waiting list advice
From: John Greene, Nancy Lowe (greenelowemindspring.com)
Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 11:16:12 -0500

        We're trying to work out the logistics of our waiting list and
wondering what other peoples' experience/advice/warnings might be on this

        Basically we want to have a list of people who already know us and
the community and want to be a part of cohousing so that, hopefully, we
could sell a house to that pool of people and not even have to deal with
the regular real estate market, where getting both realtors and potential
buyers to understand what we're about could be a major hassle.  What we've
done so far is ask people to read the CoHousing book, along with our packet
and any other literature, attend at least four different meetings
(preferalby a mix of social and business ones), and put down a
non-refundable, good-faith deposit ($125).  Then they're on the list and if
a house comes up for sale they get notified before it goes on the market
and they have a certain amount of time (depending on the homeowner's
situation) to make a bid.  If no residents or waiting list folks make a bid
that the homeowner is willing to go for, it's realtor time.

        We have not been comfortable with having any particular voting
amongst ourselves on potential wait listers -- saying "yay" or "nay" to
them, etc. -- but have preferred to make it a self-selecting process, as it
was for all of us.  But since we do have bylaws and covenants which we're
going to be customizing for our place and which new buyers would have to
sign and agree to, we figure we'll at least include a section about
cohousing principles and expectations as part of that agreement.  Between
that and a (hopefully) healthy waiting list, we hope to maintain the basic
cohousing principles and spirit through future generations of buyers.  But
is that enough?  How have others dealt with this?

        Then there's the question of what kind of agreement we have amongst
*ourselves* about how we're going to handle all this.  For now it's just a
"gentleperson's agreement" that we'll stick to the above process, and I'm
sure we all would, if we had to sell, because we worked so hard to create
all this and want to see the community thrive even in our absence.  But
should we make it part of the bylaws and covenants that each homeowner
agrees to stick to the process above??  How formal can or should the
agreement be?

        And finally, are there any legal or ethical problems (fair housing,
etc.) with any of the above?

        So any advice would be appreciated.  How have any other folks out
there set this up?


Lake Claire CoHousing

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