Re: Professional Development vs. Self-Development
From: Christine Johnson (
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 12:33:10 -0700 (PDT)
Joani Blank wrote:

In your experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of co-developing with an experienced developer (who would of, course, be hiring a construction or project manager), in contrast to self-development, where the group finds and hires the construction or project manager themselves.

Just my opinion: our cohousing community was developed with a professional developer, builder and project manager in place, all of whom had prior experience in cohousing development. All the owners in our community are bearing unanticipated costs because our builder and the project manager, did not meet the contract's requirements. The developer did his best to right the wrongs but the wrongs were multiple, his firm was at a distance, and the whole enterprise was complicated by conflicts of interest.

So even with a development team in place, if one or two of the principals are not conscientious and ethical, the owners as a whole will end up having to absorb the shortfalls in provided expertise plus meet all the immediate and long term remediation costs. So the point it, do your homework! Make sure that you understand all the words in the contracts; ask "who profits?'; make sure that you have independent representation of the owners interests.

No regrets -- ours is a beautiful community composed of terrific people, many of whom have become dear friends, but if I knew then what I know now...... Due diligence is essential to a good outcome. If you want the details, am happy to answer any questions back list.

Christine Johnson
Tucson, AZ

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