Below Market Rate (BMR) property refinancing

Below Market Rate (BMR) properties require City written approval in order to refinance. An owner of a BMR property should contact the City before starting the refinance process. The information here will help homeowners of BMR properties understand the requirements of the refinance process and how to get approval from the City. 


Please note: Homeowners who wish to refinance a BMR unit must work with a Lender that works with a third-party title company acceptable to the City to handle escrow. Acceptable third-party title companies include: WFG National Title Company (formerly Doma Title), First American Title Company, and Old Republic Title Company.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

Approval is at the discretion of the City and must meet the criteria outlined in your Buyer's Occupancy and Resale Restriction Agreement, with Option to Purchase (the "Resale Restriction Agreement"). 

At a minimum, your refinance must meet the eligibility criteria below:

  1. New loan does not exceed the original principal amount of the loan when you first bought the home (not applicable to Renaissance Walk).
  2. New loan does not cause your monthly payment on all debt recorded against the home to exceed the Affordable Cost (the City will calculate this for you).

City Refinance Process for BMR Units

  1. E-mail the City. E-mail and let us know that you plan to refinance your home before you start the process.
  2. Connect your chosen real estate professionals with the City. Let your chosen real estate professionals know that your home has resale restrictions. This means that owners of BMR units need to get the City's approval before they can refinance. Ask your real estate professionals to e-mail as soon as possible to ensure a timely close of escrow.
  3. Provide Required Documents. Your real estate professionals will need to provide the Required Documents for City Review.
  4. Review Required Documents. The City requires a minimum of seven (7) business days once all Required Documents are received to review. This timeline is only an estimate and may be extended if applications are incomplete or the City requires additional information to evaluate your refinance request.
  5. Refinance Request Response Letter. Once the City has finished its review of the Required Documents, we will provide a Refinance Request Response Letter approving or denying the refinance. If the refinance is denied, the City will provide an explanation of the denial.  
  6. Subordination. If the Lender requires subordination of the Resale Restriction Agreement to the new loan, the City will require a minimum of 15 business days from the date of refinance approval or from the date of Lender’s subordination request, whichever is later, to route the paperwork for signatures and deposit in escrow.
  7. Deposit City documents in escrow. Once the City documents are signed, the City will deposit in escrow.
  8. Close.

Required Documents for City Review


Your Lender needs to provide the City with the documents below:

  • Borrower's Authorization to Disclose Information (e-signature is acceptable)
  • 1003 - signed by Borrowers
  • 1008
  • Credit Report
  • Loan Estimate (include City's Administrative Fee - see below)
  • Anticipated closing date of new First Lender Loan
  • Subordination request (if applicable - see below)
  • Vesting for trustor, trustee, and beneficiary of new First Lender Loan as it will appear on new First Lender Note and Deed of Trust (if subordination requested)

Escrow Officer

Your Escrow Officer needs to provide the City with the documents below:

  • Prelim report
  • Payoff demand letter (if also refinancing a City Loan)
  • Estimated Closing Settlement Statement (include City's Administrative Fee - see below)
  • Prepaid shipping label so City documents can be deposited directly into escrow (if subordination requested)

Proof of Property Insurance

Homeowners of BMR units are required to maintain a standard all risk property insurance policy equal to the replacement value of the Home naming the City as an additional insured and loss payee. The City requires proof of property insurance when a homeowner refinances. 

Administrative Fee

Administrative fees must be paid by Owner directly to the City through escrow upon close of escrow unless other arrangements have been made with the City to pay the administrative fee in advance. Refer to development name below.

  • Renaissance Walk - $0
  • Garden Walk - $250
  • Crossings at Eden Shores - $250
  • Habitat for Humanity/Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Rehabilitated Properties - $250
  • SoHay - $500 or as established in the Master Fee Schedule

Subordination Requests

If the Lender requires subordination, the Lender must provide a request in writing to requesting subordination no later than three business days from the date of approval of the refinance on the approval letter but if the Lender knows that subordination will be required, it is recommended that the Lender make a request as soon as possible.

Signed in Counterpart. If subordination is requested, Lender/Broker must work with a third-party escrow company. Documents must be signed in counterpart and deposited with third-party escrow prior to close.

General Timelines

  • The estimates given are general timelines. Please be advised that lender/broker/escrow delays responding to the City’s requests for information/documents can increase these timelines.
  • The City will require seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the refinance documents to review and approve.
  • If subordination is requested, the City will require a minimum of 15 business days from date of refinance approval or from date of lender’s subordination request, whichever is later, to route the paperwork for signature and deposit in escrow. Timelines may be extended due to the COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions.
  • Please adjust your escrow closing date accordingly to accommodate these timeframes.

Submitting a Refinance Request

Howeowners who wish to refinance their home should have their real estate professionals e-mail

Questions about Refinance

For general questions, please e-mail