|Re: Joint Ownereship of a "Pod" Unit||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: CHRISTINE COE (CHRISTINECOE1MSN.COM)|
|Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 10:29:51 -0800 (PST)|
Hi, Cohousing-Listers (as opposed to the Listless?)-- I'm not sure what your designs are like, but if they're like ours the thing you're proposing seems to have a fairly straightforward answer. Would having a "pod" unit need a separate kind of architecture than, say, a regular three bedroom unit? I suppose you could make the case that each bedroom needed its own bathroom, but we all may remember school days when our "roomie" situations were similar. In terms of keeping costs down, having a shared bathroom is an effective strategy. In our three bedroom units, we designed them with a good-sized bedroom downstairs, along with a first-floor handicapped-equipped shower/bath in the bathroom. This allows for an elderly person to live downstairs mainly, and not have to negotiate a daily staircase. Your two upstairs "owners" could have a lower "buy-in" price, due to their relative inconvenience. My guess is the financing of such a thing would have one person named as the owner, who would then, in turn, write out equity share agreements with the other members of the household. As any member left, you could have a mandatory three month vacate notice, during which time the whole community would be able to assist in finding a new member. Of course, this is where a waiting list comes in handy. This keeps your policies standardized as to the household units in the development. You could weight the votes of each member of that household as one proxy vote. You would have to decide, for purposes of consensus, what weight to attach to such a "1/3rd" vote (I know, all you committed consensus people are wincing!). Or, the proxy vote could go to the person who holds the financial obligation for the unit with the bank, and the other members could just be active observers in the meetings (another wince!). Should the arrangement become untenable sometime in the future, you have a regular three bedroom unit for sale. I personally would not advise that your group assume the burden of designing a custom unit just for this purpose. It puts too much of a disproportionate share of the time and money costs off onto the other members. You could have a group of "three buyers," however, decide on what easy remodeling changes they wanted to pay for on their own, after construction is signed off. This gives them a chance to try things out the way they are, before deciding to spend valuable funds on doing things to their house which will make it harder to sell, if it comes to that. I do applaud you for looking for ways to accommodate such requests. If cohousing is to live down the criticism (deserved or not) of being (even unintentionally) for the relatively well-off, it will be through efforts like these. In our community, we are working together to fund a "guest" house (read "transitional") for people or families in crisis who are coming through a difficult time in life. We as a group will decide who to bring in, under no- or low-rent circumstances from the local area, to assist in providing a stabilizing influence for them. We can provide easy child care assistance, for example, to a single mother who needs to undergo vocational training or who has to work an odd shift for a while. An expected stay would be from six months to two years. We have a separate non-profit assigned to administer this house, as a voting equity member of our group. We feel like combining cohousing efforts with social outreach is the most natural thing in the world. You veterans already know what we're talking about! Our project details are at www.bartcommunity.org<http://www.bartcommunity.org/>. Hope this inspires some creative thinking! Guy Coe Bartimaeus Cohousing Community Bremerton, WA 360-692-8064
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