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City of Novato’s Below-Market Rate Program

Hello Housing is pleased to be administering and monitoring the City of Novato’s Below-Market-Rate (BMR) Program. As part of our program management activities, Hello Housing will assist aspiring homebuyers qualify to purchase a BMR home and existing homeowners interested in selling, refinancing or making capital improvements to their home. Please see below for guidelines and requirements. We look forward to serving the great residents of the City of Novato!

Program Guidelines for Refinancing

If you are a homeowner and wish to refinance you will first need to contact an experienced lender familiar with the City of Novato’s BMR program (see list of lenders that the City is aware are familiar with the program below) and direct them to email us. Hello Housing will provide the lender a letter stating the BMR restricted value of your home and any other documentation requested. 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 Novato’s BMR program. Please note that the City of Novato will only subordinate to a new 1st loan if you are receiving no cash out except for very limited circumstances.

Lenders will be required to submit the following documentation to Hello Housing as part of the refinance eligibility screening:

  • 1003 completed loan application
  • 1008 or other loan underwriting form indicating amounts and terms of all financing
  • A preliminary title report
  • Loan Estimate

Refinance package submittals can be emailed or mailed to:

Hello Stewardship – Novato Refinance
P.O. Box 423690
San Francisco, CA 94142

As of March 23, 2013, a $550 refinance fee will be charged to the homeowner and due to the City of Novato upon closing in order to cover a portion of the costs associated with eligibility screening and preparation of subordination documents. This refinance fee can be financed and paid at closing.

Lenders Familiar with the City’s BMR Program

A small number of lenders are willing and able to lend on Below Market Rate homes. The following lenders have successfully closed loans within the City of Novato BMR program. Please be aware that lenders who have not pre-approved the City of Novato BMR Program may have difficulties closing the transaction. Hello Housing is always seeking additional lenders to provide greater choices for BMR borrowers and will update this list periodically.

Jodi Fischer, Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #459505
All California Mortgage, a Division of American Pacific Mortgage
1202 Grant Avenue, Suite B-2
Novato, CA 94945
ph: (415) 897-9103
Email Jodi

Sean Fitzgerald, Community Outreach Relationship Manager
NMLS #656025
First Republic Bank
111 Pine Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
ph: (415) 296-5775
Email Sean

Program Guidelines for Sale

Please note that the resale restrictions of your home are outlined in the Affordable Housing Covenants, Resale Restrictions and Option to Purchase Agreement made between you and the City of Novato at the time you purchased the home. If you wish to sell your home, you will first need to issue Hello Housing a “Notice of Intent to Sell.” Please send letters to:

Hello Stewardship – Novato Resale
P.O. Box 423690
San Francisco, CA 94142

Hello Housing will then calculate the BMR restricted value to your home and connect you with the City’s real estate agent to discuss a resale price. Hello Housing also has information available to you relating to real estate agents familiar with the City’s BMR program who can assist you with potentially listing the home and determining a resale price. Hello Housing may within 60 days determine an Eligible Buyer. Once a buyer is identified, you have 30 days to sell the home to that person. If Hello Housing does not identify an Eligible Buyer in 60 days, you have the option of finding an Eligible Buyer, subject to the City’s approval per the Affordable Housing Covenants, Resale Restrictions and Option to Purchase Agreement. If you identify the Eligible Buyer, you will have the sole responsibility to pay any brokerage commission from your net proceeds of the sale at the close of escrow. If neither party can find an Eligible Buyer within the time frames outlined, the City may exercise its option to purchase the home. For more information regarding the resale process, please email us.

Program Guidelines for Capital Improvements

If you wish to make capital improvements to your home and would like to have the improvements considered when calculating the BMR restricted value to your home, please review the Checklist for Capital Improvements and contact us prior to the work being completed. If the improvements were not done in compliance with the Affordable Housing Covenants, Resale Restrictions and Option to Purchase Agreement, the value of the improvements will not be captured in the BMR restricted value of your home.

Real Estate Agents Familiar with the City’s BMR Program

Sandy L. Mahoney, Realtor
DRE# 01355214
The Madison Company Realtors
911 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
Kentfield, CA 94904
ph: (415) 459-1550 x 128
fax: (415) 459-6418
Email Sandy

Resources to help get you started

Notice of Intent to Sell (for existing owners)

Other Helpful Resources

Hello Novato! Newsletter (Summer 2019)

City of Novato’s BMR Resale Price Calculation

Lender and Realtor Contact List

HUD Counseling Agencies

Checklist for Capital Improvements

Transfer of Title Procedures