Re: Non-standardized homes
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 17:14:07 -0700 (PDT)
RoseWind Cohousing, Port Townsend WA is a "lot development model" project. Buy in covered land, infrastructure and common house, and one got a lot on which to build more or less to taste.

Advantages: We couldn't have done our project otherwise, as we had no financing, no capital up front to build-it-all-at-once. Nor (as some urban areas) did we have all our families signed on, ahead of time. It was incremental, from 3 original families who made a purchase option agreement with the land seller, up to all 24 families many years later. So we proceeded with development as each new buy-in added to our financial resources.

Also, no lowest- or highest-common denominator in terms of how plain or fancy a house someone wanted. People could choose. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Disadvantages:
Our houses are too specific. If you live in a somewhat generic house, and the community isn't a good match for you, you might be quicker to move elsewhere, if you hadn't just built the house you'd always wanted! We had one significantly dissatisfied family, years ago, in just that situation. They stayed, and don't participate. Our loss.

Upon resale, again the specificity of our houses works against us. Resales are not common, and when we have one, it might be 800 square feet, or 2800 square feet. Might be conventional, or Rastra block, or strawbale, or a dome. It somewhat limits the pool of people who would want THAT house.

As I said, we felt we had no choice, but to have homes built when and how the owners wished. We could have had more requirements, had them be less diverse. I'd seriously consider that, if doing it again.

Lynn Nadeau
where we have one of our more conventional, medium-sized, houses for sale! See www.rosewind.org for photos and more information.
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