RE: Cohousing Appraisals
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Thu, 9 Jan 2003 09:32:06 -0700 (MST)
Hi Amy, Remember me?

At Sharingwood, Snohomish, WA, have had the opposite problem, appraisals at
so far above the market that foolish sellers, expecting high profits, price
their  homes far beyond the market, and they don't sell. We have one that
has been on the market for a year, another for 6 months that seems
excessively overpriced, both high priced and based on appraisals. Both were
priced on appraisal by square foot/features only and did not take into
account the extremely small market for such homes. We had a third home turn
into a rental after the owner could not sell it at the high price he wanted.
We had one owner sell at pretty close to what they bought for, and well
below the appraisal, and found a buyer in less than a week. In fact we get
many inquires and visitors, but not one that I talked with last year is
interested/able to afford a home over $275,000.

So in 2002 we had 4 homes come up for sale, with one sale. The pattern here
has been, overpriced homes have no market. Perhaps its better to have a
lower appraisal, lower price and actually have a market. Although one thing
that is different in our situations is that we have lots of competition from
other cohousing units in the area for sale at much lower prices. So this
creates this question, what makes this community worth in some cases more
than $200,000 more than one down the road? We aint got nuttin worth that
much as far as I know of.  We have lots of desire for rentals though, and
owners who can not sell have been able to rent the homes instead. But at
rental prices which barely cover mortgage and taxes. And so owners in this
case are losing money on maintenance depreciation costs.

In fact I would make a guess and say the ceiling price for ANY home in our
neighborhood is currently under $300,000 no matter how big or fancy, that is
all the market will probably extend to. If this is correct, and of course
its just a guess based on extrapolating data, its going to be an unpleasant
surprise to some folks. There is simply too much competition in our area to
support such high prices, and the community aspects limit the market to a
tiny fraction.

Rob Sandelin
Sky Valley Environments  <>
Field skills training for student naturalists
Floriferous [at]

-----Original Message-----
From: cohousing-l-admin [at]
[mailto:cohousing-l-admin [at]]On Behalf Of Fred H Olson
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 5:40 PM
To: -cohousing-L mailing list
Cc: The Blokes
Subject: [C-L]_Cohousing Appraisals

Amy Tolk <TheBlokes [at]>
is the author of the message below.
It was posted by Fred the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
because the message included HTML ;      PLEASE do not post HTML, see
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Our community may soon have its first resale of a completed house.
However the sellers and buyers still need to get over the appraisal
hurdle.  When my husband and I refinanced our co-house, the appraiser gave
it a very low appraisal because of the coven ants and restrictions of our
homeowner's association which he felt made for a very limited resale
market.  He saw no value in our common amenities nor in the community
aspects which most of us have built in cohousing for.  While we didn't
need a high appr aisal for our refinance, this upcoming sale probably
will.  Have others encountered this problem of low valuation placed on
cohousing?  Any recommendations for how to proceed?

Amy Tolk
Two Echo Cohousing Community
Brunswick, Maine (under 2 feet of snow)
(207) 729-1985
theblokes [at]

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