The Tenancy-in-Common Program

LAST UPDATED: September 14, 2016

What You Should Know

Princeton University’s mortgage services group oversees the Tenancy-In-Common (TIC) Program that assists tenured faculty and senior staff members with the purchase of a home in the Princeton area. Under the terms of the TIC program, the University agrees to provide a percentage of the funds up to 33.33% needed to purchase a home for an undivided interest in your property, and the University is entitled to that same percentage of the net sales proceeds or fair market value when the house is sold or when the TIC Agreement is terminated for any reason.

In addition to being eligible for the program, the property itself must be eligible and TIC participation requirements must be met.


Eligibility for the TIC program is determined by position or rank. Princeton University retirees and employees in term positions are not eligible to enter into a TIC arrangement with the University. For further clarification on eligibility, contact mortgage services.

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Significant Terms and Conditions of the TIC program include:

  • The property must be a single-family home and your primary residence.
  • TIC participation is limited to properties that are being newly acquired. The program does not provide for TIC participation in properties owned prior to employment by Princeton University or for a property owned before you became eligible to participate in the program.
  • With the exception of the city of Trenton, the purchased property must be located within a nine-mile radius of the central campus. Contact mortgage services to make sure the property is in an eligible location. Eligibility Map
  • The percentage of funds the University contributes cannot exceed 33.33% of the appraised value of the property or the purchase price, whichever is lower.
  • You may apply for the TIC program in conjunction with the standard mortgage program or you may apply solely for the TIC program.
  • Eligibility for TIC also constitutes eligibility for an “Additional Principal Mortgage”. Should your income qualify for a mortgage in excess of the Standard Mortgage Program (SMP) limit, you may borrow that additional principal at the market interest rate through the University.
  • The current maximum limit for any combination of University programs related to a home purchase is $1,600,000 and cannot exceed 90% of the appraised value of the property or the purchase price, whichever is lower.
  • Residential Purchase Plan properties may be purchased using TIC. 
  • Use of the TIC program may limit your options for obtaining non-University mortgage loans on the property such as home equity loans or a refinancing of the first mortgage.
  • Buyers pay normal closing costs including, but not limited to, attorneys' fees, title insurance costs, survey fees, and recording fees related to the transaction.

Provisions of the TIC Program

  • You may purchase all or a percentage of Princeton’s equity in your property at any time. Should you desire to initiate this process, please contact mortgage services.
  • You are expected to maintain the property in good repair, and all costs will be borne by you. Princeton does not share in these costs.
  • Under the TIC program, you may request an adjustment in the proportionate shares of ownership if you meet the criteria for qualified major improvements. A “qualified major improvement” is one that costs 5 percent of the current appraised value of the property or $50,000, whichever is less, and qualifies for an adjustment to the cost basis of a property for federal income tax purposes. 
    •  No capital project shall be considered for an equity change unless it is approved in advance by the University.
    •  We encourage you to contact mortgage services directly if you are considering any significant improvement to your property.
  • The University’s TIC participation in your property is due and payable when you no longer are employed by the University (except for retirement), or no longer use the property as your principal residence. Normal standards require repayment of the TIC participation within 90 days of the end of your University employment. 
  • Retirees may continue to participate in the TIC program as long as the property is their primary residence. 
  • Under University guidelines, if you die while employed or die as a retiree, and were participating in the TIC program, your surviving spouse or registered domestic partner may continue in the program with some restrictions.
  • When you wish to sell your residence to a third party, the price and conditions of sale must be approved by Princeton prior to marketing the house. Upon closing, the net sale proceeds will be distributed to each party as follows: first, Princeton will receive its proportionate share; second, the owners will receive their proportionate share, but only after having first fully satisfied all charges or liens against the property, including the Princeton mortgage. The owners are responsible to fund any shortfall using their other personal assets without affecting in any manner Princeton’s proportionate interest.

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