Re: ""Targeting the wealthy, " "living in tents, " and other red herrings
From: juniperjojo (
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 07:12:56 -0700 (PDT)
Whether one is or is not a "permanent" resident of a community is (1) not 
wholly within one's control, and (2) not an indicator of integrity.  Many 
people move frequently:  because they like to experience different cultures, 
because their job demands it, because their circumstances change and they can 
no longer afford their old neighborhood, because their circumstances change and 
they can afford a nicer neighborhood, because they marry and have children, 
because they divorce, because their children move away, because they need a 
bigger house, because they need a smaller house, because their health requires 
it, because they like fixing up old houses, because their view isn't as nice as 
it used to be, because they are too old to care for their property; because 
they can no longer go up a flight of stairs, because they hate their neighbors, 
because a hurricane swept their house away and the government won't let them 
rebuild, etc.
In answer to your "rhetorical" question about where people will live after 
they've invested in their houses and their children are in college -- well, 
they'll live in one of the many, many parts of this country where the cost of 
living is lower because of a thousand reasons (mostly, because of not being 
close to an urban center with lots of high-paying jobs).  When *my* chlid is 
grown, I hope to move somewhere that's pretty and warm, where I won't have to 
deal with commuter traffic, and the property values are LOW.  Who knows where 
that will be?  I'll just have to wait and see.
And no, there are no guarantees.  Not gold, not paper money, not even land, my 
friend.  The only real riches are the ones in our hearts.  But because no one 
will give me food or a roof over my head or medical care in exchange for my 
good looks, I have accepted the fact that I have to work for a living, and if 
I'm going to earn money I need to do something with it, and I'd rather invest 
in my house than keep my money under a mattress.  And no one on this list serve 
is advocating the frequent buying and selling of cohousing properties in order 
to make a quick buck, and that is where YOU appear to be confused.  The fact 
that I worried about the eventual resale value of my cohousing home before I 
even bought it does not make me morally equivalent to your real estate 
"mentor," nor does it preclude me from claiming full status as a neighbor.
Jenny Cook
Great Oak Cohousing
Ann Arbor, Michigan


Message: 7
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 03:11:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Lion Kuntz <lionkuntz [at]>
Subject: Re: [C-L]_ "Targeting" the wealthy
To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Message-ID: <20060721101117.77822.qmail [at]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

--- Chris ScottHanson <chris [at]> wrote:

> Someone said...
> "When resale value is a big issue you can pretty well bet your  
> neighbors are planning to be temporary."

I said that some messages back. I've been peripheral to the real estate
racket and the construction biz off-and-on over the past 40 years of my
life. I have a personal view as well as cognizance of the dominant
paradigm. I was thinking personally. I worked under a mentor who
specialized in "resale value". He taught me his philosophy. It went
like this: "There are two ways to make money in real estate: buy a
property and run it down getting all you can get out of it without
putting anything in that you absolutely don't have to, or buy run-down
properties undervalued for their neighborhood and fix them up and sell
them at market value" He did the latter, holding properties for an
average of six months before turning them over. He increased his "net
worth" by $8 million in the year I worked with him, so he has some
valid points.

When you are buying a property with the resale in mind before you have
even acquired it, yes, you are temporary, not any kind of "neighbor".

>   "OR, they are realistic, know life changes, and they recognize that
> they might want to send their kids to college one day.
> In this country, with tax laws the way they are and have been for  
> many decades, home ownership is THE significant way to invest in  
> one's future, and in ones retirement.  Wanting that investment to be 
> safe, and secure and meaningful, is a natural thing.

The part you forgot is where you live when you have cashed in on your
investment. The kid is in college, yes, I get that part, but you sold
the house according to your theory, so where do you live? Oh, this must
be the part about living in the tent that I didn't understand in
earlier discussions.

> If you don't like private ownership of land, consider the  
> alternative, where the "king" or the "General" who is currently in  
> power owns everything, and private ownership is beyond  
> comprehension.  Much of the world lives this way today.  In all case 

Now you have wandered away into incomprehesibility. My liking or not
liking private property is not any issue. The transience of people
drifting around buying and selling property as a priority precludes
other values such as stability and permanence. Rootlessness is not the
only meaningful way to approach life. It is not mandatory. To sink down
roots and become a member of a community is not abdicating anything to
kings or general -- in fact, it is a formidable defense against them.
Divide-to-conquer goes back as far as Julius Caesar who was both an
emperor and a general. An utter lack of commitment to place is hardly a
powerful counter to the machinations of the mighty.

> the "people live in poverty" when they can't own their own land.
> Chris

In 1923 a German man received a letter from his banker telling him that
his 3,000,000 Marks savings account was being closed because it was too
small to justify the costs of administration. The value of the stamp on
the letter was 5 million marks. Paper money is not the correct way to
value wealth, and pray you never learn that lesson the way our German
learned it during the hyper-inflation of '23.

Owning land is one thing, buying and selling land as a routine is
something completely else. You seem to have confusion that they are the
same thing. I am not confused.

sincerely, Lion Kuntz
from Gates Road "Community", where some neighbors have known each other
for more than 50 years.
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