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Cost Comparison

If you’re looking for a 55+ cooperative living community that gives residents the power and is affordable, then Realife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens in St. Cloud, MN, is the home for you! Check out our pricing sheets, then compare your current cost of living to a residence in Realife Cooperative at Mueller Gardens using our cost comparison guide.

Benefits of Ownership

One of the biggest things our residents love about us is that you actually own your unit. Not only is it affordable, it gives you the freedom to kick back and relax while you live your life, knowing that you’re truly at home in your unit. You’ll be able to experience all the benefits of homeownership—including the tax benefits.

Members who have taxable income and file a federal income tax return may deduct their share of the cooperative’s mortgage interest and real estate taxes on their personal income tax return. Members have the same ability to exclude gain on sale of their cooperative interest from taxation as any homeowner. In most instances, the cooperative and its members receive the same benefit as single-family homeowners. The Cooperative Corporation owns and operates a housing cooperative, while the Member purchases and is the owner and holder of a Certificate of Membership of the cooperative.

If you wish to sell your membership in the cooperative, our Housing Manager prepares the proper documents and handles the transaction for you–just one more benefit of owning a unit in a cooperative community.

Monthly Fees

Enjoy the benefits of owning your own home, without the hassle. Our monthly fees cover a variety of services, including mortgage principal, interest and insurance premium (tax deduction available on MI), real estate taxes (homestead) (tax deduction available), gas heat in unit, professional management, telephone, internet, cable, water, sewer, trash removal, recycling, grounds upkeep, snow removal, building maintenance, and common area gas and electricity. Lender-required operational and replacement reserves cover overall building repair/maintenance, normal wear & tear on in-home appliances and carpet, and building and common area insurance, including fire and liability. Our monthly membership fees have potential to change annually after they are reviewed by our Board of Directors.

Approximately 50% of the monthly fee pays for master mortgage, mortgage interest and mortgage insurance premium. 35% of the monthly fee pays for operation and maintenance of the cooperative. 10% pays for taxes and insurance, 3% pays for Replacement Reserves (required by HUD), and 2% goes to Operative Reserves.

A space in our heated garage is an additional $40 monthly, and members are responsible for their own separately metered electricity.


Our members are often interested in learning how the funds from member SHARES are used. The original share payments were used to secure a HUD-guaranteed loan. SHARE monies do not earn interest, however, they accrue equity. Today, the purchase of one SHARE is the money that will make up the payment that goes to the seller of the SHARE. Share prices increase by the limited equity amount annually on May 1st. For a more detailed explanation, see the following example:

Purchased Share Price + (Annual Re-Sale Increase X # of years owning the share) = Your Selling Price

Example: Mr. Smith heard about Realife cooperative from a friend. After learning more, Mr. Smith decided to move into the cooperative. He found that a F unit suited his needs best. He purchased the F share at $55,180.00. Ten years later, Mr. Smith decided that he has had enough of the Minnesota cold weather and that he was going to move to Arizona. Mr. Smith gave his written notice to the on-site manager and calculated his selling price.

$55,180 (Purchased Share Price – F Unit) + $11,980 (Total Amount of Equity Earned Over 10 Years) ($1,198 x 10 years) = $67,160 Selling Price

Investment Equity

Membership investment costs earn equity based on a variable percentage of the original construction cost, which is then added annually to the membership cost. The annual equity is preset and is accrued annually on May 1st.

Reservation Fee

There is a fully-refundable $200 deposit to join the waiting list for the cooperative. Applicants do not need to be 55 years of age or older to apply, only to occupy. If you wish to fill out an application and join our waiting list, contact us today!

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