Re: Work or Pay Systems
From: Muriel Kranowski (
Date: Wed, 30 Jul 2008 13:37:56 -0700 (PDT)
Sorry, that was Raines Cohen's message, not Rob's!  I apologize, Rob!

At 10:35 PM 7/29/2008, Rob Sandelin wrote:
On Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 5:11 PM, Kay Argyle wrote:
> We estimated this spring that it would take a special assessment of $25 per
> month (or preferably a lump sum of $300) per household to hire sufficient
> labor to make the most visible portions of the property somewhat presentable
> for prospective buyers (an urgent concern, with at one point five units for
> sale)

So it sounds to me that the sellers of the units are the ones with the greatest interest in getting the work done, and the ones who will receive the most direct benefit (the money from selling the units).

Sure, the sellers are most directly involved, but it isn't only current sellers who have a significant stake in getting their homes sold; the entire community is impacted by having several homes on the market at one time. For example: - the "sellers" may be the community itself if these are initial sales, not re-sales; - other homeowners who were planning to sell their homes in the near future may feel stuck; - the homes may end up being rented out if they can't be sold, which can be much less desirable for the community; - the sellers who stay in their unsold homes may have emotionally moved out, so to speak, and may reduce their participation, especially if the community has refused to do what it takes to improve communal eyesores, and 4 or 5 households would constitute a significant fraction of many communities.

Raines is also ignoring the effect on the community of living with unappetizing, neglected common areas. If residents see that many of their neighbors don't care enough to spend the effort and/or the money to properly maintain their commons, that is additionally depressing and demoralizing for the ones who do care. It isn't okay to be smug about how people-centered your community is and let the commons deteriorate. Many people value both good relationships and beautiful surroundings, and many communities use both as a selling point.

   Shadowlake Village Cohousing
   Blacksburg, VA

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