Re: Annual dues
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 05:31:15 -0800 (PST)
Hello Susan and all --

This is truly a hard question to answer.

I need some background here.

Have you moved in? Are you selling units? If you have and you are a condominium then by law you should have already had your 1st year's budget in your offering statement and your developer (which might be you) would likely base those on comparables in your area.

Your dues are really going to be dictated by set factors such as insurance, taxes, maintenance fees, reserve fees, utilities, etc. And some very small portion I would think for discretionary expenses such as workshops. Regardless of any other condo in the area or farther afield your fees will be set by these non-negotiable factors. Except, of course, you can reduce fees by doing more work yourselves than hiring it done.

It's really hard to answer this question because it depends on what maintenance costs are and what's included in the condo fee and how you divide the costs per unit. Are you using square footage to allocate costs? Are you including electricity, gas, water, connectivity, cable? Are you including baby sitting? Meals? Workshops? Do the communities supplying an answer to your question have a pool? Or other large recreation facility? How big is the community land-wise? A 42 acre community vs. a 1.43 acre community would have vastly different maintenance costs.

Giving you an average cost is not, I fear, going to be too useful. For instance, what's the tax rate from the various places you will receive a response?

The best thing is to look at condos in your area that are similar in size and covering approximately the same line items you will cover in your budget. Perhaps other completed coho communities in OR would be the best bet.

BTW -- condo docs are public documents altho' weirdly enough you may have to file a Freedom of Information Act to get them. We did in DC. Very strange.

Maybe others on the list have a totally different view on the usefulness of obtaining average condo costs from all over the US in determining a budget in a local area.

I'd be interested in hearing this, if so.

Good luck!!

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
McLean, VA
703 663 3911

On Nov 16, 2009, at 3:09 AM, Susan Bennett wrote:

Our community is in the process of making a budget for 2010, which includes evaluating annual member dues (Home Owners Association dues, since we're officially a condominium per state law). We would like to know what are the average dues of other communities and any information you would like to
share about how you decide what would be an appropriate amount.

Susan Bennett
Columbia Ecovillage
Portland, OR
Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

  • Annual dues Susan Bennett, November 16 2009
    • Re: Annual dues Ann Zabaldo, November 16 2009
    • Re: Annual dues Sharon Villines, November 16 2009

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