Q: In my local newspaper, a reader recently asked where she could get a list of banks that finance co-ops, and advised that credit unions do not. I don’t know what part of the country the reader is in, but the Greenbelt Federal Credit Union in Greenbelt, MD finances co-ops.

In fact, the vast majority of the center part of the City (“Old Greenbelt”) is a housing co-operative. Greenbelt is one of four planned communities developed during the FDR administration in the 1940s and the homes were built as affordable housing for military personnel.

The owners of these homes formed a cooperative which purchased all of them in the 1950s and the cooperative stills exists today (Greenbelt Homes, Inc). The local credit union finances just about all of the co-ops that are purchased in Old Greenbelt.

A: Thanks for sharing that bit of information. I wasn’t aware that Greenbelt, MD was a co-op magnet, but I’m glad to know that your credit union finances that form of ownership.

Typically, if you live in an area where co-ops are prevalent, such as New York City, Chicago or San Francisco, there will be a number of local lenders that do co-op loans. The trick is to find them. The best way to find co-op loans is to talk to real estate agents who list co-ops for sale. They generally know the local lenders who will finance a co-op property.

Oct. 23, 2004.