Re: Inter-generational age-in-place co-housing communities - are there any out there?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2015 06:08:33 -0700 (PDT)
> On Oct 1, 2015, at 7:11 AM, Diana Carroll <dianaecarroll [at]> 
> wrote:
> 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 also have one unit designed to meet the specific needs of one household (a 
wife whose husband worked in DC and commuted from a great distance because she 
was afraid of living in the city. They never moved in.

> 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.

The problem is that this is one of the things that attracts people to 
cohousing. The long design and build process is not exactly attractive if the 
ideal of designing your own community is eliminated. If a the end of it, it 
looks like any other development, some people will ask why bother?

I hear you out there, saying community, community, community, but it isn’t a 
good sell all by itself. Many people already have community where they are. And 
its hard to see community when you begin looking at housing that looks like 
everything else.

If you REALLY want to assure market price sales, don’t build a common house. 
That is the first expense that a bank won’t take into consideration when 
valuing your home. I’ve yet to find an appraiser who would even look at the 
common house — “There are no comparables.”

Not arguing with your point, which is very valid, but there is more to it. And 
2008 was a horribly unfortunate time to finish any housing project.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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