In My Neighborhood in 10039>Question Details

vargasa, Renter in Harlem, New York, NY

Hi, born in Harlem, looking to buy or rent a 2bed apt. here. I am a civil service employee, and I make under just under 40K. What are my options?

Asked by vargasa, Harlem, New York, NY Tue Oct 12, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


There are many HDFC (Housing Development Financing Corporation) coops in Harlem. They sell well below market. They offer affordable housing for many New Yorker's.

HDFC coops are city sponsored coops. Many were rental buildings abandoned by landlords in the 70's and 80's. The city sold the buildings to the existing tenants at below market prices with low real estate taxes. In return the new owners refurbished the buildings and maintained it's affordability. Many HDFC coops have income restrictions and flip taxes.

HDFC coops are considered a form of "limited equity" home ownership. They are sold at approximately 40% -60% below market value. The maintenance is also below market but when you sell, a portion of your profit goes back to the HDFC coop hence "flip tax."

HDFC coops are usually listed with real estate brokers rather than through lotteries. Other affordable programs such as Mitchell Lama coops use lotteries. Today Mitchell Lama coops are rare and typically have 15 year waiting lists via lotteries. Mitchell Lama buildings were built in the 70's. Developers were given tax incentives to keep them affordable for 30 years. Many buildings in the Mitchell Lama program have recently privatized because the 30 years expired and are now selling for market rates.

There is also an 80/20 program in new developments. 20% affordable units, 80% luxury apartments. The 20% are by lottery via advertisements and website.

FHA does not give loans in coops. Coops including HDFC coops usually require a minimum down payment of 10%-20%, coops have restrictive covenants such as flip tax and board approval, FHA does not loan in buildings with restrictive covenants. Real estate is local.

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
The first place is to go to your union to see what kinds of credit opportunities they may have. Also, you may want to consider a SONYMA loan (State of NY Mortgage Association), if your credit is good and your income is not that high and you're considering buying in areas where additional monies (grants) may be available, you might be able to get quite a bit of assistance. Good luck!

Ralph Windschuh
Certified Buyer Representative
Senior Real Estate Specialist
Associate Broker
Century 21 Princeton Properties
Top 2% of Century 21 Agents Nationwide!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
You might want to consider FHA financing or ask a direct Lender (aka, bank) about whether they provide any mortgages for CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) or for community development.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 12, 2010
Without knowing your overall finances/assets, credit score, etc., consider visiting with any qualified loan officer(s) first, see if you do qualify, if not ask about special programs, how much you qualify for, etc., then go from there--your loan officer can make a determination as to qualification, once your overall financials are reviewed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 13, 2010
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