Re: [C-L] How to develop a group for 50+ without family
From: Stuart Joseph (
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 10:59:46 -0700 (PDT)

Brian Bartholomew wrote:
Marganne <marganne [at]> writes:

In my polity, attached similar dwellings are NOT more economical than
detached homes.  Once houses get close enough that they are labeled a
"subdivision", there's a lot of extra stuff the city commission
obligates you to build, and a huge variety of economizing approaches
the city commission bans you from using, such as self-building.
Once you decide to take some land and parcel it out for homes, you have a "sub division," in my area, building attached homes would fall into another category.

Here in Rockingham VT, anyone can do their own building, and I think that there are a lot of places that allow it all over the country. Of course, you still have to meet the zoning regulations and city and state codes.
My personal estimate of the numbers in my own local situation is that
in the absence of zoning, I could have built a house situation for a
$60K buy-in.  But in the real world with all the zoning, permitting,
and guilds, the price increases to $225K.
We don't have to worry about Guilds, but you do make a good point about all of the additional costs that are involved in building a house or a co-housing project.
  That's almost four times
more resources used.  The biggest improvement you can make in
affordability is to relocate out of the grasp of polities that will
quadruple your costs.
And move to an area where everything is less. The remoter the area, or the more depressed it is, will have a bearing on what you will have to pay to build your house. Of course, you might not want to live there, either.
The costs of a weathertight box to live in that contains a shower,
stove, sink, and bed are negligible.  For instance, I hear FEMA
trailers are being auctioned for $700.
Where did you hear that?
  If you were to cluster 20 of
them on 20 acres, that gives you somewhere to live while the bunch of
you built something nicer -- but good luck finding a polity that
allows you to live this affordably.
Vermont does not allow a distinction between a single family home and a trailer, they are considered the same.
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Stuart Joseph, 802-463-1954
Project Director
Caer Coburn, a traditional village based upon cohousing  and intentional 
communities in
Rockingham, Vermont, USA
Mail to:
36 Front St.
Bellows Falls, VT 05101 USA

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