Re: What SHOULD I be worried about?
From: David Heimann (
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2014 13:45:33 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Michelle,

Another thing to make sure about is having strong reserve funds for eventually replacing major property items such as the roof, heating and hot water, kitchen equipment, walkways, asphalts, siding, etc. This includes strongly funding the reserves to begin with (even though it may make for higher unit prices) and strongly replenishing the reserves each year (even though it may make for higher condo fees).

We (Jamaica Plain Cohousing) set strong reserves when we established our initial budget and condo fees. Everyone buying a unit bought into these, and the momentum to keep up the reserves has been there ever since. I've heard stories about cohousing developments (and conventional developments for that matter) where such strong reserves were not set up initially, and they had to make hard and painful decisions several years later.

        All the best in your efforts!

David Heimann
Jamaica Plain Cohousing

On Mon, Jun 16, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Michelle Burce <michelleburce [at]>

Hi everyone!

I'm part of a group working to build cohousing, and the resources available
on this list and its archives have been AMAZINGLY helpful! Thank you all
for sharing your wisdom over the years.

So far, many of my fears have been allayed by this list, since so many of
the responses to various problems seem to be "Communicate with your
neighbors and it will all work out fine." Choosing who gets which lot? "We
haven't had too many conflicts." Reserving the common house? "Usually not a
problem." Worried about too little privacy? "Don't worry too much."

So my question to you cohousing veterans is: What should we be worried
about / work out in advance / get a good plan for NOW? What are the bumps
in the road that actually take a solid process, or a professional, or a lot
more money than we think? What one (or two or three) piece(s) of advice
would you give some folks who have a group formed and meeting, have land
and architects picked out, but have not yet dropped the huge sums of money
to make this happen?

I think we, as cohousing newbies, might be focusing our energies in
worrying about those things that can get worked out, but are not seeing the
things that can stymie a whole community.

Thanks everyone!
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