Re: Intro & Question
From: Dirk Herr-Hoyman (
Date: Wed, 4 Jun 2008 06:00:41 -0700 (PDT)
At Arboretum Cohousing, in Madison WI,
our prices are "typical for the neighborhood" that
we are in, which is an established area that's
close to campus (major university) and downtown.
We are right in the midst of sales and just starting
move in, so this date is current.
Our average price about $265,000 with a range
of $180,000 to $330,000 for our 40 homes.

I did do an analysis of affordability, using the same system
that HUD, our county, and city uses for determinations of
affordable housing.  This metric looks at both income and
housing prices in our county.  100 would be average.
We are at 128.  That roughly equates to it takes
income that's 28% higher than the norm for our area
for housing.

We do have 6 "affordable" homes, this is mandated
by the city for 15% of any new housing development.
These are at 70 or lower on the affordability scale.
For our 29 homes in new construction, it's 140.
For 9 existing homes, it's 108.

Sorry that I can't be at the conference this summer,
this would be an interesting presentation on just
the costs and prices. You'll just have to accept the
"reduced" version here :-)

While I don't have income data, I can characterize our
income demographics as ranging from lower to upper.
It would be clustered around upper middle, that is above
the average income for our city/county.  More or less
correlates to the house affordability metric.

BTW, we have just 3 homes left!!!
And we've sold 6 more than once, close to
that magic 110% sales mark :-)
Dunno about the rest of the condo market,
our sales are brisk!


On Jun 2, 2008, at 5:19 PM, Cynthia Armistead wrote:

Hi! I'm Cyn, from the Atlanta, GA, US area. I've been interested in
cohousing and intentional communities for many years. Our family hasn't
been able to afford living in a cohousing development yet,
unfortunately, but we hope to do so.

My impetus for finally joining this list is actually a college
assignment. I'm an undergrad student at DeVry University, and my
technical writing class has been assigned to do research on some topic
for which we can write a proposal, and I chose to research
cohousing--specifically, whether it is more or less expensive to build
and maintain cohousing than single-family homes.

I didn't see anything in the list material prohibiting research, but I
wanted to disclose that I'm doing it, in case anyone objects. I won't
quote anyone without that person's direct permission. I'll be happy to
answer any questions anyone has about my project.

I would very much appreciate information about the current costs of
cohousing, if anyone could point me to sources. I've also tried to find demographic information regarding the average income levels of cohousing
residents, without much luck. I have been searching the archives, but
the most recent cost per square foot estimate I found is several years old.

My personal experience has been that the two cohousing developments with
which I'm most familiar here in Atlanta (East Lake Commons and Lake
Claire Cohousing) are too expensive for many families, including ours.
ELC has some rental properties available, but they are not exactly

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you
will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde - - - -
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Dirk Herr-Hoyman
Arboretum Cohousing in Madison, WI

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