Re: VACANCY RATE POLL - Is Cohousing Overbuilt? How many vacancies at your community?
From: Robert Heinich (robertenocommons.org)
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 10:30:48 -0700 (PDT)



Quoting Craig Ragland <craigragland [at] gmail.com>:
while reselling is typically an individual effort - and sometimes by people no longer happy with their situation?
I have been living at Eno Commons for almost 10 years, however, I still constantly marketing via maintaining the website and giving tours. When a neighbor needs to leave, I place an ad on the EC web site and contact those who have been in contact with us in the last six months. So the departing neighbor will receive calls from folks who are interested in the community. A win for the community and a win for the departing neighbor. A real estate has not been employed to sell a house in Eno Commons in years.

However, I need not come up with this idea; credit belongs to Rob Sandelin for this insight.


Robert Heinich
Eno Commons Cohousing Neighborhood
http://www.enocommons.org
Durham, NC
where he may need to consider, ten years from now, one of those Florida's Suncoast Key West cottages as his property taxes keeps increasing from living in a appreciating neighborhood.
Hi Robert,

That's no quibble - you're just providing an example of what is,
unfortunately, atypical - for many communities. In the context of working
with the Classified Ads, I've spent time talking with wanna-be sellers who
feel very alone in their efforts.

I'd urge you to post this to Coho-L and urge other communities to help us
change what is typical - I hope you understood from my words that I advocate
that we find better approaches.

I'd love to see real estate agents involved to help with transactions alone
- on a fixed price basis - after the community has helped fill the
membership "hole" created by the departing member - fairly different from an
agent selling a house (which happens to come along with all that
coho-stuff).

Craig

On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 5:38 AM, Robert Heinich <robert [at] 
enocommons.org>wrote:

