Re: Seeking sample condominium docs (Declaration, Bylaws, Rules and Regs)
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2015 11:23:51 -0800 (PST)
How would we know?  We've been turned down for many mortgages.  Lenders are
not required to tell you why, although sometimes they will.

A more relevant question, but impossible to answer, is: how many mortgages
did you get by having the RIGHT answers?  But again, how can you know?

I am the person in our community responsible for answering the condo
questionnaires from lenders so I know what they look for.  We have the
right answer to almost all the questions.  I absolutely know the lenders
look very closely, and that a wrong answer might not kill the mortgage but
it does raise eyebrows.  Multiple wrong answers make it less likely.

The fact that one inexperienced mortgage officer might make a different
decision than a more experienced one at a different bank is part of why it
helps to have lender friendly docs: because you are less likely to be
dinged by touchy banks, inexperienced appraisers, etc.  As much as a
possible, we want mortgages on first tries.  (We have lost sales because
buyers got discouraged having to search for lenders that would give them

I'm glad you hear your community has not had any mortgage troubles.
However as a community who HAS had trouble, and as the person who has
worked most closely with the banks in that community, I am saying that,
yes, from personal experience, having lender-friendly condo docs does make
it easier to get mortgages.

On Saturday, March 7, 2015, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> > On Mar 6, 2015, at 9:49 AM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]
> <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >
> > Be sure to get professional advice from someone who works in or with the
> > mortgage industry on what language will be acceptable to potential
> lenders.
> > The last thing you want is for no one in your community to be able to
> get a
> > mortgage or refi because of something wacky in your docs.
> Do we have actual examples in which lenders wouldn't lend based on the
> bylaws. People say all kinds of things, particularly mortgage brokers, that
> are not substantiated.
> We had one instance of mortgage broker saying a bank wouldn't lend based
> on their belief that the FHA refused to insure a loan with a right of first
> refusal clause. The next bank was no problem. In the end it was believed to
> be an inexperiences mortgage broker.
> Another broker said a bank refused a refi because an appraisal that said
> we weren't a normal condo and thus there was no comparable. I asked for
> details on which bank and to see the appraisal and got no information. The
> broker took it to another bank with no problem.
> Aside from the period when the FHA was going nuts and everyone was having
> problems, I keep reading the same general cautions but not seeing evidence.
> Just because an isolated broker or bank officer says something, doesn't
> make it true. And there are a LOT of banks out there.
> Our bylaws include right of first refusal and it has been a problem with
> only one bank. It's been 15+ years of mortgages and many refinances. This
> has been a period in which interest rates have fallen so many have
> refinanced 2-3 times. One unit has been sold 3 times. Others twice. So we
> have a lot of points where there would have been objections. My guess is
> 150-200 times. There might have been some objections that I haven't heard
> about, of course, but nothing so major that the Board or Admin Team became
> concerned or even involved in.
> I called my bank a few years ago, Wells Fargo, and finally got through to
> a person who would review our bylaws (don't remember the department). She
> asked what who I was having problems with. I said I was a board member and
> we wanted to know if there was anything in the bylaws that would concern
> Wells Fargo. She that said there is nothing in here that we even care
> about. All we care about is insurance.
> (I'm fairly sure this was Wells Fargo. It's been a number of years but
> I've always been financed by a major bank. The other one would have been
> Citibank.)
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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