[20yr] - coho-l for 20 years? Hello & bye, sort of.
From: Jim Snyder-Grant (jimsgnewview.org)
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2013 15:35:44 -0800 (PST)
Some 20-year thoughts.

Some of us from New View (Acton MA) were active on the list in the first
few years, as we wrestled with all the new-group issues, and then shared
what we had tried out. Our group started forming in 1989, as a break-off
group from the Greater Boston Cohousing Group (I think that
was what it was called). A few folks decided that studying this new thing
was interesting, but getting a group started to actually get some cohousing
done was much more interesting. My wife and I joined a couple of years
later as the group was expanding. The group got site control in 1993,
started building in 1994, and moved in in 1995 and 1996.  We were (and are)
24 households, with a few extra and important adjacent "community member"
households who participate in community life but not the pure-condo stuff.

We've had only 5 turnovers in those 17 years, so we are roughly two decades
older then when we moved in. We've learned a new word: "NORC" a
Naturally Occurring Retirement Community. The new households have all had
younger kids, but things have definitely shifted towards more professional
services, towards an emphasis on how we can spend more fun time together
(rather than doing physical labor), and towards a willingness to invest in
the long haul, while paying attention to trimming costs where possible as
more and more of us start living on retirement incomes.

None of us here are regular readers of the listserv any more. I dipped back
in when Fred reminded us of the 20 year anniversary coming up. If you have
questions or information for us, you might try our contact form on the
website - a rotating set of volunteers make sure messages from there are
dispatched as appropriate.  And this message has my email address and other
contact info.

Some memories of the listserv? I remember periodically explaining that
contrary to the received wisdom at the time, allowing relatively extensive
customizations at design and construction time saved our butts financially
instead of hurting us. We charged a lot extra for those, and that extra
money helped make up the gap between the total of all the appraised values
of the homes (approximately - what we could charge) and the total
development cost. Those of us that went for simpler houses closer to the
base model were subsidized by those who had the means to build in more
customizations. Thank-you richer neighbors!

As far as my wife and I can tell, this is our terminal house. We are
looking forward to many more decades here, god willing, in our
fairly-accessible house that we can make more accessible, and with the help
of long term care insurance if needed, and with the limited but vital
support of our neighbors.

Hooray for cohousing. I wouldn't live anywhere else. And thanks to Fred and
coho-l for being a wonderful watering-hole for sitting around and sharing
stories.

-Jim

Jim Snyder-Grant
jimsg [at] newview.org
Home: 978 266-9409
Cell: 508 572-2985
18 Half Moon Hill
Acton MA 01720

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