Oakland Below Market Rate Program Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

Date Posted: November 4th, 2021 @ 11:14 AM
Last Updated: November 4th, 2021 @ 1:13 PM

Q: The program documents define the minimum down payment, is there a maximum down payment?

A: The unit’s “Declaration of Resale Restrictions” state the financing terms in the section “Acceptable Loan Types and Downpayment Minimums” -- usually found in Exhibit 4, or in the Exhibit “Refinancing Policy And Procedures”. The City reserves the right to require buyers to provide a supportable rationale when the buyer’s proposed front end ratio (PITIA plus utilities and maintenance reserve) is below 25%, so the minimum ratio may restrict the down payment.

Q: Is the seller responsible to document compliance with the City’s Sidewalk Repair Policies and Ordinance? What if the BMR unit is part of a Home Owners Association (HOA)?

A: Yes, compliance is required by law. The sidewalk may be part of the HOA’s common elements, in which case the HOA may share in the responsibility, so the seller should request that the HOA provide the certification documents. Prior to approval for the sale to close, the seller must provide either the final “Sidewalk Compliance Certificate”, or the “Provisional Certificate”. The provisional certificate allows the seller and the HOA an extension of time to secure the final Compliance Certificate past close of escrow if needed. For details, questions, and resources, visit the Sidewalk Permit page and review the FAQ linked there. If the sidewalk needs repairs, please review the page Hiring a Contractor to Repair Your Sidewalk.There may be sidewalk repair assistance for low income property owners.

Q: Is the seller responsible to document compliance with the East Bay Regional Private Sewer Lateral (PSL) program? What if the BMR unit is part of a Home Owners Association (HOA)?

A: Yes, compliance is required by law. The PSL may be part of the HOA’s common elements, in which case the HOA may share in the responsibility, so the seller should request that the HOA provide the certification documents. Prior to approval for the sale to close, the seller must provide either the final “Compliance Certificate”, or the “Time Extension Certificate” and the $4,500 extension fee if applicable. The extension certificate allows the seller and the HOA an extension of time to secure the final Compliance Certificate past close of escrow if needed. For details, questions, and resources, visit the link above or EBMUD Private sewer laterals.

Q: What is the purpose of deed restrictions?

A: Deed-restrictions are a mechanism for preserving the long-term affordability of units whose price was reduced to below-market levels through a subsidy. Read a detailed definition of "Deed restrictions" here.