>
> Craig,
>
>  while reselling is typically an individual effort - and sometimes by
>>>> people no longer happy with their situation?
>>>>
>>> A slight quibble to your otherwise fine post.
>
> I have been living at Eno Commons for almost 10 years, however, I still
> constantly market via maintaining the website and giving tours.  When a
> neighbor needs to leave, I place an ad on the EC web site and contact those
> who have been in contact with us in the last six months.  So the departing
> neighbor will receive calls from folks who are interested in the community.
>  A real estate has not been employed to sell a house in Eno Commons in
> years.
>
> However, I need not come up with this idea; credit belongs to Rob Sandelin
> for this insight.
>
>
> --
> Robert Heinich
> Eno Commons Cohousing Neighborhood
> http://www.enocommons.org
> Durham, NC
>
>
> Quoting Craig Ragland <craigragland [at] gmail.com>:
>
>
>> Wow, what an idea... Cohousing overbuilt?
>>
>> The actual geographic distribution of Cohousing, in 23 states, is quite
>> small. Consider: most people buying homes only consider moving to areas
>> close to where they live - now.
>>
>> The percent of the US population with an existing Cohousing community
>> within, say, 50 miles must be huge. How many in Texas? A great big Zero...
>> what about Florida, another "0." How about NYC or Chicago or LA? There are
>> just almost no acceptable homes where a great many people actually live -
>> now. The map on the front page of the Cohousing Website and its linked
>> article lets you visualize just how many people there in the US have no
>> cohousing homes available to them for hundreds and hundreds miles - in all
>> directions... Yet we know from the Cohousing Website analytics that
>> thousands of people from these areas visit our site... some are very
>> heavy,
>> repeat users of the Cohousing Website, many of whom pour over the
>> Directory
>> and Classified Ads... presumably, some are also readers of Coho-L.
>>
>> I view the major challenge for the vast majority who become interested in
>> cohousing, in the US, is their only choices are to (1) move somewhere else
>> or (2) help create it for themselves - and both choices are generally
>> undesirable for most Americans. Residents of Denmark, with their MUCH
>> higher
>> per capita "market penetration" and smaller geography are much more
>> fortunate - they often have some real choice.
>>
>> IF cohousing is overbuilt, it is an extremely local phenomena - restricted
>> to a very small number of areas in the country with high numbers of
>> cohousing homes on a per capita basis. I don't believe cohousing is
>> over-built anywhere - and that the difficulty selling Cohousing homes has
>> more to do with the way they are sold - it is so often just the sellers
>> problem.
>>
>> If you step back from conventional thinking, doesn't it seem kind of odd
>> that the effort of creating (and "selling") new cohousing homes is a big
>> group project, while reselling is typically an individual effort - and
>> sometimes by people no longer happy with their situation?
>>
>> Forming groups bring together lots of resourceful people who pull together
>> to do something very difficult. With my community, Songaia (15 homes, 38
>> people on 11 acres near Seattle), we even rejected the idea that we were
>> "selling houses," insisting they we "doing outreach" and "community
>> building." This appealed to some and turned off others. In the case of the
>> two Songaia resales, the first owner - who had already distanced herself
>> from the community - listed the home on MLS with a real estate agent after
>> deciding to sell. It took months to sell in a very UP MARKET - the agent
>> was
>> clueless about cohousing and often misinformed potential buyers. The
>> second
>> owner - who, despite his absence and decision to leave, seriously cared
>> for
>> his relationship with the community. He offered his home gracefully and
>> members of the community pulled together to help arrange a sale within
>> days
>> in a very DOWN MARKET.
>>
>> Today, there may also be unrealistic expectations about current market
>> values on the part of sellers. When home resale prices are dropping all
>> around you, it can be very hard to accept that your home is less valuable
>> than months ago. We also need educated real estate professionals - selling
>> homes in a DOWN MARKET is hard and selling what you don't understand is
>> even
>> harder.
>>
>> I have a lot of ideas about how we will continue to expand Cohousing - I
>> embrace a future where we have helped create a huge demand and enable
>> forming groups to avoid the "fill the membership" issue. I'm currently
>> working on a new Powerpoint deck that draws slides from various decks used
>> at the 2008 National Cohousing Conference to share these ideas. So far,
>> I've
>> shared about this topic with three established Cohousing communities -
>> face-to-face, in June and July. Their input hugely shaped my thinking. Its
>> was absolutely invaluable to me. The real key, I believe, is aligning our
>> message, our stories... while many of the "positive" stories we share are
>> compelling to those already attracted to this lifestyle, I suspect they
>> are
>> often unattractive to the majority who sit "outside our little bubble."
>>
>> Because I strongly feel that our most important cohousing work can still
>> only be done in person, I'm taking these ideas to the road. Typed words
>> alone are so flat, they just sit there - in this day of massive,
>> high-production media, they rarely reach our hearts. While a whole lot
>> better than silence, they rarely inspire what's most important - great
>> writers transcend this limitation. Unfortunately, I'm not among their
>> ranks.
>>
>> I believe that "interactive text," like Coho-L, is sometimes better. It
>> is,
>> however, far too easy for us to let our wonderfully creative minds, with
>> our
>> various juicy points of view and ideas, turn our complex interactions and
>> conversation into the real story. For example, very few will actually read
>> these words - they are buried deep in a "Vacancy Rate Poll" thread. I
>> expect
>> that several of us "long-winded writers" are rarely read by others very
>> deeply. And what will happen with the ideas in this posting? Perhaps a few
>> will be picked out for "discussion" - and it will go spinning off in new
>> directions. That's really what defines interactive text these days. Its
>> great for some purposes, but not so great for others.
>>
>> There's a whole lot more to come on growing the Movement from me, but
>> first
>> I need to share it, in person, with some cohousing communities up and down
>> the West Coast. I look forward to sharing the laughter and, yes, more
>> tears,
>> with some of you. I really need your heart-felt help as we work on
>> crafting
>> a stronger Cohousing story. This story needs to be refined and then more
>> broadly shared, sung out in harmony, not discordant cacophony, by a great
>> many voices - and Coho/US will do what it can to help those who care get
>> in
>> tune with some well crafted ideas and supporting materials we feel are of
>> value.
>>
>> Finally, when I do visit communities, I often get interesting feedback on
>> my
>> Coho-L postings - its easy for us active contributors to forget that there
>> are a great many readers among us who never, or rarely, post. I
>> particularly
>> look forward to hearing from and actually meeting some of you folks - and
>> if
>> you want, do feel free to open your arms to give me a hug!
>>
>> Craig
>>
>> On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 10:08 AM, Thomas Lofft <tlofft [at] hotmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>
>>> I noted on a few sig lines, promotion of available units.
>>>
>>> One of the major weaknesses of the present US economy is the overbuilding
>>> of the residential market from 2003 through 2006.  This is prototypical
>>> of
>>> the residential development cycle: every time the glut gets sold off
>>> (1998-2001) and the market demand increases, builder/developers all
>>> figure
>>> thay can each develop a project to capture, say, 1% of the market.  No
>>> risk
>>> in only targeting 1% of the market, is there?
>>> Unless, perhaps, 200 builder/developers all start projects to capture 1%
>>> of
>>> the market.  Suddenly, the market is 100% overbuilt.  How did that
>>> happen?
>>>  Duh?
>>>
>>> If you're willing to share, I'd love to know how many communities still
>>> have unoccupied units for sale, how long they have been on the market,
>>> and
>>> whether any communities have seen what they would perceive to be an
>>> overbuilding of cohousing units in their particular demand area.
>>>
>>> Thanks for sharing.
>>>
>>> TOM LOFFT
>>> Liberty Village, MD
>>>
>>> _________________________________________________________________
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>>>
>>>
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>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>> --
>> Craig Ragland
>>
>> Coho/US executive director
>> http://www.cohousing.org
>> craig [at] cohousing.org
>>
>> Please try email first, include your phone number (w/time zone) - or give
>> me
>> a call: 425-487-3550 (Pacific)... communicate!
>> _________________________________________________________________
>> Cohousing-L mailing list -- Unsubscribe, archives and other info at:
>> http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L/
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>


-- 
Craig Ragland

Coho/US executive director
http://www.cohousing.org
craig [at] cohousing.org

Please try email first, include your phone number (w/time zone) - or give me
a call: 425-487-3550 (Pacific)... communicate!
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