Re: How to develop a group for 50+ without family, plus affordability
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 07:53:28 -0700 (PDT)
Hello all --

I'm very interested in this discussion both as a professional developing cohousing for adults 50+ years and older and as a cohousing resident.

My company, Cohousing Collaborative, is close to nailing down a site in the Washington, DC area which we will develop as "Senior" cohousing. We are targeting and attracting adults starting around 50 yrs old (which appears to be the same age as AARP starts sending membership notices!)

However ... there's nothing magic about the age "50."

Why not cohousing for adults of all ages?

Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Principal, The Cohousing Collaborative
McLean, VA

Direct #  202 291-7892
FAX 202 291 8594

On Jun 28, 2007, at 10:07 AM, Ruthpoet [at] wrote:


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 to
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 from 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, and 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 book 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!)

************************************** See what's free at http://
Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.