Re: Sale/Resale and Continued Success of Community <FWD>
From: Fred H Olson WB0YQM (
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 94 22:58 CDT
Message author: Steve Gaarder  gaarder [at]
Posted by the COHOUSING-L sysop.
Date: Mon, 11 Jul 94 22:25 CDT

Sandy Bodzin <sb5i+ [at]> writes:
>Since it has
>been generally accepted that there is no legal way to influence who a
>house is sold to (is this absolutely the case?) 
>Is there any kind of neighberhood incorporation
>that is legally binding?

If you structure the neighborhood as a cooperative, you can have a 
*lot* of influence on who buys a house.  A standard feature of many 
conventional coops is that the board must approve any sale.  In some, 
but nowhere near all, cases the board is prevented from withholding 
approval "unreasonably."  In our (EcoVillage) case, this was one of 
the major issues for our nearly-completed bylaws.  Some people felt 
that having the right to refuse a sale was important, while others 
were concerned about cliquishness.  In the end, we settled on 
language that said that the board could only block a sale if it was 
in violation of the "corporate purpose."  Since the corporate purpose 
includes fostering community and protecting the environment, we could 
reject a sale if it would be damaging to either.

The ultimate control over house sales is the right of first refusal.  
This means that the coop (or homeowners' association) has the right 
to buy any unit that is for sale by matching the purchase offer.  
Clearly a good-sized cash reserve is necessary for this.  We are also 
providing for a waiting list, whose members also have the right of 
first refusal.  I would expect, in any case, to see that right 
excercised seldom if at all; if I were to sell, why should I bother 
looking for an outside buyer if there's a group of purchasers already 
lined up?

Steve Gaarder
gaarder [at]

Steve Gaarder

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