Re: Newly married couples in cohousing
From: Debbie Behrens (
Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 08:28:23 -0600
> From cohousing-l [at] Thu Jan 18 12:37:28 1996
> Subject:       Re: Newly married couples in cohousing
> ... 2.  If we're going to join a cohousing group, we'd want to get a 
> house that was big enough that we wouldn't have to move if we had 
> children, particularly since the probability of being able to trade 
> up within the project is not terribly high.  But that would mean 
> buying a larger house than we really need/can afford right now.  
> ...
>    I realize that there's not much a cohousing group can do about 
> these concerns.  The basic problem, as with most of these "diversity 
> issues" is money - - not many people in our age range can afford to 
> buy a house.  We're very lucky in that Tony's folks would be willing 
> to help us out on the downpayment as a wedding present, and even with 
> that I have to admit that the idea of investing more than 100 percent 
> of our net worth on something that is somewhat risky absolutely 
> terrifies me.
> ...
>     For these reasons, I would be very surprised to learn that there 
> were many people in similar circumstances in cohousing.  If I'm 
> wrong, I'd love to hear more about what their experiences have been.

Here at Highline, we've had troubles attracting young couples for 
some of the very reasons you mention.  
Most of the 20 and 30-somethings with and without young kids don't 
have the income to afford a home in our price range large enough to handle
kids.  Although we want families with kids, and designed in several
large units, those units are the ones that are NOT selling.  Mostly
what we're selling are our smaller units, to singles (usually 40s->seniors), 
single parents, and empty nest couples. And even our families with
young kids are headed by 30-somethings, not 20-somethings.

Almost all of our families with kids (single & double parent) 
have been in the group since early on and have been very committed.
But a couple of them are in much smaller units than they'd like,
utilizing the basements as living space.

Attracting families with kids after the concept stage has been most 
difficult - partly because the prices have gotten more realistic.  
At the concept stage, our prices were optimistically low.

A small place with an unfinished basement might be a partial answer - 
don't finish it till you're ready to have kids.

Also do your best to recruit some of your friends of your own age into 
the group.  That will help diversify the group on the younger end.  

                            (0 0)
 |  Debbie Behrens                              debbeh [at] |
 |  Highline Crossing CoHousing                      W (303)252-2215 |
 |   1611 W. Canal Ct Littleton CO 80120             Fx(303)252-2249 |
 |  Rocky Mountain Cohousing Assn                    H (303)797-7779 |
 |      All opinions expressed are mine, and do not necessarily      |
 |   reflect the opinions of Highline Crossing or RMCA in general.   |

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