Re: Limits on price appreciation?
From: Raines Cohen (
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 09:11:56 -0700 (PDT)
On 8/19/04 11:43 AM, David Heimann <heimann [at]> wrote:

>       We're putting together our condo docs and the question of limiting
>how much a household can benefit from price appreciation has come up.
>While there's definitely no consensus for this at this time, we'd like to
>know whether any other community has addressed this topic.  If so, what
>issues came up?  Could you reach a consensus?  If so, what methods did you
>consider?  How did you address possible price *depreciation*?

Do you have a core group value already consensed that supports this 
effort? Otherwise, I imagine it could be quite a struggle doing it this 
late in your process. It's better than trying to do it after purchase, 
but do you know how many of your members are able to stretch their 
finances to buy in or feel confident in having an "escape hatch" if the 
community doesn't work out like they dream precisely because they know 
that they can resell and buy somewhere else, using equity they've 
"earned" on their cohousing unit to afford a new home elsewhere?

Depreciation happens. Let it! Buying into the market system reaps us 
benefits as well, in terms of % financable. The challenge here is that 
sellers don't lower their asking price to meet the market, and so units 
sit vacant or with unhappy resident owners for a while.

>       I've checked the archives and the only thread I saw in this
>millennium was about land trusts (they keep the land off the appreciation
>cycle, but banks won't touch it, except possibly for special loan programs
>for low income families).

Some useful search terms may include:

"limited equity" - Berkeley Cohousing is a limited-equity condo, with 
maximum sale price AND buyer income capped (both pegged to increases in 
area median income, with price also increasing for capital improvements 
appreciating at the same rate) and reviewed by the city with each 
sale/buyer. This was in exchange for condo-conversion fee waivers 
equaling tens of thousands of dollars per unit.

"recapture on resale" - some affordability programs, including the 
first-time homebuyer program in Oakland that some of my Swan's neighbors 
were able to use, include terms similar to what you describe.


Raines Cohen <my initials,2,dash,coho,dash,L at my first name .com>

  Member, Swan's Market Coho [Oakland, CA] <>
Where pet issues are hot on the agenda right now.

  Secretary, Berkeley [CA] Cohousing
Vacations are ending, and the kids are back -- and taller!

  Supporter, East Bay Cohousing <>
Meeting tomorrow at Berkeley cohousing.

  Boardmember, Coho/US <>
The Cohousing Association of the United States -- are we in your HOA 
budget for next year?

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