Membership control in resales
From: Charlie Hancock (
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 1995 14:23:16 -0600
Hello!  I'm new to this list, and writing on behalf of the Berkeley
Cohousing Community on Sacramento St., in Berkeley, CA.  We currently have
10 households living on site, and are in the process of developing 4
additional units. 

We are now deciding on the final form of ownership, condominium vs. 
cooperative.  One of our concerns with condo ownership is how, when a unit
changes hands, we can ensure that the new owners are community-minded, and
not just buying in for other reasons (e.g., nice location, reasonable
price, etc.).  We have heard that lenders (including FNMA) would balk at
bylaw wording requiring community participation, consensus decision
making, etc.  We are also aware of the value of maintaining a network and
waiting list of interested new member, and making sure that potential
buyers know what cohousing is.  Given the limits of legal wording, and 
the value of proactive outreach, we'd love to hear your practical 
experience in how units have resold in your community.  (And we realize 
that, cohousing being as new as it is in the US, there may not be that 
much practical experience to share.)  In particular:

1. How many units have transfered in your community?

2. How do units transfer in your community?  Do you have a group 
membership process, or is the seller of a unit responsible for finding a 
new buyer?

3. Is your membership transfer process an informal agreement, or is it 
written into your CC&R's and bylaws?

4. What has worked well about your resale process, and what would you

Thanks in advance for your comments!  (And if I've missed a definitive 
discussion on this in the WWW or Gopher archives of this list, please 
point me in the right direction.)

*** Charlie Hancock      Institute for Global Communications ***
***  San Francisco, CA  <chancock [at]>  415-442-0220 ***

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