Re: Right of First Refusal
From: Mac Thomson (
Date: Mon, 8 May 2006 05:43:26 -0700 (PDT)
I'm not sure that rights of first refusal are all that common in cohousing. Are they?

We didn't include one in our CC&R's. My sense is that anyone buying a home here would be making the conscious choice to buy into the community. Our neighborhood is VERY obviously community oriented -- 24 homes pretty tightly clustered on 360 acres. Anyone wanting to live in rural southwest Colorado, but not wanting to live in community would certainly not buy a home at Heartwood.

Furthermore, our community has a policy of self selection. So assuming anyone wanting to buy a home here is looking for community, we leave the choice to them to figure out if they think they'll be a good fit. It seems to me that a right of first refusal is to some extent a contradiction to the principle of self selection. I should note that although we do follow a policy of self selection, we do require all potential new members to complete a Prospective Member Checklist, which basically helps to ensure that they have carefully considered living at Heartwood by spending time here, reading our agreements, etc. If you're curious, that checklist can be found at:

So far I think the checklist has served us very well and I sure hope that we never end up regretting not having a right of first refusal. I don't think we will.


P.S.  Congratulations on your new community!

Mac Thomson

Heartwood Cohousing
Southwest Colorado

"We work to become, not to acquire."
          - Elbert Hubbard

On May 6, 2006, at 4:10 PM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:

Date: Sat, 6 May 2006 08:19:49 -0400
From: "Kelly Devine" <hyghroad [at]>
Subject: [C-L]_ Right of First Refusal
To: cohousing-l [at]
        <ad0ff430605060519q1c09d67ci3d38af0361782679 [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Fellow Cohousers and others:

Happy to announce that Champlain Valley Cohousing is about to sell its first home and have its first residents. We couldn't be happier to have finally
reached this stage.

One issue that seems to keep popping up as members get ready to purchase their homes is our right of first refusal clause. CVC has included a deeded right of first refusal to allow the HOA to buy homes at market price from a community member who sells. I understand this is a common way in cohousing to ensure some control over the membership in the community. We recently learned that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac prohibit right of first refusal

Can anyone relate their experience with this and perhaps offer ideas on how
they got around it.

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