Re: Okay! we're moving the conf call to 7:00 Monday's
From: Beverly Bocaner (
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2008 09:31:28 -0800 (PST)
At the risk of going beyond the realm of these discussions, I submit: I've
been interested in Co-Housing since ordering a handbook on the subject for
our library and making extensive notes during checkout. I set the interest
aside until my Mother's death; she lived with me, as her primary caregiver,
during  Alzheimer's. The success and importance of that experience
powerfully underscored my need to maintain independence yet achieve
community during my own aging process. I've picked up Co-Housing again, as a
matter for serious exploration.

I own a Victorian duplex, built 1889 and converted to up/down apartments
after the silver crash of 1893. The property's located between two parks,
near the Botanic Gardens, close to excellent public transportation, and
adjacent on the West side to six other Victorians built the same year, some
really big! Zoning in my block includes both R-4 (business) and Historic
District, meaning old homes are protected against thoughtless scraping, but
type of use is broadly defined. The east side of the block includes
multi-family apartments, condos, and one educational enterprise, with each
property having undergone extensive updating. The West Side remains a
hodge-podge of variously owned Victorians in a variety of conditions. Land
values almost preclude rehab investment and owners will recover their
initial investment without making any effort to improve. A large and new day
shelter for women and children is built near the SW corner, near a gas
station on Colfax, a Main Street in Denver.

I've steadily refinanced for improvements since 1988 but I'm far from
finished: recent roof and HVAC; flagstone patio and walkways; zeric
landscape in progress; interesting and attractive two-car garage; two
parking spaces in the rear; have rental income from the first floor
apartment; engineering complete for a deck off the second floor kitchen. I
consider all seven Victorians absolutely right for a Retrofit Co-housing
Community, tho requiring wads of time and cash to retrieve them all from
obscurity and decline.

Since "you can't take it with you," anyone familiar with donating
equity/tools/good furniture to an enterprise designed to create community?
Share resources and skills, prepared to invest for eco-friendly, quality
green construction when needed, and careful design of private and communal
space? What about creating one CoHouse (as a prototype) by my offering an
owner carry-back (on the first floor apartment as condo) with no down
payment, a low-interest 15 year loan, and my donation of equity, etc., when
legally sane to do so? This would be a sure-fire investment for eventual
owners who need the security of a market-rate exit strategy to protect their
investment. My place could be the start of something big, something cool,
and sorely needed as an alternative to business as usual. Comments or advice

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