|RE: Another damned reporter...||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Hungerford, David (dghungerforducdavis.edu)|
|Date: Wed, 22 Jun 94 16:13 CDT|
Pacheco wanted to know about land ownership etc. Muir Commons was developed by a development partnership as part of a larger (100 acre) subdivision. Although our group programmed the site plan/houses/landscaping, the developers were always there holding the purse strings. We worked with their architect as well as with McCamant and Durrett during the design phase (we paid M & D ourselves.) The developer bore all other development costs and sold us our homes after completion. We all basically just took out a mortgage as if we were buying a single family home in a new subdivision (we each put up a refundable $1000 deposit to hold our homes about 6 months before move-in) . Because we helped the developers meet their "affordable housing requirement," the house prices were set from the beginning. Although only 16 "counted" as affordable units, 7 remaining units were sold to group members who couldn't qualify as "affordable" by state guidelines for the same below market prices. (income and # in family were the criteria; affordability was based on being at or below median income for the number in the family for our geographic area) The 3 "market rate" units have their own floor plan; much larger than the other 23. Because the units are attached, townhouse style, in clusters of 2,3,and 4, our "private lots" have zero lot lines which extend out about 10 feet in front and about 25 feet in back of the houses. The rest of the land is common, and like a standard condo, we each own an undivided 1/26th share of those grounds and facilities. All other finanical details are standard condo, except that we set our dues lower (after much wrangling with the state on our behalf by the developer) because we're self-managed and do our own landscaping and maintenance. The peculiar nature of the below market for-sale affordable housing in Davis has made our units probably the only cohousing units in the U.S. which are now selling for substantially more than what we originally paid. However, we have had our problems with appraisers. Just recently one couple decided to sell, figured what they thought was a reasonable price, put out the word, and had an offer for their asking price within 3 days. Then the appraiser came along, looked at the house, harumphed about the lack of garage, only grudgingly went on a very short site tour (again harumph), and despite the fact that is has been over a year since the last unit sold (and the one for sale now has thousands in improvements compared to that one) and during that time we've completed our $30,000 shop, set the "price" at what that last unit sold for. I've picked up on this problem in other postings; appraisers just don't know what to do with cohousing, but they make judgements anyway, usually in the direction of undervaluing the market. I've always thought that the value of something was what the buyer and seller could agree on. But then again, appraisers (and economists) still believe in objective truth, especially when it comes to money.
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