Re: How to develop a group for 50+ without family, plus affordability
From: Ruthpoet (
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 07:07:13 -0700 (PDT)
I'm new to the list, but was interested by this topic. My partner and I are  
47 and 45, no kids. So the host of new elder-cohousing projects happening out  
there are probably 15 years premature for us, but the majority of other  
co-housing seems to be focused on raising kids, which also doesn't fit for  us. 
Seems to me the childless 40s and 50s group is a whole 'nother  demographic... 
We are fine with living with younger folks and older folks too,  of course, 
but I'm talking about how the community is designed.  (Also, we  are lesbians, 
and a lot of communities seem to be designed with a very hetero  focus, though 
"open to" others. Then there are the communities that are  exclusively LGBT. 
We'd prefer more like a half and half mix. Anyone else like us  out there?)
I'm wondering though, Marganne, why the aversion to having a  mortgage? Not 
expecting an answer - your way of managing money is your own  business - but it 
struck me as interesting. To me, having a monthly  mortgage payment would 
actually seem preferable to tying up all my cash. I  guess there are different 
ways to think about affordability. Personally, since I  don't have kids, I am 
happy to die with a great big unpaid mortgage!   Why not? If my mortgage were 
paid off, or I were mortgageless, it would only  mean a big asset that needed 
go to someone... and there is no one I feel  that highly motivated to 
bequeath it to. So my own definition of affordable  seems to be quite different 
Marganne's. It's more like: if I can find  a way to get in (i.e. can come up 
with sufficient down payment - which is  probably not a problem) and can manage 
the monthly payments, it works for me. I  even like the creative ways to keep 
monthly payments lower - like the  negative-amortization mortgages, where the 
payments are kept artificially low  and the balance actually gets larger 
rather than smaller - though those only  work for a limited period, of course, 
I don't know whether these are  available for co-housing or not (though I 
would think they would be - since you  can use them for condos.)  There is a 
called "Die Broke," by a NYC  financial advisor, who advocates this approach, 
so I'm not totally alone...  (though I was living this way before I ever 
heard of his book.) 
Ruth, in Massachusetts (but formerly from California - and I wish it  weren't 
so expensive out there!)

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