Re: Unit selection process
From: Diana Carroll (dianaecarrollgmail.com)
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 13:23:44 -0800 (PST)
>
> Then, we designed our home sizes around the make-up of the group, and
> thus ended up with four (or five) Four bedroom homes to meet the needs
> of the three (or four) families that wanted them. And then right
> before move-in all but one of those households needed to drop to a
> smaller home size. And now three years later, it is those same
> "necessary" homes that are not-yet-sold. What makes it more
> frustrating to me is that this is a "known" issue....it is very common
> in cohousing for folk to decide they can get by with a smaller house
> size (or for the home prices to increase requiring folk to get by with
> a smaller house size) at the last minute.
>

Ah yes.  I was one of those who found that price increases of the units
(and the falling value of the home I had to sell) forced me into a "too
small" unit.

So, in the "pitfalls" category:
- don't build your units right as the floor falls out from under the
national real estate market
- if there's any way at all you can somehow (I don't know how) actually
have *realistic* unit prices from the start, that would be good.

I joined Mosaic years before we had even found land.  At the time, the
projected price of my hoped for 4 bedroom unit was $350K or so.   When we
found land, that price jumped to $500K.  When we actually *built* it, the
final price ended up being $650K, which was WAY WAY more than our family
could afford.  So we ended up downsizing to one which was merely WAY more
than we could afford ($500K).

I don't think we midjudged the market for 4BR homes.  I think we misjudged
the market for $650K homes of any size.  (Well, to be fair, it wasn't like
we thought that that price was a good price.  The problem was that by the
time we realized what the ACTUAL price was going to end up being, we'd
already bought the land and it was too late to back out.)

So, pitfall: price creep.

This doesn't directly answer your question about unit selection, but it is
closely related.

Diana

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