RE: Re: Right of First Refusal
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 8 May 2006 09:05:25 -0700 (PDT)
Given the cost of homes, the right of first refusal for the community is
only valuable if you have the means to actually buy the unit.  

Rob Sandelin
Naturalist, Writer
The Environmental Science School
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-----Original Message-----
From: Mac Thomson [mailto:mac [at]] 
Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 5:42 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ Re: Right of First Refusal

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]
> Message-ID:
>       <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 clauses.
> Can anyone relate their experience with this and perhaps offer ideas 
> on how they got around it.
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