Cost estimates
From: Marganne Meyer (
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 01:19:37 -0800 (PST)
At 12:08 PM -0500 2/13/10, Sharon Villines wrote:
In contracting it really pays to understand the kinds of things that have been or could be negotiated. That's why a real estate lawyer and/
or a commercial real estate broker can be worth their weight in gold.

As I've read many posts to this list, I've learned more about how the price of a cohousing home or community can quickly spiral beyond the financial limits of some members. Hiring good professionals probably results in heading off some unanticipated expenses and makes planning departments, banks, etc. take the project more seriously.

Home construction seems to be exceptionally susceptible to delays and cost overruns. Maybe I'm not hearing about the projects or homes that come in on time and at or less than the original budget.

People have been building homes and projects for a long, long time. I'd logically think that the more experience you have, the better you'd be at setting a budget. Somehow, that never seems to happen, even with the best intentions of all involved. (Yeah, logic doesn't apply here, right?)

To top it off, when a project has to go beyond budget to accommodate something unforeseen, it's usually much more than $5,000 to $10,000, especially when the units run from $250,000 to $500,000 each. People who commit to build a house or to a cohousing project must have the ability to be very financially flexible, I think.

Have I gotten the wrong impression of the building process in general? Why does it appear to be so difficult to stay within a budget? What usually delays construction for 6 months to a year? That's an awful lot of 'flexibility' money and time for a family or individual to take on, especially now with jobs and the economy the way it is.

Has there been any cohousing projects that have successfully come in on time and within budget? Is my concept of how planning and construction works totally up-side-down?


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