About Our Cooperative

Cooperative living provides many benefits, including shared ownership of the building and grounds. This means that there are several shared spaces available to each member. Common areas at Realife include three sun-rooms, a meeting room, an exercise room, a workshop, a coffee area, public bathrooms, laundry rooms, and comfortable reading areas on each floor. Cooperative living is made possible through the involvement of its members. Opportunities abound in any of Realife's many committees or its dedicated Board of Directors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a senior housing cooperative?

A cooperative for senior living is an apartment building which is owned and operated by its members age 62 and better. Each member of the cooperative is a co-owner of the building. With a cooperative, you maintain ownership while lessening the burdens of traditional home ownership. Note that Realife Cooperative of St. Peter does not offer any in-house health related services. Also note that this property does not offer section 8 housing.

Why do I have to buy a membership?

In a cooperative, we buy a share of the building. When we do, we get a membership certificate which proves our legal co-ownership of the building. Residents are responsible for the sale of their unit and may get back their investment at that time. Share prices at Realife Cooperative of St. Peter vary from approximately $23,000 to $56,000.

Why do I pay a monthly fee?

Units are leased to members (shareholders) for a monthly fee. The monthly fee (carrying charge) covers almost all of the normal living expenses: water, garbage, sewer, heat, laundry, basic cable TV, lawn care, snow removal, building maintenance, and some appliance repair or replacement. Residents are responsible for phone, internet, and electricity of their unit. At Realife Cooperative of St. Peter, the monthly fee is proportionate to the size of the unit, ranging from approximately $470-$1,300.

Who runs a cooperative?

A cooperative is owned and operated by its members. A Board of Directors is elected by its peers to make major decisions for the cooperative. There are also many voluntary committees to assist the Board. Current committees include Finance and Policy, Activities, Landscaping, and Marketing. In addition to the members, Realife Cooperative of St. Peter has three part-time staff members for maintenance, housekeeping of the common areas, and office administration. A management company also assists in legal, financial, and advisatory matters.

Where can I learn more about cooperatives?

Here are some places you can find more information on cooperative living:

  1. National Association of Housing: https://coophousing.org/resources/
  2. SeniorLiving.org: https://www.seniorliving.org/cooperative-housing/
  3. Senior Cooperative Foundation: http://seniorcoops.org/
  4. Cooperative Network: https://cooperativenetwork.coop/
  5. Senior Cooperative Living: http://seniorcoopliving.org/