Tell me all about cooperative real estate - The good and the gotchas.
December 29, 2021 2:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm researching cooperative ownership structures for real estate. Specifically, friends and I are interested in creating a small eco-village on a plot of land, and I want to learn about how to structure the cooperative.

Governance structure, legal documents and setting things up, how to buy the land as a cooperative, how new members can buy in, how to sell your share, how to work with the town, how to make decisions, how to do this with intention and without it becoming a cult, etc.

I'd like to know about great examples of success as well as examples of what can go wrong. Help me in my information search?
posted by Dr_Janeway to Law & Government (4 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
You can look up The Farm (Tennessee) on wikipedia. It may not be exactly the structure you are looking for but is interesting reading.
posted by serendipityrules at 8:05 PM on December 29, 2021


Take a look at the Foundation for Intentional Community and Cohousing US. They have resources, examples of successful communities, a long-duration mailing list archive with examples of success and failure, and much more.
posted by dttocs at 4:31 AM on December 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Where? The laws on this vary wildly. But you're going to need a lawyer who specializes in this in the jurisdiction where the land is located. This is definitely not something you can DIY.
posted by decathecting at 10:46 AM on December 30, 2021 [1 favorite]


Are you still in Illinois? Searching with: Illinois passivhaus cohousing - brings up several local built examples - joint/co-housing is common to the passivhaus ethos and makes a good start search for cases.

Start with what your jurisdiction allows, are there local precedents, are there hyperlocal controls e.g. site visibility and your proposal, or stormwater controls, scenic/historic values, prior land use... A land planner will save you a lot of time here, knowing things you won't unearth alone. Some councils are very resistant to anything new and it can be necessary to show them precedents, or to know their code better than they do.

Do you need funding? Can you find a lender? Local initiatives will be able to tell you who lends and caveats.

Other relevant mefi disussions include Out-Of-The-Box Senior Living Alternatives, housing a group of retired nuns, and a Q I asked last year on Legally restructuring land, where I was seeking ideas from across the planet.
posted by unearthed at 3:10 PM on December 30, 2021


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