Re: Membership sale agreement questions
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 94 11:59 CDT
Harry hensen asks:

>I have a question for Rob. What is the relationship between the coop and
>the condo association. Is the development financed through a single loan
>or can each unit be built by its prospective owner?
>...I am not clear on how the condo association fits in.

The co-op was the original purchaser of the land.  The condo came later 
and title to a 8.9 acre parcel, which was divided into 17 units and 
common areas, was passed from the Co-op to the Condo. (In legal terms 
the Co-op was the Declarant of the condominium). Once the Condo was in 
place, titles for individual units (building lots) were transferred 
from the Condominium to the owners, with the condominium declarations 
defining common areas such as the road and one common lot for the 
future common house. At this point, the bank financing of lots happens 
as there is now real, conveyable titles on which to place loans and 
solid FMNA approved condo structure.

After the Condominium was established we rewrote the co-op bylaws 
making membership in the co-op dependant on owning a condo unit.  So 
the relationship as it stands now is that each condominium unit owner 
owns one share in the co-op for every unit they own. The co-op is a 
separate legal corporation which controls 31 acres of greenbelt.  
Shares in the coop are non-transferrable, meaning when a condominium 
unit is sold to a new owner, the old share is retired and the coop 
issues a new share in the name of the new owner.

Loans are done individually, with each unit owner having to meet the 
banks loan criteria. Our condominium is actually a bunch of single 
family custom homes around a cul-de-sac, which is not what people think 
of when they hear the word condominium. We are actually an air space 
condo which is an interesting legal concept and is quite useful for 
doing the kind of development we are doing.  (I'll write more about 
this in another posting) In the process of all this we (our attorney 
actually) passed our condo declarations through the FMNA review process 
and got their approval, which means pretty much any bank around will 
loan money. (we currently have mortgages from 5 different banks). 
Members who are building houses get a construction loan which then 
transfers into a standard mortgage. Each house is individually designed 
and financed, although there is an architectural review process where 
the house is reviewed by the community so it fits in with both the 
overall architectural scheme and also with our concept of community 
housing design.

Whew!  In writing this it is hard to make sense of it all.  If you are 
really interested send me a SASE (Self addressed stamped envelope) and 
I will mail you a simple site map and a general legal description of 
the Co-op and condo.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood Cohousing
22020 East Lost Lake Rd.
Snohomish, WA  98290

Larry Henson
Violet Crown Cohousing
Austin, TX

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