Re: Resale of units
From: Barbara Baatz (
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2020 15:30:06 -0800 (PST)
Dear Melinie,

I am not used to using a listserv and hope this reply makes it back to you.

I want to thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough response
to my query about the reselling of cohousing homes. Since the purpose of
cohousing is to build community, there can be much more at stake if someone
leaves. Further, it may be difficult to absorb a new member into a well
established community.

I am a teacher and I know how difficult it is to integrate a new child in
the middle of the school year into an established classroom after
friendships and bonds have already been established. I imagine that the
same might be true for a cohousing community.

I will pass your thoughts back to Village Hill Cohousing. By the way, what
cohousing community do you belong to? I'd like to mention it in my write-up.


Bee Jay

On Wed, Nov 4, 2020 at 8:41 AM Melanie Mindlin <sassetta [at]> wrote:

> Hi Jay and Carol,
> First of all, I agree with Martie; people primarily concerned with the
> amenities of the home are probably not the best new members for your
> Cohousing community.  Lots of people looking for housing enjoy visiting
> homes—it doesn’t mean they are serious about buying into your special
> community.
> Our community has found re-sale of units to be one of the most challenging
> issues.  Most people are in favor of many rules and procedures for
> reselling to ensure that we get a quality new resident who knows what
> they’re getting into and really wants to do all the things necessary for a
> successful community.  Then it’s time for them to re-sell, and it changes
> to "how can I take care of this burden as quickly and easily as possible?”
> The expectations of the community around educating and getting to know the
> prospective buyer are not high on their list of priorities, and for some,
> are viewed as an impediment to their goals.
> Our community has a policy that members must give the community a 30 day
> notice of their intention to sell before they list the home with a
> realtor.  The 30 days start when they provide a set price and a Flyer
> describing the home to use in promoting it.  During this time, the
> community has the option of naming the new buyer if they are willing to
> meet the price.  So far the prices set for this process have been
> reasonable, rather than the price that allows for downward negotiation.  In
> addition, we have re-sold many homes without using a realtor and saved
> everyone the cost of their commission.
> Our policy says that any member of the community wishing to change homes
> has first priority, and this has happened on several occasions.  We have
> also sold a number of homes to friends of members. We contact everyone on
> our “interested list”, and we advertise on the CohoUS website, but we have
> not yet had any units sell to people found in this way because they are
> mostly from out of the area and not prepared to buy on short notice.
> Recently, one of our members has purchased a couple of the homes when they
> came up for sale and rented them to people who were interested in
> experiencing our community before deciding to buy.  Renting for a trial
> period has been very successful on the two occasions it has been done, and
> we hope the current trial rental will also result in a successful transfer
> to a community member who is already integrated and knows they want to live
> with us.
> Sales to people who had not previously lived here have been less
> successful, as the new members have been surprised by the amount of work
> expected of them, have been unprepared to receive feedback, have not been
> able to flow with the tensions that are inevitable in community, feel
> hampered by a lack of autonomy, and so on.
> Our community also has policies designed to make sure the prospective
> members understand Cohousing.  We ask that people read information on
> Cohousing, conflict resolution and consensus process.  We have an
> orientation packet that is given to every prospective buyer that includes a
> list of these expectations.  They are also on our website.  We ask them to
> come to a dinner, a meeting and a “tea” specifically for them to meet some
> of us and ask (and be asked) questions.  We try to focus these on answering
> their questions, but sometimes they don’t even know what to ask and seek
> information about the house and infrastructure instead of the important
> social issues that will determine their compatibility with the community.
> Best of luck with your process.
> Melanie
> > On Nov 3, 2020, at 3:16 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] wrote:
> >
> > Hi!
> > I am applying for membership in a cohousing community and, as part of the
> > admission process, I have been asked to research how various cohousing
> > communities handle the resale of units. What are the procedures and
> > policies that cohousing communities have put in place to handle the
> > turnover of community members and the integration of new members?
> >
> > Many thanks for help in understanding the subtleties in this transition
> > process.
> >
> > Bee Jay
> >
> > On Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 1:41 PM Martie Weatherly <
> mhweatherly [at] <mailto:mhweatherly [at]>>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> You sell the community before you sell the house. Whether on a tour or
> at
> >> an information meeting, you sell the characteristics of cohousing -
> caring
> >> for your neighbors, working and playing together, making decisions
> >> together, why the houses are clustered, the use of the common house,
> etc.
> >> If people are more interested in having their dream home, they probably
> >> don't see the value of cohousing.
> >>
> >> If they see the value of cohousing, the house is not the most important
> >> thing.
> >>
> >> Martie Weatherly
> >> Liberty Village
> >> Frederick MD
> >>
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: CJ Q <homeschoolvideo [at] <mailto:
> homeschoolvideo [at]>>
> >>> Sent: Oct 28, 2020 11:32 AM
> >>> To: cohousing-l [at] <mailto:cohousing-l [at]>
> >>> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Contents of Cohousing - attracting buyers
> >>>
> >>> Hi all,
> >>> I was wondering how is the best way to show a house.  Seems like some
> of
> >>> the people who are interested in cohousing, come to see the
> neighborhood
> >>> and want out for small reasons - no fire place, not enough storage in
> the
> >>> house, don't like the view of the storage barns, porches messy (i.e.
> lived
> >>> in), or they don't like the price.
> >>> I'm wondering how do you get someone up to speed if they weren't around
> >> for
> >>> all the meetings and preparation to build the community? All
> suggestions
> >>> and thoughts are welcome and you can always just email me if you like.
> >>> Thanks in advance!
> >>>
> >>> Carol
> >>> Emerson Commons, Crozet, Virginia
> >>> house for sale or rent
> >>> homeschoolvideo [at] <mailto:homeschoolvideo [at]>
> >>> ___________
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