Re: Cohousing as Investment?
From: Lynn Nadeau (
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 16:56:38 -0500
Buy-in at our project (RoseWind in Port Townsend WA) is not "trendy, 
over-priced", but it is market rate. The same amount of money (about 
$38,000) would buy you a double lot in a so-so part of town. If it wasn't 
already on city utilities, you'd have to fork over another $12,000 or so 
for city-required road improvements, drainage, sewer cleanout valves, 
fire hydrants, etc. 

By comparison, what you get here is a single lot (about 5000 sq ft) of 
your own, and four and a half acres of commons. It's like everyone bought 
a double lot, but the second lots are all pooled. You also get roads, 
sewer, water, buried power and phone, all to your lot corner. Money for 
the common house (about $8000) is also part of the buy-in price. And of 
course you get the value of being in a community. 

So, for a similar amount of money, you get what seems like quite a few 

Ongoing costs (pre-common-house) are $200-400 a year per household, with 
payment plans available. So far that hasn't been an obstacle. 

Once you own a lot, you are free to spend as much or little as you 
choose, to build on it. Homes have been built for $80,000 and up. It's 
pretty easy to spend twice that.  In theory, one could build a very small 
house at local building costs, for $65,000. Manufactured homes are also 
OK: perhaps they would be less. 

We keep trying to find ways to hook up with some way of increasing 
affordability on our remaining unsold lots --- presently exploring 
Habitat for Humanity and a self-help program through a neighboring 
county's housing authority. So far, limiting criteria, a 
not-very-together local housing organization, or inscrutable funding 
cycles or sources, have gotten in the way of a solution. We keep trying. 

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