Saturday, 12 March 2011

Golems Are Go!

After getting to grips with posting regularly on the blog, it may seem like we went quiet on you again rather suddenly. All I can say is, we've been too busy to blog, and this week has been one of the busiest in our short history for one very good reason: we've decided to make an offer on Mould Mansion.

I'm not sure we ever thought the right house would come along, but now it has, we are having to mobilise very quickly to try and make it ours. There is so much to do, and it's at times like these that I am most accutely aware of how lucky we are to have six people sharing the work. There are quotes to obtain, appointments to make, spreadsheets to tweak, and emails and phone calls flying off in all directions. Two of the six golems are in the last few months of their degrees, with dissertations to work on and coursework to hand in. Another works full-time and is fitting all the co-op work and meetings in around the job. One has uni work and has just been offered an amazing, time-consuming, career-furthering project which will run over the next few months. My days are usually spent juggling a small baby in one hand and a basket of washing in the other. The last of us needs to rest a lot, and has to manage their time very carefully. But thankfully we can distribute the things that need to be done between us, depending on what people find the easiest to manage along with their other commitments. This is one of the many reasons that co-ops are awesome.

As part of this epic activity, we need to make sure we have the finance in place to buy the house and to make it the lovely (for which read: habitable) home we all envisage. That means knowing that if our offer is accepted we know what we need to do to fix it up, how much it will cost, and how we are going to pay for it.

And this, dear reader, is where you can get involved with this brilliant adventure.

We are looking for further loanstock, and for guarantors willing to provide a guarantee for sections of the loan we will be applying for from Radical Routes. For loanstock, you can loan anything from £500 up, and choose your own investment period (3 years plus) and interest rate (up to 4%). Further details can be found on our loanstock page. Loanstock is unsecured, but co-ops are typically a very safe investment, and by investing in a co-op you will be helping to provide long-term affordable housing which no individuals can personally profit from. Ethical or what?

For guarantors, we would only need you to put your name to £1000 of our loan, and you would only be actually required to provide the money if the housing co-op failed, the house was sold and it's sale price did not cover our outstanding debts (thankfully a rare occurrence, and an even rarer one for co-ops which are part of Radical Routes). You can offer to guarantee more than this if you wish, though to guarantee over £1,000 you will need to provide proof of savings. As soon as is possible we are planning to have the house revalued so that the guarantees are no longer needed, so this is more of a temporary back up so that we can get started than something we imagine being called upon. When we have raised the value of the house, your guarantee has supported us without you having to pay a penny, sothis is a fantastic way for anyone who would love to help us out but has no money to buy loanstock with to get involved. Happy times.

If you're interested in helping us out with either loanstock or a guarantee, then please contact us. We're happy to talk about it and answer your questions, and if you decide it's not for you, that's no problem at all. These are very exciting times, and if we can make an offer that is accepted by the vendor, things are only going to get more exciting. Sharing these developments on the blog is hopefully something that might get some of you more interested in co-ops, and if even one of you chooses to get more involved with the co-operative movement in whatever way, then all of our rambling has been well worth it.

That's it. Ramble over. I'm off to read more about different types of insulation, just in case;-)


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