Re: Afforability
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2010 09:16:25 -0800 (PST)
If housing development was cheap and easy everybody would be doing it. It's
neither.  New construction is expensive and you can cut corners in places
but you are still not going to get huge savings building 30+ new homes and
all the attendant roads, and other infrastructure. You are talking millions
of dollars of capital project.  Home ownership is not available to everybody
and it seems likely with the current banking and other problems home
ownership will decline some at least in the near term. It is heartbreaking
to hold a bunch of meetings, get a project organized, build strong
connections to people, then find out the actual costs of your cohousing
dream are not possible for you. This has been the reality of cohousing from
the start and it is unlikely to change because personal mortgage ownership
is a key element of cohousing.  There are other kinds of community where
this is not as big a barrier but they do not offer the financial security of
ownership, thus they are often less attractive to people who have large sums
to invest in housing. In my part of the world development of all manner of
real estate is at a 30 year low point as builders can't get money and banks
are teetering on the edges. The building permit department has so few permit
applications that they have laid off 75% of their staff from 2 years ago.
Maybe things are better in other parts of the country? 

Rob Sandelin
Snohomish County, WA

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