Condo clause hurts everyone

Opinion

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I have been reading with great interest your coverage of the "Right of First Refusal" issue. I am an Oak Park condominium owner who is currently trying to sell my condo due to a career relocation one year ago. Despite the fact that my three-bedroom vintage condo is lovely and listed on the market at a highly competitive price, we have been unable to generate more than a handful of showings.

Condos in my building have a proven track record of being purchased by first-time home buyers. Historically, many of these first-time owners have found it difficult to come up with the conventional 10 percent down. This is not an unusual circumstance for a first-time buyer-in fact, it is quite typical. In the mortgage market of the not-too-distant past, this was not a deterrent. However, as the conventional mortgage market becomes increasingly tight, owners such as myself find ourselves unable to sell our homes.

The "Right of First Refusal" clause in my condo's bylaws locks my condo out of the FHA and VHA financing avenues that would expand the pool of potential buyers. In this tight economy, I find myself trapped paying indefinitely for two households. Sometimes I feel I am going down right with the mortgage industry. I desperately need to be able to offer my condo openly to the entire market.

I thank you for your coverage of this issue. I would like to take this opportunity to encourage the village to offer some form of assistance in overriding or negating this clause because first-time home buyers simply do not have the conventional 10 percent down.

Linda Carlisle
Long-time resident of Oak Park, current resident of Charleston, S.C.

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