Re: Reselling and Waiting Lists
From: Denise Cote' (denisediac.com)
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 13:06:35 -0600
Cindy Carpenter wrote:
>Lately, we've been talking a lot about how to deal with a large
>group of people who want to be on our "waiting list."  These are people who
>can't or won't buy a unit now, but hope to at some point in the future.  We
>don't have a waiting list now, but they seem to assume that we will have one
>and that their number on it will mean something.  Do other cohousing groups
>have a waiting list for future buyers?  If so, how does it work?

Geneva Community hasn't been built yet either, so our approach may 
change, but, we're so small (only 5 to 7 units), we've often found 
ourselves with more interested buyers than there are spaces available.  
We cope by having two levels of membership and *two* waiting lists.  

Associate members pay a one-time fee of $50.  For this they get 
notification of meetings and happenings, participation in decision-making 
(we use consensus; associate members have input, but cannot block a 
decision, although this has never come up), and a place on the "waiting 
list" in chronological order of joining.  If a space becomes available, 
an associate member can then move to the "reserve list" by paying a 
*refundable* $1000 deposit.  They then have 120 days to decide if they 
really want to do it and to meet the requirements to become "Founding 
Members."  

Once you're moved in and a unit comes up for sale, is there any provision 
that the buyer must become a member of the community?  It seems like a 
waiting list of potential buyers would serve the larger community, not 
just the seller, by focusing on people who are interested in community in 
general and yours in particular.  

As for discrimination, I'm not a lawyer, but you certainly must be 
concerned about discrimination if you put a unit on the open market.  
However, people buy and sell houses without ever advertizing them--it 
happens all the time between friends, acquaintances, and business 
associates.  Your waiting list can be very helpful here.  You send a 
newsletter or flyer to your waiting/mailing list that mentions that 
so-and-so is moving and wants to sell their house.  If the seller is able 
to keep their unit off the official market for a little while to give 
behind-the-scenes networking a chance, they could save the hassles and 
expense of advertizing and real estate agents.

The question of diversity and discrimination is a tough one at all levels 
and phases of community.

Denise Cote'
Boulder, Colorado
denise [at] diac.com

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