Williams College Employee Handbook
The College makes subsidized mortgages available to eligible faculty and administrative staff in order to assist them in acquiring homes in the Williamstown area. This benefit is intended to help these employees when first entering the Williamstown area housing market.
The mortgage benefit is available for houses in Williamstown and in a "double ring" of surrounding towns. In Massachusetts: Adams, Cheshire, Clarksburg, Florida, Hancock, Lanesborough, New Ashford, North Adams, Pittsfield, Richmond, and Savoy; in Vermont: Bennington, Pownal, and Stamford; in New York: Berlin, Canaan, Grafton, Hoosick, New Lebanon, Petersburg, Poestenkill, Sand Lake, and Stephentown.
The maximum amount of financing available under this program is currently $100,000 borrowed on a matching equity basis to finance the primary residence only. This benefit is available as a first or second mortgage only. Total indebtedness on the property may not exceed 100% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is the lower of the two. The interest rate will be established at the time the mortgage is approved and will be one-half the prevailing rate at the Williamstown Savings Bank for a 70%, fixed rate first mortgage of like term, but not less than a twenty-year term.
College mortgages will be approved for a maximum term of twenty-five years. The mortgage will be in effect until the borrower has reached the term of the loan or leaves the College for any reason, including retirement.
Only one College mortgage is available to each eligible employee during the course of employment at Williams, although that mortgage can be transferred to another property (see "Transferal"). The College mortgage is intended to help finance a primary residence and cannot be used to finance the purchase of a second home or rental property. If land is purchased with a College mortgage, the parcel financed cannot exceed five acres without special permission, and a home for the borrower must be built on the parcel within two years of the purchase date. No dwelling in which two or more faculty or administrative staff members cohabit may be mortgaged through the College for more than the maximum amount of one full mortgage.
The employee borrower must occupy the financed real estate as a primary residence except (a) for any period that the borrower is on an approved leave from the College, (b) for an aggregate of 150 days in any year (non-cumulative from year to year), and (c) for any period when construction or repair work makes occupancy of the home impractical.
All newly hired administrative staff in positions of .75 fte or greater who do not own a house in the defined College mortgage area are eligible, at any time during their first eight years of eligible employment at the College, for a College mortgage on a matching equity basis, up to the maximum amount of financing available at the time.
Employees with College mortgages may transfer their mortgage if they sell their home in order to purchase another home in the defined College mortgage area. The borrower must bear all the expenses associated with transferring the mortgage. The amount available for transfer to the new property is limited to the balance remaining on the original mortgage, regardless of the maximum amount of financing available under this benefit at the time of the transfer.
The College's mortgage loan is contingent upon standard agreements as follows: a promissory note and mortgage; a life insurance proceeds agreement with the College in the amount of the loan, signed by the borrower and the life insurance beneficiary(ies); a wage-withholding agreement to allow mortgage payment deductions from paychecks; assignment of adequate insurance to Williams; and repurchase agreement on Williamstown area homes.
Rental Housing Overlap
College employees may not take out a College mortgage and remain in rental housing for more than three months. The three-month period is to allow for work on the purchased home before moving in. A six-month overlap is allowed for employees building a new home. The six-month overlap is calculated from the point at which 75% of the College mortgage has been drawn down, but no later than 12 months from the closing date of the mortgage. If additional time is needed in rental housing, the rent will increase by 10% to compensate the College for the subsidized mortgage rate.
Employees with College mortgages are not eligible to apply for College rental housing until the mortgage is paid off, at which point they would be eligible under Group 2.
Those seeking more information should consult with the Mortgage Administrator in the Office of the Vice President for Finance & Administration.