Re: Cost estimates
From: Marganne Meyer (
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 01:37:50 -0800 (PST)
At 10:00 AM -0500 2/14/10, Sharon Villines wrote:
We have had tons of complaints about our construction but aside for some poor design issues, other developers have consistently said, Oh, that always happens.

I once thought that having new construction would avoid all the problems of old houses. And need no renovations. Wrong. Completely

Yep. Big advantage to an existing building where a lot of the surprises already are known and built.

Guess it's just me personally having a problem with developers consistently saying, "Oh, that always happens." Why would someone buying a home have to eat the expense if the contractor installed the wrong flooring? I wouldn't want to sign a contract with any developer who said I had to pay for mistakes they make. I'd want that spelled out in the contract up front. Maybe that's not what some people a used to doing. But that doesn't make it acceptable.

That's why I was asking about projects that come in under budget and within the time frame.I might depend on what values and goals are set by members. If a big increase in cost for a variety of things was acceptable to some but not to others, I wouldn't think it would make a good fit for cohousing.

It's another good reason I couldn't afford to buy into a $200,000 home. On top of that would be the common house and common utility upgrades, then at least a 25% overrun. It means more of a $300,000 price for building in cohousing. If the project was set up for Elder Housing, that would also add a big chunk more up front.

I think that's why a project that allows for sweat equity makes more sense for lower income people. If you had a small prefab house that cost $50,000, maybe the final expenses would be well under $100,000?

I also was thinking that for people who don't need a large living space, building a small house combined with a common house makes even more sense. There are all sorts of things that can be taken out of your small house (take a washer and dryer please) and be used communally in the common house.


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