Co-Op? Not what you think!

When you google Co-Op’s in Indianapolis, the results go to farm or food cooperatives…but did you know that we also have Co-Op homes in Indy?  I have personally assisted my dear friend Kate in her purchase of her new home…a Co-Op in Irvington!  I learned a lot during this process and thought I would share some it.

When I think of Co-Op’s, I think of those fabulous Park Avenue places in New York City…you know the ones, millions of dollars, thousands of square feet, very exclusive with a fabulous view.  In Irvington, there are 2 neighborhoods – Maplewood Court and Irvington Court.  A housing cooperative is a legal entity consisting of one or more residential buildings, a distinctive form of home ownership that has many characteristics that make it different than other residential arrangements such as single family ownership, condominiums and renting.

The corporation is membership based, with membership granted by way of a share purchase in the cooperative. Each shareholder in the legal entity is granted the right to occupy one housing unit. A primary advantage of the housing cooperative is the pooling of the members’ resources so that their buying power is leveraged, thus lowering the cost per member in all the services and products associated with home ownership.  Members, through their elected representatives, screen and select who may live in the cooperative.

Kate purchased her new home in Maplewood Court, these were built in 1917 and to the credit of the Board, somewhere along the way they added garages to the property along with a caretaker apartment and caretaker.  These units boast an unfinished basement with Laundry hook-up, main floor has a living room, dining room and kitchen – some have taken down the wall between the kitchen and dining which really opens the space – 2 bedrooms and a bath on the 2nd floor and most have finished the attic that really adds to the usable space!  They all have front porches and lots of period detail.  Kate’s unit even has the original doorbell on the beautiful wood and leaded glass front door!

Closing was the simplest transaction I’ve been involved in during my career…money transferred, a few documents signed and well, what took the longest was the issuing of the Stock Certificate – one of the board members actually used calligraphy and issued it from the original book of blank stock certificates!

Great process, lots of lessons learned, Kate has a fantastic new home and all is well.  Living in Irvington was Kate’s dream….what can I do to turn your dreams into an address?


Vicki Reed

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