Re: Inter-generational age-in-place co-housing communities - are there any out there?
From: Diana Carroll (
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2015 04:11:37 -0700 (PDT)
On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]>

>      (1) Design and live in the thing YOU want.  This may be your one and
> only opportunity to make something that's exactly right for you.  But ...
>      (2) If you are designing units for others on spec — that is, for
> future buyers you've not yet met — then "market  middle" designs are the
> obvious strategy.

If you are designing cohousing, and your units are not all sold at design
time, and affordability is one of your goals, these two points are likely
in conflict; having each unit have a different design makes for much more
expensive design and construction.  We decided on five unit types, and all
five had to be designed both to meet the wishes of existing buyers and
"middle road " future buyers.

Another point that we failed to consider: some of the people who are part
of the design process don't actually buy the unit!  We have features in our
units specifically added at the wishes of individuals who for one reason or
another left before construction was complete.  (Despite the many thousands
of dollars of deposit).

> PS:  When did Mosaic Commons start construction?  Not 2007, I hope ...

2006 if I recall correctly. More importantly our first units were completed
and available for purchase at the end of 2008 and beginning  of 2009.
Whenever anyone asks if I have any advice for new cohousing groups, it is:
don't time construction to finish in the midst of the biggest real estate
market crash in a generation.

And this actually speaks to the points above. You simply cannot know at
design time what conditions will exist when your plans become brick and
mortar. Design for that uncertainty. Which means, unfortunately, NOT
designing based on your own particular preferences.


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