cohousing in the news: Arbco
From: Ann Maria Bell (
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 2008 18:37:56 -0800 (PST)
Arboretum Cohousing in Madison WI is featured in an article in The Capital Times, online today and available in print tomorrow. Mike Ivey, the reporter, did a good job of depicting our community, with a focus on conditions in the local real estate market. Mike has covered Arbco from the beginning, providing terrific publicity and recruiting at least one member for us.
Despite slumping real estate market, Madison's newest cohousing project nearly full
Mike Ivey

"Amid the toughest real estate market in a generation, a group of self- described amateurs has pulled off something of a miracle: selling all but three units in the 40-unit Arboretum Cohousing project.

Long popular in Scandinavia but relatively new in this country, co- housing aims to create a community where residents share some facilities, make joint decisions with their neighbors and work together to live in a more sustainable manner."

Word of mouth has been our number one recruiting tool by far. Ads in a local weekly, The Isthmus, have also brought in many people to our information sessions. We've met a few people with tables or leaflets at events like the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair.

We had folks living on site starting in May, and our two large, multi- family buildings came online in Sept. and Oct. As the article mentions, our biggest challenge was not finding buyers for Arbco homes, but finding buyers for the homes that our members are trying to sell. We'd be happy to share information about the land contracts we wrote with our 8 member households who still who have homes to sell.

We currently have 3 (out of 40) homes for sale. One is an affordably- priced unit being offered through Madison Inclusionary Zoning program. We expect to sell that one before January.

One of our nicest and largest new homes, a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 1553 sf, split-level with a balcony, 9 ft ceilings, radiant in-floor heat, storage space, underground parking, and lots of light, is still for sale. It's also our most expensive home at $349,500.

We also have an existing single-family home for sale, a bungalow with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, full basement, porch, and beautiful woodwork.1200 sf, $223,274

Arbco has decided to rent the 2-bedroom bungalow on a month-by-month lease while we try continue to market it. Also, some owners are interested in renting their gorgeous, new 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo immediately, through the end of the school year. Renters have full use of our common spaces and are active participants in our community. Like I said, word of mouth (& its close relative, word of email) has been our best marketing tool. Let us know if you're interested or pass this email on to a friend! You can reach us at info [at] or 608.229.7906.

Ann Bell

PS Check out our photo albums if you want to get a feel for our community. The post-Thanksgiving hooping session was a lot of fun!

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