Re: Mortgage lenders and cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 08:24:49 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 27, 2012, at 4:17 PM, Lyle Scheer <wonko [at]> wrote:

> In my case, the underwriter was concerned about work requirements if any
> were written up in web site documents or in HOA documents.  They were
> concerned about the community garden and made sure that there were no
> demands for any potential buyers to have to put work in on the garden.

One of the ways to think about this would be to write in amenities instead of 
requirements. For example: Monthly condo fees are determined on the basis of 
services provided to the community in lieu of fees. 

Everyone is assessed for full fees and given credits for work performed. Then 
nothing "unusual" is required.

Other suggestions:

1. Call the regional director of HUD and ask for intervention or referrals. 
Cohousing isn't a protected population so Fair Housing laws don't apply. The 
regional director are political appointments so this being an election year 
should favor liberal causes. Mention green and sustainable.

2. Approach credit unions..

3. Be clear that cohousing isn't a coop, it's (usually) a condominium legally.

4. Sources report that FHA doesn't have a problem with cohousing specifically. 
Objections would be for some other reason. Get it in writing.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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