Re: Affordable Cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:22:15 -0800 (PST)
On Dec 31, 2012, at 2:03 PM, "R.N. Johnson" <cohoranda [at]> wrote:

> You don't get the shiny new home with the neat features, but you do get to 
> live in community.

I would also add to this that the shiny new home is a myth as well. The solid 
old building with new wiring, plumbing, and HVAC may be far superior. 
Construction of complex structures is complex. The job is completed by dozens 
of different companies that employ hundreds of workers who will be on site for 
a day or for months. They can all do work that messes up someone else's work. 
Or just hides it.

New buildings have slanted floors, plumbing pipes that didn't quite get 
connected, switches that blow fuses, HVAC systems that don't work, etc., just 
like old buildings. And no one will know why. It can take years to get the 
kinks out. And years more for all of them to be discovered. It will smell new 
but old buildings that are retrofitted also smell new.

The problems we attribute to being old were not all caused by age. Unless you 
have a top-notch crew with top-notch 24/7 inspections, it won't be perfect. And 
I doubt if you can afford that.

I suggest you visit some renovated buildings and look at what can be done. It 
can very exciting because you can actually see the walls and walk through the 
building to imagine what could go there. And the buildings will have nuances 
that you won't find in new construction.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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