Re: What SHOULD I be worried about?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2014 09:26:46 -0700 (PDT)
Philip is of course correct but when it is all laid out like that it's a bit overwhelming. In reality each one of these things will/may occur months apart so you have time to adjust. Knowing they are coming is a great advantage. Groups used to be surprised by each one. And now that you know them, you can be prepared.

Pin people down to cost estimates, etc., and do you own research. The web gives you access to education and information like no other cohousing group has had.

And remember that this is fun and rewarding. At 14 years with a lot of turnover I find my mind wandering to a crisis or new idea that would bring our community together as much as that hurricane that filled the mud pits that were supposed to become basements and delayed construction again. Or the last minute scramble to get all our purchase contacts and down payments in by 6:00 with one day's notice or the whole project would be lost. After the dust settles all that binds the founders in a way that it's hard to replicate.

R Philip Dowds wrote:

Plan on delay.  Plan on surprising cost increases.  Plan on flogging your way past 
disappointments.  Your group may have to deal one or more of …

internal disagreements about location, design, pricing, membership, whatever;
complicated local or even State permitting, waivers and variances;
members that come and go, and come again;
litigation by your neighbors;
nervous bankers;
bad cost estimates;
incompetent or opportunistic professional services;
and other problems …

All of which can morph your three-year, $9mln project into a five-year, $12mln 
project.  You can, of course, succeed.  Many groups do.  Just be realistic, 
flexible, and go get expert input when you need it.  And armor up.

R Philip Dowds AIA
Cornerstone Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

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