Re: Afforability
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2010 12:30:21 -0800 (PST)
The problem with cost per square foot is that it doesn't include the question 
of "the people". I agree with Sharon that just sharing the actual cost of the 
home is important. People have to know if they can afford it. But that is about 
the actual cost of the home, not the cost per square foot, or other such 

In my town, the cohousing homes and other homes in the town cost about the same 
Your choice is a huge home (2500-3500sf??) on a small piece of land (2-4 acres)
OR a small home (1800sf for our 4BR) on a huge piece of land  (68 acres, we 
built on 8 of those) with an impressive common house and garden.

I think that the difference between those two things is in what you value: a 
home in a community, or a home by yourself.

I don't think that cost per square foot tells you much about that.

(The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
Mosaic Commons in Berlin MA where we have homes for moderate income folk, and 
market rate homes available. And just had a great brunch before the kids gather 
to play Magic.

On Jan 8, 2010, at 4:09 PM, Matt Lawrence wrote:

> On Fri, 8 Jan 2010, Craig Ragland wrote:
>> In promoting cohousing Coho/US staff and volunteers often hear concerns
>> about "high prices" of Coho-homes. Many of these are from people concerned
>> about prices on behalf of other people - a noble stance, but not necessarily
>> relevant to their own community and housing decisions.
>> One response is to ask about the current market value of the
>> questioner's home. In my experience, more than half the people who raise
>> cost concerns live in houses of higher "value" (price, not actual value)
>> than most of the cohousing homes in the area (when they exist).
> I have a nice home in north Austin that is worth about $200K.  This is 
> less than $100/sq.ft.  Building costs in excess of $250/sq.ft. seem to be 
> a bit out of line to me, but maybe my view is strongly affected by housing 
> price in my nice middle class neighborhood.
> -- Matt
> It's not what I know that counts.
> It's what I can remember in time to use.
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