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USDA Home Loans Help Rural Nevadans Find Their Way Home

The USDA Rural Development program’s guaranteed loans, combined with down payment assistance grants, mean that first-time homebuyers could purchase homes with low-interest mortgages and little to no cash down.

Housing prices are rising throughout Nevada, which means rental prices are going up as well. As the housing supply continues to try to catch up with demand, this upward trend promises to continue.

If you’re planning to stay in one location for even a few years, it could be time to take the leap to become a first-time homebuyer. We know that sounds scary, but if you consider that your monthly rent might be comparable to a mortgage payment, it makes a lot of sense (and dollars). Owning a home also offers you the opportunity to build equity, while also deducting the mortgage interest from your tax obligations. For many people, this is a huge deduction, making your tax payment much more palatable. Property tax is also deductible, offering even more savings.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Program is designed to help “low and very-low-income families obtain decent, safe and sanitary housing” in eligible rural areas of Nevada (cities with populations less than 30,000), through mortgage payment assistance.

According to the USDA’s website, these are the factors taken into consideration when determining eligibility for USDA home financing: At a minimum, applicants interested in obtaining a USDA guaranteed loan must have an adjusted income that is at or below the applicable low-income limit for the area where they wish to buy a house and they must demonstrate a willingness and ability to repay debt.

While the USDA home financing program makes the mortgage payment more manageable, what stops many people from buying is coming up with the down payment. However, the USDA loan program does not require a down payment; instead the homeowner pays a .40 percent annual fee.

Another way to address the down payment is to combine the USDA home loan with the Home At Last™ program offered by the Nevada Rural Housing Authority (NRHA), which includes both government (FHA, VA and USDA Rural Development) and conventional (HFA Preferred) loan alternatives, coupled with granted down payment assistance of up to 5 percent, depending on the loan type.

When NRHA's Home at Last™ Mortgage Tax Credit program is combined with a USDA RD guaranteed loan, new homeowners could enjoy many advantages that will increase their purchasing power: $0 down payment; $0 PMI; and a federal income tax credit equal to 40 percent of the interest paid on the mortgage loan (maximum $2,000 tax credit per year). There is no fee for qualifying veterans to obtain the Mortgage Tax Credit.

For more information on the USDA RD guaranteed loan options, visit

If you’re interested in buying a home, you’ll want to meet with a qualified lender (one who is authorized to implement these loan programs) to find out what you can affordHealth Fitness Articles, and what programs you’re eligible for. They’ll work with you to put together a plan that’s best for your family!


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Sylvia Shrugg is a lifelong Northern Nevadan who just had the good fortune of buying a home, after losing hers to a short sale in 2009. A single mom, she wouldn’t have been able to buy without the help of the USDA loan program.

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