Golden ticket

I am trying to win the lottery, not the lottery, but the SF below market rate affordable housing first time homebuyers lottery. It’s been a busy few weeks running around, trying to get all my paperwork in order.

I’m not sure where this idea started but like all my ideas – it seems crazy at first. I don’t particularly want to own a home in SF let alone one I can’t keep or rent, but under the mayor’s office it is more affordable to own a unit through this program than it is to rent, both in the short term and long term.

To enter the lottery (this is not to say you win), but to enter it, you must attend a 8 hour, first time homebuyer’s workshop given by 5 nonprofit agencies. My class was on a Saturday with an attendance of 75. At this workshop we reviewed budgets, savings, credit scores, loans and mortgages. Someone asked me if I was a teacher. Do I look like a teacher?

After the workshop, then you drop off paperwork (W2’s, taxes, bank statements, proof of income, employment, proof of address, etc.). After they review your paperwork, you attend a personal 1-1 counseling session, then you receive your certificate of completion.

I also attended an info session by the realtor, an open house and met with the bank for a pre approval loan. This is where I am stuck. The bank won’t pre-approve me unless I can prove steady income, not proof of income but steady income. He said an offer letter would suffice to generate a pre-approval to enter the lottery. It has been a mad dash to find a job to give me an offer letter. I think I found a company who can give me one in the income level needed, but do I really want to work there? No, I don’t. I have been holding off, waiting for the right match. To find the connection of a job that is meaningful to me but at what point should I give up on that search. How much do I want to enter this lottery?

To win, it depends on how many people enter but there are tiers of preference. First group, if you have been evicted under the Ellis Act, you are drawn first in the pool. Second, are people who have lived in SF more than 10 years, and third, is me, people who live and work here now.

The realtor says chances are typically 5-10%. To enter the lottery, the application requires a pre-approval bank loan, a cash downpayment of $15-20K, a credit score above 760 and all the paperwork mentioned above.

I have 5 days remaining to get an offer letter.


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