Re: Spreadsheet to compare financial capacity with prospective sites
From: Chris ScottHanson (
Date: Sat, 4 Nov 2006 09:05:58 -0800 (PST)
I have a couple of thoughts for you here... (sorry for the delay in responding)

First, I find that many, if not most people who want to build something to live in (cohousing or not) do not know accurately what they can afford to pay. I don't know why this is, but it is true. Your spreadsheet data may not be accurate as a result.

More importantly, people do not know what new construction is worth, having not shopped for new housing in recent years. This is kind of like not shopping for a car for 10 years and then going in to buy a new car, thinking you are only going to spend $10,000.

Second, in the development industry there is a WIDE range of land values relative to final purchase price for housing. In big cities, or in high demand areas, land values can be as much as 25%, 30% or even 40% of the price of a new home. In a small town, or some suburban locations, and in certain parts of the midwest, the values can be as low as 8% to 10% of the price of the new home. It really can vary and I don't know how you are going to predict this except by looking at the local market and seeing what land costs, what housing costs, and comparing the two.

As I say in chapter 5 of my book, The Cohousing Handbook (see page 82) the terms of your land purchase deal can be far more important than the cost of the land itself. You might want to review that material, and in creating your spreadsheet you might want to take these two major factors into consideration.

Chris ScottHanson

On Oct 14, 2006, at 11:05 PM, Fillard Rhyne wrote:

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?

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