Re: Effect on surrounding property values
From: lilbert (
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 23:56:52 -0700 (MST)
I think our community's situation is quite relevant to yours. We are a group
of 25 new homes in a similar, old, less affluent city neighborhood. In
California, however, there are protections in place (Prop 13) so that rising
property values won't affect people who already own their homes, so that
isn't really an issue. But the trend in housing around the U.S. is in urban
infill, and that is going to be reflected in rising property values,
regardless of who builds there. It might as well be a group of people who
want to establish a strong sense of community, and not just a bunch of
yuppie gentrifiers.

But it is important that you fit into your new neighborhood in more ways
than one. One of the things that our architect did was to make our homes
blend in with the surrounding houses. The new homes don't have to be exact
replicas of the old, just be close enough in style that they don't stand
out. He did a great job, and won many awards for the design. I would also
add that if your homes look considerably larger and more expensive, your new
neighbors are not only going to hate what you've done to property values,
they will envy you, and therefore dislike you. Avoid the temptation to build

The best way for you to avoid tensions with your neighbors is to be good
neighbors. It isn't a speeded-up process like cohousing. They aren't
committed to building community. It takes time for the neighborhood to start
accepting you. You're weird. Accept that you'll need to prove yourself over
and over, and eventually, you will be an integral part of the neighborhood,
and the effect you've had on property values won't be an issue.

We've been fortunate to have incredible people in our group who have made
this transition easier. Several members are long-time members of the
neighborhood association, and there have been lots of neighborhood issues
where our members have fought side by side with our neighbors.

We've been accepted, for the most part. We are not the saviors of the
neighborhood, nor the villains, just another group of people who live here.
Eventually, it will happen to you. And if at first people don't like you,
just smile and be friendly. And actions speak louder than words (cliche, for
a reason). Eventually the property values issue will be a memory.

Liz Stevenson
Southside Park Cohousing
Sacramento, California

>From: "Brian Baresch" <baresch [at]>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at]>
>Subject: Effect on surrounding property values
>Date: Tue, Dec 12, 2000, 8:45 PM

> Hi all. Our community is going through the rezoning process at the moment
> (planning commission tomorrow night). The neighbors are mostly happy about
> our coming into the area, but a couple of folks are concerned about the
> effect all our shiny new residences will have on the valuations, and thus
> the taxes, on the surrounding 100-year-old houses in this mainly
> working-class neighborhood.
> I doubt this'll be a problem for the rezoning, but it could be a source of
> friction in a few cases. About half of the neighboring houses are
> owner-occupied, and this isn't a rich area; ours will be by far the
> priciest residences on the block.
> So I guess my question is: Will the effect on surrounding property tax
> levies be enough to be troublesome for the neighbors? And what should we
> say when people ask about it? Anyone have experience with this issue? Other
> thoughts?
> Thanks!
> Best regards,
> Brian Baresch
> Delaware Street Commons
> Lawrence, Kansas

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