Question re relationship wth builder
From: Katie Henry (
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:40:05 -0700 (PDT)
Interesting question. I held the liaison role in my former community. It was a 
multifamily building, and about a dozen unfinished units were sold to 
individual buyers to build out themselves.

My #1 thought is that the community should not be involved in the transaction 
between the buyer and the builder in any legal or official capacity. If things 
turn sour, you don't want the community getting sucked into a legal dispute. 
Your role should be in an advisory/assistance capacity only. I don't think the 
community should be involved in pricing at all. 

Since my project was a multifamily building, I did a lot of things that 
wouldn't be applicable to your situation, such as providing key fob access to 
the building, providing electrical and plumbing plans, providing access to 
electrical rooms, attending fire inspections to suspend alarm monitoring. 

Most of the unit build-outs were done by the contractor who did the original 
construction, which was a big plus in my view because they knew their way 
around, had all the keys, and everybody in the community knew them and their 
subs, so there was no concern about weird strangers wandering around. For the 
build-outs that were done by a different contractor, I had a set of written 
policies covering things like the time of day they could start doing noisy 
work, requirements for giving notice for extra-noisy work (jackhammering), 
requirements for scheduling inspections, notification of water shut-offs, etc. 
I did a lot to help both the builder and the buyer, but it was always clear I 
was only representing the community and protecting its interests.

Some buyers may not want to use your builder. I don't know if you can make that 
a requirement. Be interested to hear from people with lot development 

I do think you should have an architectural control committee and define 
standards that all houses should meet regardless of who builds the house, 
rather than having just one builder and expecting him to provide the features 
you want. (It's not clear what that means. I was a little confused by that 
part. By builder, do you mean architect?)

Katie Henry

Question re relationship wth builder 
From: Martie Weatherly ( 
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 06:30:12 -0700 (PDT) 
Question from Liberty Village in Maryland:
We are 18 homes with 10 lots platted and ready to build 5 duplexes. Our builder 
retired and we are finding another builder. We will sell the lot to the 
prospect and they will contract with the builder for the house. We will not be 
building all at once but one duplex at a time when there are two prospects 
ready to build. For communities who have built in a similar way, what 
relationship did you have 
with your builder? Did you contract with them as the builder and then be 
involved in the pricing to be sure it is good for the owner? Or did you leave 
the owner to interact directly with the builder? We obviously will need to be 
involved in finding prospects and in coordinating with the buyer and builder 
but we have a difference of opinion as to how much we should be involved. We 
would like to work with one builder who we feel understands our community and 
can give us the features that we want in our homes.  I have not been on the 
cohousing-l for awhile. Good to be back. Martie Weatherly
Liberty Village

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