Re: Questions about Reserve Amounts
From: Dick Margulis (
Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2018 11:31:36 -0700 (PDT)
We had to project a one-year budget for our condo docs and figured that once we're all living there we can reconsider the formula (as well as the budget size). Our housing consultant initially suggested the idea of 50% based on square footage and 50% equally divided as typical of the way condo developers think about the issue.

We spent quite a bit of time discussing that model and then decided to just divide everything equally.

Here was our reasoning:

1. Everyone has equal access to the full 4,500 sq. ft. common house. Everyone has equal access to the 33 acre property. Everyone has the same size plot in the community garden. Etc. When you add the size of the individual home, somewhere between roughly 800 sq. ft. and 1,200 sq. ft., that difference doesn't amount to much.

2. To some extent, we still expect home size to have some relationship to family size. Larger families have higher expenses to begin with. We want to attract families. Why penalize them with higher condo fees? They will pay higher usage fees (for meals, etc.) just by virtue of being more people. And they will contribute more work to the community for the same reason.

3. We thought about giving a discount to people buying income-qualified affordable homes. But then we reasoned that they're getting a huge discount on their home price, which will be reflected in lower monthly costs for mortgage and taxes. In addition, we had no way of knowing in advance which of those homes would be owned by people with high assets (retirees, basically, who qualify on the basis of their limited income but are otherwise well off). So we scotched that idea too.

I do not know whether we will be able to continue to keep fees equal for everyone. If we find they have to climb significantly, we may run into resistance to that idea. But for now, that's our operating theory.


On 7/8/2018 2:05 PM, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L wrote:
To respond to Philip’s question based on Joe’s excellent figures — the costs of maintaining, repairing, and replacing the commonly owned elements are not particularly related to how many people live in a unit.

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