Cohousing Reserves
From: Thomas Lofft (tloffthotmail.com)
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 09:51:12 -0800 (PST)
Chjristine Johnson wrote:
Association Reserves publishes a free reserve software at www.quickreserves.com
 
See a two minutes intro at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcN9RVJUz8Y
 
Why would Association Reserves make this SW available? To be of 
service to small associations which simply cannot meet the expense of 
contracting for a study and secondly, Association Reserves gains the 
confidence of the SW users, many of whom will come to see the value of 
paying for the better valuations on components than any one person 
could estimate absent hours and hours of research and access to the 
expertise of paid or generous contractors.
 
Christine Johnson
Stone Curves Cohousing
Tucson, AZ
 
____________________________________________________________

This is a wonderful reference.  Thanks a lot. I think every community should 
give it a look.
 
No question, budgeting for reserves for maintenance, repairs, replacements, 
etc., is very important. 
 
A strong reserve funding is also an important marketing tool. Every owner 
should be aware of the reserve status and use it as marketing support when they 
sell their unit. It means that a new purchaser will not be levied for 
assessments for repairs that are already planned for funding through reserves. 
This is much different than a weak association with many owners pulling out 
rents without making repairs or replacements.
 
Hopefully, there may be a standard in planning reserve requirement requirements 
in a cohousing association that would be different from other condo or TH 
associations. This all depends upon the amount of personal care that is given 
to the daily use and cleaning of the facilities. A 'reserve specialist' who 
uses a traditional standard of deterioration accorded to a middle school 
commons will have a relatively high replacement requirement.  If the residents 
tread lightly and clean carefully and diligently, facilities will last a lot 
longer with less refurbishing.  Perhaps the community should discuss the level 
of care to which they are willing to commit and realize the alternative costs 
required for more frequent replacements. 

Of course, there are also differing personal standards. The community may 
actually have persons who plan to live out their lives in this residence and 
expect that their end of days may come before any replacement schedule for 
dishwashers or rooftops. They may actually expect that they should not have to 
upkeep a residence that will simply pass on to their heirs rather than be sold 
by them. Accordingly, they may prefer to minimize reserves to keep more cash 
available for personal disposable income.  Then the community has to decide 
what decision will be effected in the best interest of the greater community.
 
Best wishes for greater community in every year,
 
Tom Lofft
Liberty Village, MD                                       

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