Re: Mortgage lenders and cohousing
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2012 15:50:37 -0700 (PDT)
R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
after deleting excessive quotes.

Please delete unneeded quotes.  When I delete excessive quoted
I have to guess what should be kept.  I make mistakes.  To avoid this
delete unneeded quotes yourself and keep needed context.


--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Hmm.  The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s revealed that our body
politic, via improvisations such as the Resolution Trust Corporation,
stands ever ready to subsidize the bad judgment of real estate
lenders.  What with collateralized debt obligations, credit default
swaps, and so on, bankers of the 2000s have adequately demonstrated
that the new and different, peculiar and inscrutable, hold no terrors
for them.  The US enjoys a proud tradition of bailing out those who
invest in goofy housing schemes.  Why doesn't cohousing have a seat at
this table?  Perhaps the difference is that the general public, acting
through TARP and the Federal Reserve, is willing to underwrite CDOs,
but not CoHos.  Perhaps default swaps sound like sophisticated
financial vehicles, but cohousing just sounds like communism.

I would still hope real data re the financial stability of condo
associations and HOAs flying the flag of cohousing would have some
influence.  We will know we've made it into the mainstream when spell
checkers cease to underline words like "cohousing" and "Sociocracy".
Gaining recognition of commercial spell checkers is a worthy dream for
the 2010s.

R Philip Dowds AIA
Cornerstone Cohousing
175 Harvey Street, Unit 5
Cambridge, MA 02140

On Aug 27, 2012, at 11:44 PM, Holly McNutt <holly.mcnutt [at]> wrote:

> I'm tellin' ya, it's just that coho is DIFFERENT, that why.  We know
>it's different and better, but to them it's just different.  That's
>all.  - h

> On Aug 27, 2012, at 6:45 PM, R Philip Dowds wrote:
>> 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?
>> RPD

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