Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Plum?
Plum is the “easy button” for co-owning a vacation home!
What is a Plum?
A Plum is a proposal to co-own a vacation home with other people. It summarizes the types of vacation homes being considered, the number of co-owners being sought, the costs involved, and a bit of “get to know you” information about the co-owners, such as the activities they like, or the values they hold.
In the simplest language, what does Plum do?
We help people form groups who are interested in co-ownership, and then we get them Realtor Ready by solving all of the hard things upfront (building the right legal agreements, agreeing to house rules, setting up the budget, understanding the maintenance schedule, fairly allocating vacation days, etc).
Once the group has bought a vacation home together, we make it easy to manage that property with maintenance schedules, concierge services, vacation scheduling, streamlining the finances (including the reserve fund!), and we even offer dispute resolution for that occasional disagreement about whether to buy a hot tub (or other major expenditure)!
What does “co-ownership” mean?
Plum wants its customers to enjoy the full benefits of owning real property. We’re just making it easy for groups of people to pool their resources so that together, they can own better houses in better locations.
Plum’s co-owners are protected by expertly crafted legal documents that promote clear understanding among them.
How many co-owners are there per home?
That’s up to you! In our experience, we generally see groups of 3-4, and sometimes groups of 8-10. The groups who aim for 3-4 owners usually think of the property as a comfy getaway where they can leave some of their belongings and have high availability and flexibility. The groups of 8-10 generally like to be able to go to the same place, have the comfort and familiarity of a single home, and value very affordable ownership shares, but treat the property a bit more like a “check in, check out” experience.
Are the other owners vetted?
Plum’s Co-Owner Readiness service provides a background check, a credit check, and a budget check to ensure that all parties will be good co-owners. The results are confidential to the buyer who is being vetted, and, in the event that there is a red flag, the vetted buyer has the opportunity to simply and elegantly remove themselves from the process.
How does Plum make money?
“1% at Closing, and $99/mo per group!”
We only get paid if we’re successful at helping you form a group, get Realtor Ready, and close on the vacation home purchase! Our co-ownership platform makes it easy to manage your co-owned home in an ongoing manner (from vacation scheduling, to maintenance, to concierge services!), and each group pays an affordable subscription of $99/mo for access to the platform…meaning you can pay as little as 50 cents per day depending on your group size!
Why co-own a vacation home?
You can own so much more home when you partner with others to share in the costs and the risks. You’ll have more options, a better house, lower costs, and reduced risk.
What’s the easiest way to get started?
Plum makes it easy to form your group, get your ducks in a row, and then engage a realtor. Your first step is to engage us to help you craft a Plum based on your budget, and then share it with people with whom you’d like to buy a home!
How do I get out if I need to?
You can leave any time after the first year with a 90-day notification period to the ownership group.
If someone else leaves, do I get stuck holding the bag?
Every Plum house is protected by a reserve fund sufficient to cover 6-9 months of operating expenses. Additionally, co-owners in good standing have “first dibs” on a defaulting member’s remaining equity.
The legal mumbo jumbo seems really complex.
Actually, Plum makes this really simple. You provide answers to a few easy questions, and Plum will create the right ownership and operating agreements for you. You are encouraged to have your lawyer review the materials, but you and your lawyer will be delighted with having most of the hard work done for you.
How do we protect ourselves from financial surprises?
Plum recommends that the operating agreement require a reserve fund equal to 3% of the price of the house, funded at closing, and then topped off with monthly contributions. This protects all members and preserves relationships when a large and particularly unexpected expense comes along.
Why is there a “term?” Do we have to sell at that period of time?
Plum recommends an agreed-upon length of co-ownership. That term is for your ease and protection. A finite term simplifies the ownership and operating agreements. It makes decisions about upgrades easier. And it tends to keep the group together because exiting at year 5 of a 7-year agreement is unproductive. All that said, you don’t have to sell! If 100% of the voting members agree to a new term, then everyone proceeds together!