Re: Budgets before finding a site
From: Kayelily Middleton (
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:03:42 -0700 (PDT)

Raleigh Cohousing is a forming senior cohousing community. We are almost 11 
months into the process and searching for land. Here is what we have done for 
your information. 

We first held the Study Group I class Thriving in Aging in the spring of 2016 
and charged too little and lost some money, not much but we simply did not 
price it high enough—We put it at $95 with an early bird special of $85 and it 
covered the Participant Guide book and The Senior Cohousing Handbook. This was 
funded by one of our original founders out of pocket. 

Then we hired Chuck and Katie to come and do the Getting It Built Workshop in 
July. We actually came out pretty even on that one. We had 29 participants. As 
a result we set up committees: Process Committee, Coordinating Committee, 
Membership&Marketing Committee, Finance/Legal Committee, and Land Search 
Committee.  We have business meetings every third Sunday from 4 to 6 followed 
by a meet-and-greet potluck supper from 6 to 8 in our homes on a rotating 

After the GIB workshop, 4 of our households came together and decided to each 
chip in $1000 to get the ball rolling and move the project forward by hiring 
Katie as our development consultant and reimburse the persons who had funded 
the activity out of pocket up till then. We call ourselves the Founders but no 
special privileges but that the $1000 will count toward our home purchase 
price. Then we formed an LLC and worked on getting a membership structure in 
place to continue to fund our project until we get land. We were advised by a 
LLC attorney   not to use the words: members, decisions, votes in our structure 
thus far because of legal terminology constraints. Once acquiring land that 
will all change to a real legal membership structure with members, votes, 

So, we came up with a Participant/Explorer structure which was presented to the 
whole group at a business meeting. We came together in agreement on this—no 
voting, just “agreement” with no dissenters. See attached. Participants pay 
$250 initially and $25 a month to have the ability to discuss and make 
agreements at meetings. They also serve on committees which bring issues to the 
business meeting.  Those not wanting to commit financially until we have land 
are called Explorers. They are invited to business meetings but can only 
observe. We have 12 Participant households and 17 people. 

We also set up a bank account, paid Katie and the LLC attorney and a bare bones 
LLC. We are in the process of determining budgets for each committee. Not easy. 
A moving target until we have land!! Our main expenses are brochures—one for 
marketing for members, the other for approaching land owners. We are hoping to 
do another Thriving in Aging workshop in January/February.  We are in the 
process of meeting with the Mayors of surrounding suburbs to Raleigh. They all 
want us—but they have to find us land! Affordability is a big question. 

Our Membership Committee is working on a Membership structure that will be put 
into place once we have our land. 

Happy to share with you brochures, flyers, vision/values, etc. 

Kayelily Middleton

> On Sep 28, 2016, at 10:31 AM, Jane Mueller <MissionPeakCohousing [at] 
>> wrote:
> As a forming group in search of a site, we need to put together a budget and 
> set an appropriate membership fee and dues schedule. Does anyone have a pro 
> forma budget appropriate for BEFORE you purchase property and begin 
> construction? (Our search on "budget" turns up information for groups that 
> are farther along in the process than we are.)
> Many thanks!
> Jane Mueller for Mission Peak Cohousing in Fremont
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