Exterior photo of the AurumIn the land of NYC affordable housing opportunities, here is a rare bird that will require luck, speed and desire. Three below-market-rate 1-bedroom condos are for sale at the Aurum in Central Harlem:

  • #301 – 1-bed, 1-bath,  601 sq. ft. – Listed for $348,300 ($573.73 common charges)
  • #401 – 1-bed, 1-bath,  601 sq. ft. – Listed for $348,300 ($573.17 common charges)
  • #318  – 1-bed, 1-bath, 591 sq. ft. – Listed for $358,300 ($563.63 common charges)

Compare those prices to an identical market-rate 1-bedroom at the Aurum that was listed for $668,000 and sold for $680,191, and you get the picture.

But this is not a housing lottery. It is just a rare one-off to sell these remaining units at lottery prices. According to Carol N. Griffin of the Housing Partnership Development Corp. (HPDC), these units were part of the Aurum lottery, but never found qualified buyers. Therefore, they go to the open market, and are up for grabs on a first-come, first-served basis.

What You Need to Do to Qualify

Yes, there are some restrictions in place. Here we go:

  • Income restrictions: For one person, the salary range is $81,915 to $91,375 a year. For a household of two, it ranges from $81,915 to $104,375.
  • First-time buyers only.
  • Down payment: Buyers must have a down payment of 10 percent of the purchase price. However, an AHC (Affordable Housing Corporation) subsidy of $25,000 will be given to buyers, which can be used toward closing costs or the down payment. More on this below.
  • Usage: Must be used as a primary residence. It can’t be used as an investment, rented, or sublet.

>>To see the full advertisement, click here

You Must Attend the Open House

Another important caveat of this sale: Interested and qualified buyers must attend this weekend’s open house on Sunday, April 15, at the Aurum (171 W. 131st St.) from 1 to 3 p.m. Two of the actual apartments (#301 and #318) will be available to tour during the open house, and qualified representatives will be on hand to answer questions. Application packets will be available.

Next Steps to Buying an Aurum Condo

If you decide you like the apartment and think you qualify, this is where speed comes in. You need to complete the application, collect your required documentation (i.e., four pay stubs, two recent years of tax returns, bank statements, etc.) and hand-deliver it to the office of  HPDC at 242 W. 36th St., 3rd floor, from Tuesday, April 17, through Thursday, April 19, between hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. All documents must be in an envelope with your name and date of drop-off written on the outside of the envelope. Incomplete applications are ineligible. According to the advertisement, this is just a drop-off, and no one will be on hand to answer questions at this time. Once your application and documents have been reviewed, the HPDC will contact you. Preference will be given to New York City residents.

Units Stay Affordable for 25 Years

Here’s another caveat, and it’s a big one: Don’t think you can buy one of these places for a song and then quickly flip it for a big profit. You can make a profit on this place, but only after 25 years.

Buyers will be given a $25,000 cash subsidy via AHC and a 421-a tax break, both of which last for 25 years. While buyers won’t have to pay full taxes for 25 years via the 421-a tax exemption programthey must live in the residence for 25 years to be able to resell it at market rate. What if you need to sell before 25 years? The price will be prorated according to the new area median income, and the subsidy will be passed onto the new buyer to help maintain the condo’s affordable status. The resale price can be established via HPDC.

As can be imagined, a big turnout is expected.

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