From: Gary Kent (
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2004 19:22:59 -0700 (PDT)
From: Stacia Leech, Roberts Creek Cohousing, B.C. Canada.

We also had to purchase an extra property and sell it off.  In our case it
was to obtain the only access point to our twenty acres.  Unfortunately we
were unable to sell for a profit, partly due to the fact that the property
we bought and sold ran up the western boundary line of our twenty acres and
we decided to put a 4 metre no tree cutting covenant on the land to protect
our exposure to development.

- In handling upfront costs, what was the minimum investment each
household had to make? Did you have to ante up for the land, infrastructure
prior to construction loan and soft costs like professionals?

A. We required equity member households to make an non refundable,  non
interest bearing investment of $7,500 CND.  Members who could invest more
than the minimum were paid 15% interest on amounts over and above $7,500.
When we approached the bank to purchase the properties we had about eleven
equity members some of whom had invested up to $120,000 CND at that point.

- Did all households have to contribute the same amount?

A. In order to be considered an equity member and get in line for the lot of
your choice we required a minimum of $7,500.  Another important distinction
we made was that only equity members (with at least the min investment) were
allowed to red card decisions.

- What minimum amount of $(or % of total loan) was necessary to
demonstrate good faith of households to bank? From bank's point of view,
were all households required to kick in?

A. We had a similar set up to New View Cohousing with the bank requiring 25%
equity from members for the land purchase mortgage.  Then for the
construction loan (approx. 4.5 million) we were also required to have 25%
equity plus 60% (of thirty one homes) sold.

We were also required by the bank to sign legal documents stating that we
had obtained independent legal advice informing us that we were all jointly
and individually responsible for the loan.

We also required equity members to sign 'creative' purchase and sale
that state the purchase cost of the home with the proviso that it could go
up or down.  The percentage of up or down is based on the percentage of the
total project value that our home represents.

I just have to say that I really resonated with Jim's statement:
"I keep waiting for the traumatic amnesia to kick in so that I can forget
these details, but there it is, burned in to some part of the cortex,
ready to spill out at the touch of a question."

Having been one of the pioneers of the Roberts Creek Project and being the
focus person of the Legal Finance cttee., for four years I can relate.

Cheers, Stacia.
Stacia Leech
Co focus, Legal Finance Cttee.,
Roberts Creek Cohousing
B.C. Canada.

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