What is a Housing Cooperative?
A housing cooperative is a form of multifamily homeownership. The cooperative itself is its own not-for profit corporation, which is owned and operated by the residents. There is no other "higher up" owner of the community, it is purely owned by the members, which creates a great sense of pride among the residents.
Cooperative housing combines the advantages of home ownership with the conveniences of community living. Although there are different types of cooperatives, all have certain principles in common: joint ownership of the property and operation by a Board of Directors elected by the members. The key to Mueller Gardens' success is democracy in action. Members have equal voting status in electing a Board of Directors. The Board decides all policy and budget matters and determines the level of oversight, accounting and legal expertise that is required.
At Realife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens, each member purchases a share in their own common-interest corporation. These shares provide the equity necessary for the corporation to secure a mortgage. Unlike a condominium, where each buyer must qualify and obtain individual financing from a variety of lenders, the cooperative has one mortgage with the payments and operating expenses shared by all members.
Realife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens is a limited equity cooperative. This means there are restrictions on the members’ resale of cooperative interests to make them affordable to future buyers. Each dwelling unit accumulates pre-determined equity value.
The Cooperative holds title to the property, assuming mortgage and tax obligations, relieving members of direct liability for these items. Members support the Cooperative through their occupancy agreements, membership share purchases and monthly fees.
Under state and federal law, cooperative members are homeowners, entitled to deduct a proportionate amount of the building’s mortgage interest (Form 1098) and real estate taxes from individual tax returns.
Cooperative housing has been successful because it creates an "owner attitude" among members who take pride in their property as well as in directing the affairs of the community.
Who owns Realife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens?
Realife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens is owned collectively by its members in residence. Members take an active role in governance by service on and electing Mueller Gardens’ Board of Directors. The board provides direction to an excellent management staff.
Are there special requirements for membership at Mueller Gardens?
At least 1 member, at the time of occupancy, must be at least 55 years of age and meet HUD-required, minimum qualifying income criteria.
What happens when I want to sell my membership in the Cooperative?
The Housing Manager prepares the proper documents and handles the transaction.
What appliances are furnished at Mueller Gardens?
Mueller Gardens furnishes and maintains a self-defrosting, top freezer, 18 cu.ft. refrigerator, self- cleaning electric range, dishwasher, microwave and garbage disposal in each unit.
Do I control the heating & cooling in my own home?
Yes. Each unit has a combination furnace & air conditioning unit that is maintained by the Cooperative.
What are the laundry facilities likes at Mueller Gardens?
First floor has one laundry room, second and third floors have three laundry rooms per floor. Each laundry room contains two washing machines and two dryers, shelving for one’s supplies, a folding counter and a laundry tub. The machines are no cost to the members and don’t require any coins to be operated.
Are pets allowed at Mueller Gardens?
Yes. There is a 2 pet limit per unit must be a dog and/or cat. Member must keep pet vaccinations and city license up to date and on file in the business office.
What type of committees currently exist at Mueller Gardens?
Committees include the Grounds, Finance, Library, Garden, Landscaping, Marketing, Decorating, Kitchen, Men’s Pancake Breakfasts, Entertainment, Security and many others.
Do I have to be on a committee if I don’t want to?
Cooperative living is distinct from other housing types. Members come together to act collectively to achieve goals; one of which is to reduce costs of everyday management, maintenance and repair. Although it is not "mandatory" it is strongly encouraged. With all the different committees, there is sure to be one that suits your unique expertise on which you would enjoy volunteering. It is also fun and rewarding.