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February 2nd, 2016

Mutual Homes: The Wave of the Future?

Clark terrace Mutual Homes in central Las Vegas is the first cooperative housing development in the state. Mutual homes are a country-wide trend that may become the future of multi-family home ownership.

Mutual homes, which are also known as cooperatives, work off of the premise that residents will take care of their community if they feel like they have a bigger stake in its future. Although the owner of the development holds the title to the property, residents who buy into the cooperative are considered partial owners of it, with voting privileges over how the community is run.

Perhaps the most startling aspect of living in a mutual home is the absence of the renter-landlord relationship. When residents buy into the cooperative, they become owners, but not owners, of the property they occupy. They are provided a proprietary lease that is open-ended. As long as they live up to the terms of the community they live in their home for as long as they wish. There are no monthly rental costs. Instead, residents pay what are known as “Monthly Housing Charges” that vary depending on family income, services offered from the community and operating costs.

Do mutual homes represent a viable future for multi-family communities? Some may feel that a cooperative-led community can quickly turn into a community with too many rules and too few leaders. Others see the idea as a way to bring residents together to create a utopian society with everyone contributing to the community’s well-being. As mutual homes continue to gain momentum through the country, it will be interesting to see what the future holds.

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