Re: Foreclosures
From: Kay Wilson Fisk (
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2012 00:43:24 -0800 (PST)

In the case of the two empty units, we reached out to the realtors to
let them know it was important that potential buyers understood that
this was a cohousing community. In one case, the realtor left the key
with the next door neighbor so she could show the unit to prospective
buyers, because he said he had so many foreclosures to deal with that
he didn't expect to have much time to show the unit. (That realty was
eventually replaced with another one, which was the one that made the

It seems to have worked, because both new buyers appear to be pleased
with their purchases and not surprised to find themselves as cohousing
owners. This was important because our development is registered as a
condominium, and doesn't include the term "cohousing" in its
incorporated name: Meadow Wood Condominium Association. This is
because we only found one bank in our area that was even willing to
consider financing construction, and the banker told us that the only
way he could convince his board of directors to give us a loan was if
it sounded like a typical condo development. He said the word
"cohousing" would likely scare them off.

Our Declaration uses the term "cohousing" twice, but not in our name.
Our bylaws include a section on decision making by consensus, but
don't use the term cohousing.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ann Zabaldo [mailto:zabaldo [at]] 
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 3:20 PM
To: Cohousing-L
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Foreclosures

Hello Kay and all --

Kay -- what, if any, actions or efforts did your community make to
deal w/ the foreclosures?  

I'm not at all implying the community SHOULD have done something ...
I'm just wondering if your community did take some actions, what they
were and whether talking about them might be of benefit to the rest of
us who have or who may have foreclosures in their communities.

Thanks for any and all info you can share with us.  Foreclosures wreak
havoc on the owners, the mortgage holders, and ... the community at

Here is a link to a group that works w/ banks and mortgage holders to
buy houses and then resell them to the owners at the current market
value.   It's pretty cool.  Perhaps there is an organization in your
area doing something similar.  When I googled "non profits foreclosure
prevention" and "non profit foreclosure homeowner resales"  I got a
slew (slough?) of hits.  There are groups throughout the country
trying to deal with the foreclosure problem.

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA

On Jan 5, 2012, at 2:45 PM, Kay Wilson Fisk wrote:

> We have had five units "in distress" over the past two years - three

> owners walked away, and two who needed to leave have been unable to 
> sell theirs:
> * Two units sat empty until they were finally sold this last fall. 
> * Three units have been rented out, and still have renters living in

> them.
> * A parent of one of our owners is trying to buy one of the rental 
> units, but the bank does not appear to be in a hurry to make this 
> happen.
> The effects on the community of losing 5 of 25 resident owners (20%)

> have been tough.
> * Fortunately, no units have fallen behind in paying their monthly 
> assessments.
> * However, the loss of community involvement of resident owners has 
> resulted in a lack of community participation for which we are still

> paying the price.
> * At present we have 9 units being rented: 7 rentals under our
> ceiling, plus 2 rentals with 1 year special exceptions that have
> given annual renewals.
> * We have just lowered our rental ceiling from 7 to 5, as two owners

> want to sell their units, but existing rentals are grandfathered in,

> so they are likely to remain rentals until the housing market 
> improves.
> * Some renters participate in work parties, committees, and meals,
> others do not, so this leaves less people to get the community's
> done. This is the biggest, most troublesome impact.
> It has been amazing and wonderful to see what a big difference it is

> making to have 2 new resident owners (4 new people). The amount of 
> energy this is adding to the community is truly gratifying!
> Kay Wilson
> Meadow Wood
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sharon Villines [mailto:sharon [at]]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 3:19 PM
> To: Cohousing-L Cohousing-L
> Subject: [C-L]_ Foreclosures
> Have any communities had a recent foreclosure - last 2 years or so?
> If so, what was the effect on the community? On ability to sell
> Thanks,
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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