Re: Developer Model of Co-housing
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2015 10:41:54 -0700 (PDT)
I certainly would expect that even if an owner or developer starts with the 
land that the intent would be that the owner would be selling the land to the 
(IF that is not true you might want to look at Land Trusts and see how the 
legal ownership of the house on the land is conveyed without the ownership of 
the land. Mobile home parks do that as well.)

If however what you are talking about is putting money in before you are 
actually getting anything out of the deal, that is what happens in a 
traditional "lets get together and look for land" organizational structure. 
Mosaic required 5% of your anticipated home value to be invested long before 
there was anything solid (like land) to invest in. 

I, and two other households, waited as associate members until it was "safe" to 
join because the community had made a binding offer on land. We paid up, only 
to have the land deal fall thru. It was only at that point that I realized that 
there really isn't "safe" real estate investing. There was a very real chance 
that I would lose all the money I invested, really up to the day I closed on my 

In retrospect, yes, it would have been wise for me to have my own counsel 
(either an investment professional or a lawyer or even my brother-in-law who 
can read legal documents) to be on "my side" when I chose to join the LLC. The 
legal counsel and consultants were all on the "side" of the LLC.
But of course I was becoming a member of the LLC and would have full decision 
making power so I didn't recognize at first that I was also choosing to invest 
in a risky business proposition.

But someone has to invest (and risk) time and money before there is a solid 
thing to invest in, so that they can create that solid think.

Berlin, MA

On Sep 4, 2015, at 1:30 PM, Sue Ellen Hiers <ncdl [at]> wrote:

> Just want to say that everyone involved is reputable including the co-ho 
> consultant. I'm just not sure that it is possible for the co-ho consultant to 
> represent clients on both sides of this transaction (property owner and 
> non-owners). My expectations were forged from years of reading about co-ho as 
> a gathering of a group of people who would then pool their money to buy 
> property. This developer model throws in a power imbalance that is very 
> confusing for me to know how to navigate. 
> Regards, Sue Ellen 
>      From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
> To: Sue Ellen Hiers <ncdl [at]>; cohousing-l [at] 
> Sent: Friday, September 4, 2015 11:47 AM
> Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Developer Model of Co-housing

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