Below market rate homes for sale in lottery

July 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Talk about a great deal. Five brand new, detached single family homes are being sold at less than half price in the South Bay. However, not just anyone has a shot at buying them and for those who do, it could be a dream come true.

The brand-spanking new, four-bedroom detached home at 1288 Pumpkin Terrace is one of four that will be sold at less than half the going market rate. That is thanks to a Sunnyvale program in place since 1980, requiring any new development make some percentage of properties available at below market rate, or BMR.

There's one three-bedroom for $433,470. The four four-bedrooms are $468,467. The city says comparable homes are selling for between $900,000 and $1.1 million.

"Even if you think home ownership may be beyond your dream take a look because it could happen," said Sunnyvale spokesman John Pilger.

Well it could happen if you meet the eligibility criteria and are selected through a lottery.

You must live or work in Sunnyvale, be a first-time buyer and meet income requirements. For example, a household of four cannot exceed $124,300 a year.

The city expects a crush of interest in the houses, so this is the first lottery. Usually, the city just keeps a list of people interested in condos.

"Usually we just open up an interest list. The last time we did an interest list, in just a matter of days we had 1,500 sign up," said Pilger.

Thirty of the 228 new townhomes at the Fusion Development will be sold through the BMR program. There is no lottery planned for them.

Karthik Punukoolu has been looking for a four-bedroom for eight months. He is close to buying at the Fusion Development and disappointed he won't qualify for the BMR program.

"Me and my brother are going to stay in the same home. So, probably $600,000 or something," said Punukoolu. When asked if it was heard to find something out there, he said, "$600,000 in Sunnyvale is really hard."

The lottery application for the five houses requires a $50 fee, must be submitted between July 18 and 25, 2011 with the drawing planned for July 27th. The winners will then have to go apply for a loan, which is another thing entirely.

If you want to know more about Sunnyvale's home lottery, click on the link above. The city will start taking applications July 18th.


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