Found a cohousing community you want to join? Here’s how to
to find out if this will work for you.
at the governing documents, such as the CC&Rs, cohousing agreement, or
Community Rules. Look for any restrictions that seem unreasonable to you,
such as rules against subletting, painting in particular colors, or having
out whether the community has much debt, if there is a reserve fund, and
whether there are any lawsuits pending against the community. Also find
out whether other people in the shared housing arrangement consistently
pay their mortgage and monthly fees on time.
out what kind of improvements people want to make on the buildings, what
renovations are planned, and so on.
- Find out
about monthly dues: how much they are, what they cover, how often they
rise, and when they are due.
what type of upkeep you are responsible for outside of your own living
space or unit.
about the community decision-making process and governance structure. Look
out for situations where one person owns a large portion of the property
or units in a community; that person might have a great deal of control
what kind of financing is available. Will you be able to take over the loan
of a departing resident?
out whether you are expected to assume a previous owner's debts, such as
missed dues payments.
you buy in, will the property be reassessed or refinanced? If so, will you
be solely responsible for paying the increase in costs to the community?
get to know the residents. Find out how they like living there, what kinds
of activities people do together, what types of conflicts have come up and
how they were resolved, and so on.
Check out the Cohousing Association of the United States
for more information on the subject.