100% sold/recruitment
From: Judy (BAXTER%EPIHUBVX.CIS.UMN.EDU)
Date: Wed, 10 May 95 11:12 CDT
On  Date: Mon, 08 May 1995 
Buzz Burrell <72253.2101 [at] compuserve.com> wrote:

<<It's unlikely to be because of marketing;  I suspect it's because the project 
is
simply not appealing.  It's not a good deal to enter into.

I'm concerned that emphasis is put on recruitment of members, marketing, and so
forth, and not on ways of making it affordable, beautiful, freedom, nice people,
and a reasonable process.  . .. . . . The context for this comment is that of
all my friends, probably 90% of them are at least somewhat familar with coho.
Community is a very popular concept today, at least in my peer group.  Probably
80% of them would like to do something like this.  Yet probably 2% of them are
doing it.  It has nothing to do with marketing;  it's just the projects they
have seen or heard about do not appeal to them.  

(edited) Reasons: "Too much time".  "Too many meetings", variation of not
wanting to live in an identical house to one's neighbor, and feelings of
restriction.  Then they might point out that although one can spend oodles of
time, co-own all sorts of things, and be the financial risk-taker in the
development, the end result is that coho is not cheaper than just walking into a
real estate office, buying a detached house, and moving in 30 days later.  
>>
We never said it was cheaper - and you are getting and getting into something
Different.

I apologise for repeating all that, but it seemed important. I too hear the
same kinds  of things, and I couldn't agree more that we MUST, and are trying,
to improve the process, reduce the meetings, etc.  I think we may need to
change the model - I cannot recommend doing development as a group process ,
for us. And our efforts to hire professionals in many area have been fairly
negative, with some exceptions.  It is easy to make lists of criteria to use in
choosing architects, developers (If any will talk to you), development
consultants, etc., but hard to evaluate those lists, particularly if your group
does not include professionals in these general areas, and maybe if it does.  

I also think that the bottom line is that for many people,  cohousing is an
interesting attractive idea, but they don't want to give up much for it - it
has be to in just the right spot, price range, type of housing, not too much
effort. And maybe, someday, if someone decided enough money can be made with it
so developers are willing to take the risks, there will be a lot of such
options.  But right now, I see us attracting people who REALLY are looking for
community, without the ideology and/or mission or whatever that, in my ignorant
mind, goes with many "intentional communities".  AND, I'm surprised there
aren't more of us - who have been looking for something like this for a long
time. For me, I would never have dared attempt this without the McCamant
Durrett book as a guide, and it doesn't pretend it's easy, but I thought,
others have done this, so can we.  And I'm finding it tough - and worth it,
today. 

Judy
Slogging away in the trenches with getting close to final prices and a
construction loan.

Judy Baxter, Monterey Cohousing Community, (MoCoCo)
Twin Cities Area, Minneapolis/St.Paul Minnesota
e-mail: baxter [at] epivax.epi.umn.edu


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