Re: coop/condo financing
From: Nancy Wight (
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 93 08:58 CDT
Hi Judy,

The experience we had here at New View in the Boston area was that on and off
for 4 years we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of 
co-op vs. condo.  What it ultmately came down to was that we
didn't have a choice.  Our project manager (we don't have a developer)
talked to many, many, banks, and was finally successful in establishing
a relationship with one of them, who then agreed to finance our
cohousing project.  They told us that in Acton, MA (sort of a
semi-rural, suburban Boston town), the appraisals would come in 
the following order: Single family detached house would have the
most value, then an attached townhouse/condo, then attached housing
with coop structure, then a cohousing community with co-op structure
(attached or detached).  Because we had to pay a steep price for our land, 
we can't afford to have low appraisals, so we will have to be a condo.  
Also, it was not clear that the bank would even consider funding us as a co-op

We have hired a lawyer who specializes in setting up hybrid condo/co-op
structures, and it *is* possible to get some of the benefits of co-ops
with a condo structure (for example, giving the condo association the
right of first refusal to purchase a house for sale).  When we get the details 
worked out, I will be glad to post them here.

One other thing that we have found is, that to some degree, you can
discourage people who are not interested in in *cohousing* from
buying houses in your community by the design of your community.
For example, our community is designed in a way that does not allow
cars to cross or drive on the pedestrian path, and while a number of
houses will have parking at or near their houses (behind them), the majority w
ill not, and some people will have to walk up to 150 feet to their cars.
People moving to Acton expect to have a two-car garage attached to their
house, and would think twice about this "inconvenience" before buying into 
our community.  

I hope this helps.

- Nancy Wight
  New View Neighborhood Development

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