Saturday, October 1, 2016

Wonderful News for Cohousing Home-Buyers! Fannie Mae Approves Cohousing Loans!

We have just received the following announcement from the National Cohousing Association. It is cause for celebration! The members of Prairie Hill's "condo docs committee" are particularly gratified., This group of four women have met for many hours over the last three months to craft our community's official by-laws, something that loaning institutions must approve before a loan is granted. Using another cohousing community's document as a guide, the committee has carefully chosen language that not only upholds our own values (cooperation, consensus, shared responsibility) but also is acceptable to the broader state and national structures of which we are a part (such as Fannie Mae). This decision by Fannie Mae is a huge step forward for the cohousing movement in this country, and in our own community the Condo Docs Committee members are smiling.

Here is the announcement:

Fannie Mae Language Supporting Loans for Cohousing Homes
Fannie Mae, the entity that sets the standards for home mortgages across the country, has confirmed that they will do loans on cohousing homes. They have included cohousing in their Project Standards Requirements FAQs.

Click here to link to the Fannie Mae Project Standards Requirements FAQs, and scroll down to Question #22.

Click here to link to the web page where the FAQ is posted at the Fannie Mae Single Family Business Portal Project Standards

Click here to link to the State of Cohousing in the U.S., which provides a description and overview of cohousing.

Here is the Fannie Mae language:
Q22. What are cohousing communities and are cohousing units eligible for Fannie Mae financing?
Cohousing communities are typically characterized by private unit ownership within a community that has explicit arrangements for shared community life and the responsibility for and ownership of common elements and amenities. While these types of communities are often marketed to consumers as cohousing communities, they are typically legally organized as a condominium, cooperative, or PUD project. Other legal structures may also exist for cohousing communities which may not meet Fannie Mae eligibility requirements such as common interest apartments. Mortgages secured by units in cohousing communities may be eligible for delivery to Fannie Mae provided the cohousing project and the subject property unit meet all Selling Guide provisions including any applicable policies related to project standards, deed restrictions, and insurance. Lenders may contact the Project Standards Team with questions about project eligibility for cohousing communities.

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