Being your own developer
From: Mike Malone (
Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 12:18:36 -0600
It has been three years since we at Monterey CoHousing bought our 
property. Now we are about to move in - not a pleasant chore in 
Minnesota in the winter time). We acted as our own developer. Most of 
us (90%) wished that we had not. No one in our community had any 
experience in development or construction when we started, although 
late in the process we did gain some members with more experience. We 
were unable to interest any developer, including some nonprofits, in 
our project. A local bank considers part of its mission to fund 
certain high risk community projects and we were able to get a 
construction loan and much technical assistance from them. The 
consequences for us were: 1) We spent more money due to mistakes than 
a developer would have charged. 2) We spent so much time and energy 
on development tasks that we had little left over for design issues. 
3) We are all burned out and there is little joy (just yet) over 
moving in.
Groups that are considering acting as their own developers need to 
take inventory of the skills of the current members, the amount of 
time and energy people will be able to devote to the project, and 
finally what the trade-offs will be.

Mike Malone
Cancer Control Section
Minnesota Department of Health
Internet address:  michael.malone [at]
Phone: (612)623-5670
Fax: (612)623-5520

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