for a loan before they will be approved for the down payment assistance. Once the homebuyer has both the lender’s pre-approval letter and a conditional letter of approval from the non-profit agency, they are ready to start looking for a property.

Application for the HIP program is completed by the borrower or the loan officer. Once all documentation is in and has been reviewed by an underwriter, a pre-approval letter is issued and the buyer can start looking at properties. 

The longer it takes the homebuyer to provide the required documents and take the class, the longer it takes to get them approved. It can take a week to get the approvals or it can take a month it really depends on the preparedness of the buyer.

Do I Qualify? How will I Know?

Qualification for the WISH is based on income and household size. The income limits are determined by HUD and change annually. Qualification for the HIP is based on having an annual income of less than $98,500, and a mid-fico score of at least 640.  Making an appointment to meet with your loan officer as soon as possible will help not only to determine your eligibility for a down payment assistance program but also will give you time to work on any issues that may present a delay to your getting the best loan possible for you.

Anything else worth noting in regards to DPA?

Most potential homebuyers see the down payment as a barrier to homeownership, more than any other factor, such as creditworthiness, debt burden or job security. Don’t let the lack of a down payment get in the way of an opportunity to own your own home. Down payment assistance programs are an excellent way to purchase a home and begin to build wealth for you and your family. Lastly, I know of at least two down payment assistance programs that will be rolling out at this end of this year or the beginning of the next, and while I can’t share all the details with you at this time, I know that this money will go very quickly, which presents another reason to be pre-approved and prepared. I’ll keep you informed when programs are rolled out.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Myriam Ramirez! If you would like to contact her feel free to contact her:

email: myriamr@amerifirst.us

call or text:  my cell phone: 702-355-2280

And let her know you read about her on our blog! Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.

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Tracie Green

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