Re: Levels of Membership
From: Mac & Sandy Thomson (
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2001 12:49:01 -0700 (MST)
This happened to us also several times and caused pretty significant
disruptions in an already difficult development process.  One of our
models had to be completely redesigned after members left and another
ended up with a big owner bedroom bath that no one really wanted.

Even though we had a $6000 non-refundable membership investment, we
created a loop hole which was that after we were sold out, members could
get their full $6000 refunded when someone new took their spot.  During
the process we modified that to allow only a partial refund of $4000 so
that the community would end up with $2000 to cover the costs of
redesigns, additional recruitment, etc.  I think if we had it to do all
over again, I'd simply go with $6000 non-refundable -- period.  The
membership incentives we offered adequately rewarded folks for the risk
they were taking of making the non-refundable deposit.

- Mac

Rob wrote:
> Over ten years of  watching cohousing I have seen this scenario repeated
> dozens of times: A person with little investment, and little real
> ability to actually be a homeowner, insists upon a decision to
> accommodate their needs, and then six months later they drop out of the
> group because they can't afford it, and never really could anyway. The
> group is then stuck with that decision.

           Mac & Sandy Thomson           Heartwood Cohousing
           ganesh [at]                Durango, Colorado
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           - Guillaume Apollinaire
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