What is a COOP?
By purchasing a home in Williston Woods, you also become a member and share holder in the Williston Woods Cooperative Housing Corporation.
Unlike other mobile home parks, where the land is owned by a private entity and individual lots are rented to the mobile home owner, in a COOP, each household owns one share in the COOP which in turn owns the land. This provides individual home owners with the peace of mind that they are, as a group, in control of the land, operating expenses and infrastructure decisions and that the land will not fall prey to real estate speculators.
Too often, mobile home park owners find themselves forced to move their home after the owner sells the property to real estate developers. The Vermont Governor recently signed into law the first of many recommendations contained in a report by a commission studying mobile home parks. It makes it easier for residents in traditional parks to form ownership cooperatives. You can find details regarding the report on the website for the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs, which oversees all mobile home parks in Vermont and is a strong advocate for COOP parks. Williston Woods is one of only 4 COOP parks in Vermont and was used as an example for a successful COOP.
Before you can close on your new home in Williston Woods, you will need to go through an interview process with the COOP board. By purchasing a home in Williston Woods, you also purchase from the current buyer one share in the COOP. The COOP is what is known as a limited equity cooperative.
Following is an excerpt from the Subscription Agreement each shareholder signs before becoming a member in the COOP:
How Can I Become a Member
You found the perfect home in Williston Woods and you have made an offer!
When you purchase a home in Williston Woods, you also become a member of the COOP that owns the lot your home is located on and all of the common land and properties.
The current owner, at time of closing, will sell you his or her share in the COOP. There are 112 shareholders in the COOP, which corresponds to the number of lots available in the COOP. Each share has one vote in the COOP. To purchase the share, you must be approved by members of the COOP represented through the board of directors.
Once you made your offer, the realtor for the seller will provide you with all the necessary documents to apply for membership in the COOP. You will also find these forms on the Forms page of this website.
Please fill out a membership application and submit it to the office at least two weeks before the scheduled closing. The office will then schedule an interview for you with 2 board members. Please note that you will not be able to close unless and until the COOP approved your membership and signed the necessary documents.
During the interview, the board members will try to answer all of your questions regarding the documents you are signing, COOP membership, rules and regulations and COOP life in general. This is the time to ask! We therefore recommend you read all COOP documents before your interview and come prepared with questions!
Approval of your membership is based on several factors, most importantly
- age eligibility (one shareholder must be at least 55 years of age or older at the time of purchase)
- ability to meet financial obligations towards COOP (payment of monthly carrying and maintenance fees. If you are not financing your home through a financial institution, you are required to provide the COOP with a current credit report at the time of the interview!)
- willingness to follow COOP rules and regulations and be a supportive member of the COOP and Williston Wood community
Once the COOP approves your membership, all forms will be signed and a new share certificate in your name will be issued. Those documents will be given to the selling party to bring to the closing. At the time of closing, the seller will void or destroy his or her share certificate and your new certificate will become effective.
After your move in, please contact the office with your updated mailing address (in case you use a PO Box) and telephone number and arrange for the payment of your monthly fees.