City of Menlo Park’s Below-Market Rate Homeownership Program
The City of Menlo Park Housing and Redevelopment Department was eliminated when the State of California dissolved redevelopment agencies in January, 2012. The City of Menlo Park continues to provide the Below Market Rate (BMR) Housing program by contracting with Hello Housing for program management activities. Hello Housing provides assistance to homeowners interested in selling, refinancing or making capital improvements to their BMR home and assists those interested in purchasing a BMR home.
Guidelines for Refinancing
Owners of a BMR home may request that the City subordinate their Deed Restrictions to a refinanced senior mortgage(s). If the homeowner also has received a PAL, ERL, CDBG Loan or Rehab Loan from the City, he/she must either pay off the loan or meet program requirements for subordination to a new senior mortgage(s). Guidelines for refinancing a PAL, ERL, CDBG Loan or Rehab Loan from the City can be found on our Loan Servicing webpage.
Per the BMR Program Guidelines, the City will subordinate to a refinanced senior mortgage(s) if all of the following conditions/requirements are met at the time of the request for subordination:
- The refinancing is for no more than the amount of the balance of the senior mortgage(s) plus the cost of refinancing; and
- The loan amount does not exceed the current BMR restricted value of the home.
If both of the conditions above are applicable, the BMR homeowner or borrower should contact Sarah Shimmin at Hello Housing by calling (415) 863-3036 or emailing Hello Housing staff to start the subordination process. Hello Housing will provide the lender with a letter stating the BMR restricted value of your home and any other documentation related to the Below Market Rate property. Sample subordination and program documents are available for lenders upon request to help determine if the 1st loan can work in conjunction with the City of Menlo Park’s BMR program.
Lenders will be required to submit the following documentation to Hello Housing as part of the subordination eligibility screening:
- 1003 completed loan application
- 1008 or other loan underwriting form indicating amounts and terms of all financing
- A preliminary title report
- A Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure
Subordination package submittals can be emailed to Hello Housing or mailed to:
Hello Stewardship – City of Menlo Park Refinance
P.O. Box 423690
San Francisco, CA 94142
A $400 fee will be charged to the homeowner and due to the City of Menlo Park upon closing in order to cover a portion of the costs associated with eligibility screening and preparation of subordination documents.
Any requests for exceptions will have to be reviewed by Hello Housing and the City of Menlo Park.
Guidelines for Resale of a BMR unit
The resale restrictions of the BMR homes are outlined in the Agreement and Deed Restrictions Regarding Resale Controls for Below Market Rate Property made between the BMR property owner and the City of Menlo Park at the time the unit was purchased. If the owner wishes to sell his/her home, the seller will first need to issue the Hello Housing a “Notice of Intent to Sell” by certified mail. Please send the “Notice of Intent to Sell” to:
Hello Stewardship – City of Menlo Park Resale
P.O. Box 423690
San Francisco, CA 94142
The unit must be in good repair and salable condition, or the cost of rehabilitating the unit will be reimbursed to the City out of the proceeds of the sale. The definition of “salable condition” for any given unit shall be provided on a case-by-case basis following the City’s inspection of the unit, and shall be at the discretion of Hello Housing. “Salable condition” shall refer to the general appearance, condition, and functionality of all: flooring; painted surfaces; plumbing, heating, and electrical systems; fixtures; appliances; doors; window; walkways; patios; roofing; grading; and landscaping. In addition, the City reserves the right to withhold the cost of having it professionally cleaned from the seller’s proceeds. Once cleaning is complete, the seller will be refunded the difference between the amount withheld and the actual cost to clean the unit.
Once the City has determined that the unit is in good repair and salable condition, and the City has set the price for the BMR unit, Hello Housing will state in writing that the period for completing the sale of the BMR unit may commence.
Lenders Familiar with the City’s Housing Programs
60 S Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Office: (408) 769-8245
Meriwest Mortgage Company, LLC
5615 Chesbro Avenue, Suite 110
San Jose, CA 95123
Office: (415) 363-3460
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
575 N. Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone: (408) 483-6418
Fax: (866) 767-2310
All California Mortgage, a Division of American Pacific Mortgage
17 E Sir Francis Drake Blvd. #200
Larkspur, CA 94939
Office: (415) 897-9103
Resources to help get you started
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