How are we funding this ?
After almost a full year of searching for properties, and experiences in holding meetings to find the right members and investors in our community we still have some way to go. We had found an ideal place to begin the Share-It Community in terms of value for money and resources, yet somehow failed to reach a consensus between the people interested in the ideas we sponsored. We are now a core group of 6 people, we are closer to completing the quest to find sufficient funding for the aims but are still open to new interest from people keen to join our community. As we are looking at a complement between renters and investors, possibly families, mature and younger people, the possibilities are almost endless. However we still need to cover many monthly expenses and share those equitably between everyone for the ongoing development and future feasibility of the Share-It Community.
So the final choice of financing is going to be that investors purchase ‘ownership bundles’ which provide the purchase capital, and then all members pay a monthly rental to share the running costs. The investment purchase of the ‘ownership bundles’ will be agreed and protected in the provision of a contract witnessed in the presence of a Notaio (legal agent) and this will be considered as a fixed and final contractual agreement between the Share-It Community Agricola and the relevant investor/member. The funds are then used to purchase a property and equipment and any other agreed upon assests needed for the community, and various members will set up and run an agricultural company, running alongside a private dwelling for some of the other members/investors. Italy is well known for its tedious bureaucracy and therefore we are prepared to adopt a varying amount of models for co-housing funding arrangements. BUT in all matters we are still going to operate in the spirit of a cooperative community, a one member one vote collaboration.
Our financing concept.
The financing concept of the Share-It community is characterised above all by the mix of tenants and investors, which creates a win-win situation for both. Investors help to ensure that the property can be purchased, repairs carried out and reserves built up. Tenants help to keep monthly costs affordable for all and these costs will be reduced for investors, as a “reward” for their capital contributions.
Tenants pay a deposit of 5,000€ as a sign of their commitment to the Share-It Community. In addition, they pay a monthly rent of 500-800€ (bills included). If possible, this includes not only all expenses, but also three communal meals per week. The exact figures (amount of rent, deposits, etc.) can only be determined once the Share-It Community has decided on a property and when the ongoing monthly costs can be calculated.
Investors pay an amount starting from 50,000€ upwards and thus support the timely acquisition of the property (i.e. the higher the deposits, the faster we can get started). For this, they receive a rent reduction on their monthly expenses. For every 10,000€ of their investment, the investors get one “ownership bundle” of the Share-It Community. The sum of the property bundles makes up the total assets of the Share-It Community. This includes not only the property and the land, but also the inventory, farm equipment, etc.
Investors who do not wish to live in the Share-It Community receive an annual interest rate of 1-2% on their initial investment, which is fixed when the contract is signed. This is earned from the monthly amounts collected (rents) to cover costs.
We still have a lot of work to do to get to the final purchase and we welcome any and all help in doing this. We are certainly going to encounter out of pocket expenses during this intermediate situation, which we believe need to be shared between the investors who commit to joining the community, so may need to set up some kind of funding stream/bank account to deal with these costs (solicitor, lawyer, notary, surveyors and agents etc). Please get in touch if you would like to know more, join the community and come and visit us if you are keen to co-found the Share-It Community. More detailed information will be available when you join our group’s chat facilities and get to know the other members.
The planning and decision making opportunities that you would have as a member ensure that your needs are both met and shared between all the other members equally. All major decisions about capital spending and costs are your right to democratically instigate. From the moment you sign up to Share-It Community values and principles, you have an equal say in what direction the community takes in every aspect. And when any surplus comes into the funds, potentially in year 3 of the project, you again have an equal voice in the investment that this accrued capital sponsors. Ideally we keep re-investing into the community to provide more spaces, facilities and resources for shared use, but of course that would be a joint decision. The elected funded coordinators of certain aspects of the community only care for the immediacy of day-to-day running, and all other major choices and considerations are shared. If you join us, this is your home and your space to do with as you see appropriate as a member. We are currently aiming at around about 10 – 15 individuals to finance this idea, including couples who may share accommodation but still have a one member one vote say. This is really the break even point we believe for a healthy ongoing community, but again this is just from our research, the final choices would be shared.
If you read this and are excited about living in a warm climate, waking up to sunshine, fresh country air, and sharing company with many likeminded souls, please come and get involved. We look forward to meeting you soon if you are interested in helping to co-create the Share-It Community with us.
Don’t hesitate to connect with us soon. The Share-It team x