From: Eileen McCourt (
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 14:29:28 -0800 (PST)
At Oak Creek Commons, the first 50K invested was credited double.  The next
25K was credited 1.5 times the value.  After the first 75K credit method,
all members who loaned money beyond the 5% equity buy-in were paid interest
on their money.  The interest rate was higher at the beginning when the risk
was higher, and went down after the land was purchased, and the risk was
reduced.  We raised home prices(and therefore the amount of 5% equity buyin
required) a % over base (as the base kept going up with increased
construction costs as the budget was finalized) at different junctures as
the risk went down - when the land was purchased, after construction
started, and a couple of arbitrary dates in between to encourage associates
to commit.  Early commitments received their credits in the form of
discounts.  Interest was accrued and paid in the form of a discount, unless
the individual loaning the money asked for a different arrangement.

So, early adopters had a lower base price, and opportunity for credits and
interest payments that ultimately reduced the cost of their homes.  The
price increase at each juncture was about 2.5% over base.  It does create a
need for strict accounting of home prices and dates of membership.  For a
short time, we also paid the initial founding member a marketing bonus for
working full time on the project. This ultimately worked out to about 12K in
an further discounting their home.  After the first year, we had a marketing
budget and worked with outside consultants and no community member has been
otherwise compensated for working on the project.  

I think the risk evaluation worked well in adequately compensating the early

Eileen McCourt
Oak Creek Commons
Paso Robles, CA  93446


-----Original Message-----
From: Linda Gluck/Treehouse [mailto:treehouse [at]] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 2:03 PM
To: Cohousing list serve nat'l

As I'm sure many of you know, fhe first 2-3 years of forming a cohousing
community take mountains of administrative time and energy - finding land,
finding people, working w realtors, lawyers, planning boards, engineers,
architects, financial advisors, and banks as well as developing all
community documents, keeping all parties informed and keeping records of
everything. Our members are doing all this work.
    It seems inappropriate that residents who buy in in the 4th or 5th year
just pay for their unit and their part of what's held in common, and get the
benefit of all the founding work at no charge.
    Do other communities have a way of quantifying that founder
contribution, so that founders are compensated in some way - maybe in
discount on their unit?

Linda Gluck
Ulster County Cohousing (in formation)

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