Re: joint ownership agreement for a small cohousing group
From: Mike Librik (
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 13:50:02 -0800 (PST)
I'm delighted to talk about this with anyone that will listen.  The property would be in Austin, Texas. The truth is that the final form is not established, but the current idea is to add two dwellings to the back yard and a second story apartment on the main house, converting the 2br/1ba house into common space.

We are pretty sure we'll create an LLC that I'd deed my house to. I still owe a little on the mortgage, like $45K, but once my associates started buying in I'd get that paid off.  I expect I'd be building the second floor apartment since I'm more willing to deal with the street noise and the public, which the others would keep to the back.

A big variable is that Austin is in the middle of a major re-write to its land development code.  Currently my zoning would allow a maximum of 2 kitchens on the lot.  We may do fine even with that restriction, but stuff like tiny houses are not allowed, which is a part of our thinking.  The new code should be more friendly to density, but nothing is decided yet.

We're figuring that something like a condo association agreement is what we need, but since we're a little more tight-knit than that I wanted to see how that might affect our agreement.  We don't want to rely on our friendship for an investment this big, and on the other hand we're not off living in separate apartments like your typical condo dweller.  How we handle the event of one person selling out is a big matter.

On 12/11/2017 2:13 PM, John Carver wrote:
It would help to know what kind of spaces you are thinking of creating. If it will be three complete houses or apartments and a shared common house and common space then strata title (like a condo) would probably be the best fit. Have you looked into what that would entail?

Tenancy in common might be fine for three friends, but could be problematic when one wants to move. ...

Maybe a better option would be to create a cooperative to own the property. ...

In any case you'd have to look into what's possible where the property is. Where is that, btw?

John Carver
Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community <>
Nanaimo, BC

Mike Librik

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