|Spreadsheet to compare financial capacity with prospective sites||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fillard Rhyne (fillardhevanet.com)|
|Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2006 23:05:36 -0700 (PDT)|
Once each household in a prospective cohousing community has figured out how much it can spend on cohousing, how does the group go about comparing its financial capacity to prospective sites? I'm working on a spreadsheet that attempts to answer this question. What I'm really trying to create is a tool that will enable _any_ community member, armed with a few key pieces of distilled financial information about each household, to independently evaluate a site and their ideas about how it could be used. And -- this is important -- to try out a ton of different _variants_ to their ideas about how the site could be used and see how much more/less affordable those variants are. (Of course such an evaluation would be extremely rough -- I've been hearing about how difficult it is to predict costs! -- but even a rough guess is better than having no clue at all. When I want to play around with the financial implications of using a site in ten different ways, I don't want to pay an expert to evaluate every single one of them; and even if there's an expert who's willing to do it for free, that would be using up valuable goodwill that my community will need later for the _real_ work. I've got to be able to do this myself. Then if things look good I can share my ideas with the community, and if _they_ like it we can hire someone to do a "real" evaluation.) For those who want a look, the draft spreadsheet is at <http://www.hevanet.com/fillard/cohousing/finance/>, in both Excel (.xls) and AppleWorks (.cwk) formats. I'd be grateful if people could help me with the following questions: + Is there an existing resource that makes my spreadsheet completely redundant? + Is there an existing resource that I can use as a model in my own efforts? + Because I don't know much about how cohousing finances work, the current draft of the spreadsheet is very simplistic and omits all sorts of important stuff. How do I go about filling in the gaps? I already have copies of the ScottHanson book and a binder from a McCamant & Durrett "Getting It Built" workshop I attended. Are there other books or web sites that speak directly to what I'm talking about here -- in detail, but also in a way that's comprehensible to a layperson? + Probably I should sit down with one or more people here in the Portland area who have actually been through all this. Is there any particular _kind_ of person I should ask to do this with me? E.g. someone with a particular job title? + Anybody out there want to take a crack at helping me work directly on the spreadsheet itself? :-) Thanks very much! Fillard 503-777-MATH (6284) http://www.503777math.com "How silent the woods would be if only the best birds sang." - Dale Turner P.S. Note that I'm "copylefting" the spreadsheet, which means anyone who wants to copy, distribute, and/or modify it can do so as long as they preserve the copyleft. In other words, feel free to use it for your community -- once it's halfway decent, that is!
- Spreadsheet to compare financial capacity with prospective sites Fillard Rhyne, October 14 2006
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