By BoLOBOOLNE payday loans

Co-housing: We are not alone

One point I didn’t get a chance to make in my Ignite talk on Advanced Co-housing Techniques is that we are not alone.  It’s easy to listen to one guy singing on stage about how happy he is in his modern techno-hippy commune and dismiss him as a freak.  While I might be a freak, we are far from the only people setting up this kind of arrangement.

Although I’ve been talking about this kind of ideal since the 1990s, I am not nearly brave enough to try a life-defining social experiment like this without some evidence that it can actually work.  Fortunately, some of our friends are braver than me.  A few years ago we watched two couples both with pregnant wives buy a house together with the intention of raising their kids together.  It has worked out fabulously for them. They have been an inspiration and a model for many of us who have followed.  I put together this map  on the right to demonstrate how the idea has spread.  The green points show houses just like ours — where multiple unrelated / unmarried people have come together to co-own a large supposedly single family house (with a single kitchen) with the intention of raising their kids together.  The blue dots are houses of friends of mine whose that are very similar but don’t meet all those criteria.

I seeded this map with just my friends’ houses around Capitol Hill.  If you know of others and want to add them, feel free to go edit the Google Map yourself.  For security reasons, I haven’t included any identifying information about the houses, and have only located them as accurately as the closest intersection, and I encourage you to do the same.

The point of all this is to show that we might be crazy, but we’re not the only ones.  As another point of support, the map below comes from cohousing.org showing the locations in the greater Seattle area of larger planned cohousing developments.  Click through to find similar communities across the country.

  1. leodirac says:

    The recently-purchased group-owned houses I know of went for about $450k – $600k per couple or per family unit. Which is somewhat above average for a single-family home in Seattle, but I think pretty typical for these neighborhoods.

    One of the most consistent estimators of a residential house’s price is dollars per square foot. That number tends to vary with neighborhood and construction quality. Then it’s a matter of choosing a neighborhood and looking for a place with an architectural layout that you’ll feel comfortable in with other people around. More to say on that later.

  2. