Value vs. Cost
From: Paul Conahan (
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 1996 18:10:34 -0500
Hello, I am yet another subscriber to this mailing list who has watched
from afar and is now jumping in to get my feet wet.

Some quick background:  I am a member of the Ann Arbor Cohousing
Community.  We have 18 of 36 units sold, and we obtained preliminary
site plan approval yesterday.  I am the designated "Internet Geek" and
have been asked by my group to fish for an answer to an issue that looms
before us (I would welcome any referals to archives if this issue has
already been covered; I did search back a year's worth of messages):

We are debating whether we should charge "market value" for our units,
or our actual cost of construction and development.  Theoretically
(hopefully?) the market value of a unit would be higher than the actual
cost of the unit.  We are not set up as a non-profit organization, so
that isn't an issue.  Also encompassed in the idea of "market value" is
the idea that perhaps some units should have premiums (e.g., view,
proximity to amenities, etc.).  To confound the whole thing, how do you
determine "market value" when we will be the first cohousing project in
Michigan (no meaningful comparables to use).  This problem was best
illustrated by our cohousing groups preference regarding parking.  Every
non cohouser who has seen our plan has told us how NOBODY will want to
buy units that are not near the parking area (like cohousing everywhere,
our parking area is concentrated on one side of the site, and most
people will have to walk 200-500 feet to get to their units).  Well,
we've done a preliminary unit selection, and upwards of 90% of the
people want to live as far away from the parking area as possible.

So when we are talking market value, what does that mean?  Any info on
the experiences of other cohousing groups regarding selling at cost or
market value would be much appreciated.

Paul Conahan


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