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frequently asked questions about senior cooperatives

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frequently asked questions

View a video about senior cooperative housing, developed by the Senior Cooperative Foundation

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What is a housing cooperative?

A housing cooperative is a member owned community. It provides all the benefits of homeownership while eliminating interior and exterior home maintenance. In communities like this, the members elect a Board of Directors and participate in the decision making process. The goal is to provide affordable housing, where the members only pay the actual operating costs of the cooperative. Cooperative ownership allows for the ease of resale, investment return, and the personal tax benefits of homeownership. Cooperative members have a pride of ownership resulting in a deeper interest in maintaining the property. Cooperatives combine the best of both worlds, homeownership with a maintenance-free lifestyle.

More about housing cooperatives can be found at the Senior Cooperative Foundation website.

What about investment appreciation/resale?

Purchasing a share in a cooperative is very similar to purchasing a home. You have ownership in the cooperative and when you are ready to sell, you sell your share of ownership.

Willow Brook uses a limited equity formula to determine share appreciation values from year to year. The share growth value is a slow and steady increase that keeps buy-in prices affordable, yet produces returns on an investment at resale. It is a growth pattern that has shown to be effective in not out-pricing the market, easing resale while providing a return on investment to the seller.

What does it cost to purchase a cooperative home?

    • Share payments are a one-time payment based on the size and type of home that you select.
    • Monthly fees cover the costs of operations which include payment on your share of the mortgage, real estate taxes, maintenance, utilities, property insurance, as well as reserves for long-term repairs and replacements.

      To request information regarding a specific cooperative, Contact Us.

What does the monthy fee cover?

The monthly fee covers a number of personal utilities along with building operation costs: Master Mortgage, Fund Operating & Replacement Reserves, Property Taxes, Interior & Exterior Home Maintenance, Property Insurance, Snow Removal/Lawn Care, Gas Heat, Water/Sewer, Garbage/Recycling, Cable TV, Wireless Internet, Common Area Housekeeping, Management Company, Additional Storage, and Underground Heated Parking

What do I own as a member of a cooperative?

As a member, you own a cooperative share that provides you with:

  • Ownership interest in the cooperative corporation (represented by a Certificate of Membership).
  • An exclusive right to occupy the home you have selected and purchased (represented by an Occupancy Agreement).

Am I able to select the finishes for my cooperative home?

Personal design selections are available to members who purchase prior to construction deadlines. A number of standard finish options are available at no additional cost. Professional design assistance is provided. Upgrades are also made available in which you will receive a credit for the standard finish.