The latest Nevada Housing Division data shows a 4 percent foreclosure rate on its servicing portfolio. This number is dramatically below the conventional bank market’s typical Nevada loan portfolio.
The low in-house foreclosure rate can be attributed to the division’s maintaining personal contact, according to Terry Johnson, director of the Department of Business and Industry.
“Borrowers actually come into the Housing Division’s office to meet the loan servicer and to make payments. When our people see they are running into problems, they come into the office for help and direction,” he said.
“Service you can’t always get when your mortgage is with servicers who are located a long distance from your home. The Housing Division’s data supports findings from an Ohio State University study that indicates that those who keep loans and loan servicing close to home have fewer foreclosures compared to long-distance servicers.”
Chas Horsey, administrator of the Nevada Housing Division says, “One of our biggest breaks was the fact that the division strongly resisted getting into interest-only loans, variable-rate mortgages or other high-risk type loans. A lot of people thought we were being ultra conservative, but the end results speak for themselves.
“Through our approach, borrower’s mortgage payments remain the same and allow them to truly be a homeowner. Our goal as the Housing Finance Agency for the state is to make homeownership within reach of moderate-income families.
“We want our borrowers to be able to keep that dream of owning their own home long term and not treat homeownership as a short-term investment to be flipped at the next convenient moment for a quick gain.”
For those interested in taking advantage of Las Vegas’ buyers market and the Nevada Housing Division’s First-Time Homebuyer Program, individuals or families cannot have owned a home within the past three years; the home must be the primary residence of the borrower; and, the borrower must show the ability to pay their mortgage.
Here are some tips in applying for the first-time homebuyer loan:
• Prequalify for a loan — Participating Lending Institutions process all NHD loans.
First, select a participating lending institution. (A list can be obtained by visiting nvhousing.state.nv.us or by calling the Housing Division’s office at 702-486-7220.) Once you have this list make an appointment with a lender to determine your eligibility and the purchase price of the home for which you can qualify and which loan type best meets your needs.
The participating lending institution will also explain what fees are involved and how much down payment is necessary. NHD can also provide a down-payment loan, if needed.
• First-time homebuyer education class — The division cannot emphasize how important homebuyer education is for first-time homebuyers.
The division requires the attendance to a HUD approved in-person class for all applicants using NHD loan programs. A list can be obtained by visiting the web site at nvhousing.state.nv.us.
• Locate an Affordable Residence — Begin looking for an eligible residence you can afford, based on the information the lender provided. Although not required, using the services of a real estate professional is recommended.
• Enter into a real estate purchase contract — This agreement is the contract used to purchase a home. It specifies the legal obligations of the seller and the buyer, establishes a specific date of purchase and sets the price of the home. This contract should allow enough time for a complete home inspection, (on an existing home), home appraisal and loan approval.
In this agreement, it should state that if you are not satisfied with the home inspection, or you do not obtain a NHD loan, the contract is cancelled and your earnest money will be refunded.
• Apply for a loan — At this point you can formally apply for a NHD loan through the participating lending institution you selected per instructions in step one above.
After you have applied, the lender will request that NHD reserve funds for the loan. Only one application may be made per applicant and funds are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Nevada Housing Division web site provides you complete information on interest rates and other qualifying features of our affordable housing program. Go to nvhousing.state.nv.us.