ABOUT GHI HOMES
GHI has one, two, three, and four-bedroom homes available with brick, block, or frame construction. Most of the houses are attached row houses in a town-house style.
The size and floor plans of the houses vary. Most brick and frame houses have attics, and some houses have basements. A number of houses have one or two-story additions.
Utilities, Heating, and Cooling
The houses are almost all electric, with the exception of the four-bedroom town houses. We members are responsible for all our utility costs and for contacting utility providers (Pepco, Verizon, etc.) to set up service and to address service problems.
Unless the previous member-owner upgraded the heating and cooling systems, your house has baseboard heat and window or wall air conditioners. GHI maintains the electric baseboard heaters. The cooperative is planning a community-wide upgrade to our heating,
cooling, insulation, windows, and doors in 2015.
A big advantage of living in our cooperative is that GHI staff handles much of the major maintenance and repairs. GHI covers structural systems, such as the plumbing and electrical wiring, handles problems, and maintains hot water heaters. When you have a problem that is a GHI responsibility, you may either call the maintenance office or submit a service request online. As a member, you are responsible for replacing appliances and for maintaining the floor finishes and wall coverings.
For a more detailed list of member, GHI, and City of Greenbelt responsibilities, see the 'Who Is Responsible?' chart.
Each house, even a one-bedroom upper unit, has its own yard, in keeping with the original English garden-style planned community model. Each member is responsible for caring for their yard. Each year there is an annual community beautification program inspection to make sure members maintain their yards. GHI is responsible for gutter cleaning but members must rake and remove leaves from yards and walkways.
Monthly Co-op Fee
Your monthly co-op fee depends on the type and size of your home and whether you have an addition. The fee covers your real estate taxes and your share of maintenance costs, trash collection, insurance, administration costs, and contribution to the general reserve fund. At the end of the year, GHI sends you a statement of the amount you paid in real estate taxes for your unit. This amount can be deducted from your taxable income if you itemize your tax returns.
Some of your monthly fee goes into a replacement reserve fund which covers the cooperative's cost of replacing roofs, windows, heating units, hot water heaters, and other major parts of the houses. Some of the expenses for the community-wide upgrade scheduled to begin in 2015 will be covered by the replacements reserve fund, although we expect that there will be additional monthly fees for each household.
GHI has a master insurance policy on the cooperative's buildings and main homes. But we members should buy our own HO6-type homeowner's policy to insure the contents of our houses, personal property and any improvements and betterments, including additions.
You may remodel your kitchen and bathroom, and may make other changes to your unit. A GHI permit is required for major improvements. Please see the member handbook for the rules regarding improvements and alterations.
We are able to build additions to our houses. Your nearest neighbors must agree to your addition, and you need approval from GHI. You or your builder are also required to get the necessary City and County permits. See the Additions policy for details. Once your addition is completed, you will be required to enroll in the Addition Maintenance Program.
GHI adds a modest monthly fee to your co-op fee to fund the Addition Maintenance Reserve, which covers the maintenance of most components in your addition. You will also need to sign an addendum to your membership contract to include the addition.
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