Re: Mortgage lenders and cohousing
From: R Philip Dowds (
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 17:45:42 -0700 (PDT)
The interesting issue here is, Why, exactly, would a lender fear cohousing?  I 
am guessing, but I am imagining that cohousing has lower turnover, fewer 
defaults and bankruptcies, and more reliable debt service, and rollover of 
debt, than most developer-driven condo projects.  You'd think national Coho 
could accumulate and process this kind of data, and it could be brought to bear 
on loan decisions around the country.  Unless, of course, our lenders are 
driven by ideology, and immune to information.  Could this be true?


On Aug 27, 2012, at 7:59 PM, Doug Huston <huston [at]> wrote:

> Sure. I appreciate the sentiment and it seems congruent with many  
> values cohousing folks are likely to have (local, anti-corporate....)  
> and your credit union may actually be a cooperative like our local  
> one. But will a whole community decide to stake their values to a  
> narrower lender base, perhaps at the at the cost of increased rates.  
> I'm not positive that the consequences would be as above, but it seems  
> plausible. And that would be the fear.
> I think I would be willing to thumb my nose at the powers that be by  
> keeping my right-of-first refusal clause and narrowing options, and  
> consider that educating them may result in changes - but am admittedly  
> an idealist who tells himself he isn't moving anytime soon either.
> At the national cohousing conference in June there was a presentation  
> by Lee Bartholomew about some of these issues. If my memory serves me  
> well, he is an appraiser and cohousing resident around Davis/ 
> Sacramento and is working at educating folks in the real estate world  
> to prevent some of the snags cohousers are experiencing. He is keen on  
> obtaining data from our communities to provide research to  
> reinforcement his message. We're lucky to have his energy and  
> willingness. Hopefully someone will provide his info on the list serve  
> so that cohousers having these issues can relay the info to him. I  
> recall that he is generally trying to collect data from both good  
> times and hard times about cohousing resales.
> - Doug Huston
> On Aug 27, 2012, at 4:29 PM, R Philip Dowds wrote:
>> Shun the local branches of international banks.  Try to work with a  
>> local bank, or savings and loan.
>> RPD
>> On Aug 27, 2012, at 9:14 AM, "Lautner, Patricia" <Patricia.Lautner [at] 
>>> wrote:
>>> Is anyone else having problems with lenders?  We found out recently  
>>> that Chase has put Cohousing on a 'No Go' list and won't provide  
>>> financing.  We recently had a sale where the buyers were turned  
>>> down because the word Cohousing in our name apparently triggered  
>>> what is called  a "Long Form Review" of our condo docs.  Even  
>>> though we believe we have very standard - vanilla State of MA condo  
>>> docs, we do have a Right of First Refusal clause, a Transfer Fee  
>>> clause, and the guest suites are mentioned.  So far three different  
>>> lenders site one of these mentioned clauses as reason for denying  
>>> the mortgage (on a high income, dual income, young couple putting  
>>> more than 25% down!)
>>> I'm on the Board at JPCohousing and we're considering our options.   
>>> Please let me know if you've had any problem like this and what  
>>> your community is doing about it.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Patti
>>> JPCohousing, Boston MA.
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