Questions About Cohousing?
IS cohousing like a commune?
No! Communes generally share everything and don't have an owership structure. They are often organized around a particular spiritual movement or philosophy. Cohousing residents own their homes [sometimes rental units are available, as well] and enjoy shared spaces for socializing, dining together, raising food, and more.
What Kinds of amenities does cohousing have?
Cohousing projects are planned and designed by the residents, so they can choose what amenities to include given what they want to pay. Amenities may include spa and exercise facilities, spaces for dance, artmaking, and other classes, co-working spaces, group living and dining rooms, shared tools and equipment, gardens, and more. Whatever the residents want and need, they can design into their village!
How much does cohousing cost?
The total cost comes from the purchase of the land, architect and engineer fees, development fees, construction and/or renovation costs, marketing and promotion, and other such expenses. The project generally divides the total into a cost per square foot that dictates how much each unit sells or rents for. Residents who do a lot of the early development work generally get discounts based on their sweat equity. While we can't tell you how much our units will sell for at this time, we can say that cohousing offers pricing that is competitive with single family homes or condos.
I love it! When can I move in?
Again, it's too soon to get specific, and much depends on the kind of property and any existing building[s] we purchase. Cohousing projects that build from scratch often take 2 - 5 years to get funding, planning, and construction together. We hope to move in in under 2 years.
Who is a fit for the here.together cohousing project?
- People who want to live in an Urban village. We will be growing our own food and, fingers crossed, maybe have chickens and goats at some point, but if you want to live on a real farm out in the country, we are not the project for you.
- We would love to have a diverse group of neighbors in the HERE.together village; diverse in age, ethnicity, and economic status. We'd love to welcome families with kids, single moms, young professionals, and retired people. If you don't want to live with people who are different from you, this is not your cohousing group.
- What matters most is a healthy level of self-awareness, a good humility/ego balance, and a willingness to study and grow as a community member with regard to DEIB education and compassionate communication.
- We want to live and work with people who are committed to the betterment of the community as much as to personal goals. If you are an antivaxxer, this community is not for you.
- We believe everyone has gifts to share and a lot to learn from each other. We want to celebrate strengths and support through our deficits.
- Ideally, you can raise the money for the down payment and contribute financially at the minimal level. But we don't want a lack of funding to be the only bar to entry for an otherwise qualified resident with a lot to offer. We welcome people with caregiving skills who would be willing to subsidize the cost of their home by helping to care for children, elders, or people with disabilities.
what is the decision-making process in cohousing communities?
Resident engagement and control are key benefits of cohousing. Most existing cohousing communities make decisions by consensus. More recently, communities are using a more structured process called participatory democracy or sociocracy to make sure that all voices are included and that decisions are the right ones.
will i be able to sell my cohousing unit and get my investment back
Yes, your unit in the cohousing community is yours. You build equity, just like you would in a suburb or condo. There is a very high demand for openings in cohousing communities. Prospective buyers must be a good fit for the community, but it shouldn't be hard to sell your unit if you need to relocate.
Will i have my own kitchen?
Yes, each household unit will have its own kitchen. We'll design the housing units and decide together what sort of community meals and schedule we want, so the private/community balance is right for us.
How are people selected to be members of a particular cohousing group?
Each project has its own process.
- Many require attendance at an orientation, regular meetings, and some involvement with a committee before a household can apply for membership.
- Some groups have associate memberships that require less in the way of a financial contribution, but do give potential full members the chance to participate fully in the planning process, and to get to know others in the group.
- A full membership usually requires an equity investment, part or all of which is eventually credited toward the final price of your house. This investment can range from a few thousand dollars up to 15% of the final cost of your home.