Re: strategies to rein in escalating purchase prices
From: Olaf Kula (
Date: Tue, 25 May 2021 07:06:05 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you Ann for your thoughtful response. I am with ABQ Co-housing, dba
Bosque Co-housing.

On Tue, May 25, 2021 at 09:16 Main Email <zabaldo [at]> wrote:

> Hello Olaf— I feel your pain.
> Unless I’m completely mistaken most cohousing communities have to go
> through this period Sometimes called “value engineering. “ Not unusual for
> our eyes to be a lot bigger than our checkbooks.
> It stings.
> We certainly did that here when Takomavillage in Washington DC was right
> at construction phase.  It’s been over 20 years so I don’t recall the
> details but I do remember one consideration we had was to keep anything
> inside the walls – geothermal, insulation, etc. - because
> obviously changing or adding things later inside the walls would be so
> much higher.
> Unfortunately, you are also trying to build at one of the most difficult
> times for construction. Lack of labor, lack of materials, unstable supply
> lines, vs super demand for housing. I heard just yesterday that people
> whose homes were burnt out in the California fires 4 years ago are still
> waiting for checks to rebuild their homes wherever they’re going to build
> them.  Get in line…
> Just thinking out loud here… The first place to start is with your
> architect and engineer. Or your developer or your developer consultant -
> whomever is on your professional team. One of these folks is responsible
> for bringing in the design within the budget. So I would be going back to
> them to find out what they recommend.
> I would not recommend building the common house later. Later always gets
> to be much much much later. If at all   You may end up with a Common House
> that doesn’t suit your needs. My experience shows that the common house is
> the place that the group will seek to make cuts. That’s not necessarily a
> bad thing but the cuts can get so deep because they don’t want to take it
> out of their personal houses. The common house becomes second cousin to the
> whole development. Or maybe even a third cousin. Or maybe even at least one
> case I know of they never got their Common House at all.   Consider
> removing bells and whistles  from your individual units.  I know. It’s
> heresy. But not within the Cohousing tradition in which you are looking to
> Build a Community not just bricks and mortar housing. As Katie McCamant
> says: you are building a neighborhood. I take that to mean the overall feel
> and accessibility to common features of the whole construction.  What’s
> going to draw people out into the whole space Not just the interior and
> exterior of individual homes but the whole gestalt?
> Do you have a website so we can see the design?
> Just a gentle gentle reminder to everyone posting… It’s a great service to
> people reading like me to know the name of your community, where you are in
> the world and just a little something about where you are in your process
> for instance: forming, building, built, expanding.  One of my goals is to
> build a sense of Community whatever medium I’m using.  This is especially
> true for an email list.  Even us old timers contributing to the list I
> might be mindful about including this information because there are always
> new folks Joining us.
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington DC
> Sent from my iPhone
> All tiipos ... curtesy of Siri  :-)
> > On May 25, 2021, at 7:36 AM, Olaf Kula <kulaolaf1957 [at]> wrote:
> >
> > We are looking for advice on strategies that different co-housing
> > communities have used to rein in escalating home purchase prices.  Our
> most
> > recent construction estimates are some 30% higher than most of us were
> > aware of.   The sticker shock threatens the ability of some members on
> > fixed incomes to remain.
> >
> Snip
> > Please share any and all ideas.
> >
> > Optimistically,
> >
> > Olaf
> >
> >
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