Congratulations — you were lucky enough to get a spot on a waiting list for these not-for-profit, limited-equity cooperative apartments. This means that at some point you should be called off the waiting list to purchase an apartment at WELL-BELOW market rate and that, when you move in, you will get government subsidies that make home ownership available to moderate-income New Yorkers. Keep in mind that this is not-for-profit housing — so when you leave you will get back the money you paid for the apartment plus amortization (the money you pay each month toward the building mortgages) — from the next person/family on the waiting list. This is a place to live and not a real estate investment.
BE READY TO PURCHASE WHEN YOUR NAME IS CALLED. Keep in mind that most developments have a very short turn-around time when your names is called from the list so you will need to come up with the money to purchase the apartment pretty quickly. Consider looking into borrowing and other requirements ahead of time so that you are ready when your name is called.
Purchase prices for apartments range from about $25,000 to $125,000, depending on the development and the size apartment. If you don’t have the whole amount available (cash-on-hand) to purchase the apartment and instead need to borrow money, it may be very difficult or impossible to accomplish this in the very short time allotted, and that is why we urge you to prepare in advance.
If you are already on a ML waiting list you can find out your position by checking with either:
for HPD-supervised developments:
for HCR-supervised developments:
check the public waiting list here
(choose the development whose waiting list you are on, then click the link for the apartment size of your waiting list (under “admissions”)
Find your application number and that will tell you your place on the list.
- Keep an eye on your spot on the waiting list, especially when you get below # 30 or 40. Often, when a development has an opening, they will notify the first 10 or 20 people on the list — some of whom have had changes in circumstances and will not be interested anymore.
- Pay attention to your credit rating. Many developments require a fairly high rating (640 or more) to be considered for an apartment. If your rating is lower — try to work on it ahead of time.
- If you need to borrow money to come up with the cash, definitely work on this ahead of time. Most banks do not give mortgages for purchase of a Mitchell-Lama so check with credit unions or other lending options way ahead of time. There is a lending program at the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB) specially created to lend to ML and other limited equity apartments. Check with them ahead of time about the requirements for a loan here: UHAB Homeownership Lending.
- Some developments do allow you to take a year off the list to get your finances in order so you can purchase — and then call you again after that year. Our suggestion is to prepare ahead of time for the purchase so that you are ready when called.
Good luck — we look forward to your joining the Mitchell-Lama community.