Re: CoHo Condo Fees
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 2015 06:29:39 -0700 (PDT)
> On Mar 13, 2015, at 7:48 AM, David Clements and Evan Richardson via 
> Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]> wrote:
> Westwood Cohousing is anticipating a budget of $44,000 for operating, $34,000 
> for reserves.  For 24 units with about 32,000 sf living space, this works out 
> to an average of $270 per month per unit, or $0.20 per sf per month.  

I'm intrigued with the SF calculations. As Chris says it also depends on what 
is included but at least it is a place to start. 

> We needed a professional reserve study to get a grasp on the true costs.  I 
> would recommend a reserve study sooner rather than later.   They will tell 
> you, as a made up example, that reroofing will cost $50,000 and will have to 
> be done every 20 years, so the "cost" or "'liability" to the association per 
> year of the roofs (and the amount roughly that should be accumulated in 
> reserves for the roofs) is $2500 per year.  The ideal reserve contribution is 
> the sum of the yearly costs (or "liabilities" to the association) of all the 
> individual components or items that the association is responsible for 
> maintaining, repairing, and replacing.

The fist study should be done before you move in and a reserve account set up 
as part of the project costs. Starting from zero is like a car with no gas. You 
have the car payments and can't use the car. Everyone will still be stressed 
out from moving and mortgages and new household routines when you discover the 
hot water supply in the CH is inadequate and neither the laundry nor the guest 
rooms have hot water. And you signed off on the new evolutionary design that 
the builder never wanted to install in the first place. You asked for it, you 
pay for it.

You have to be prepared for your own mistakes as well as those of nature. 
Though they are probably the same.

Doing a presentation at the annual conference in May on reserve studies and 
examples will be available for the cost of printing.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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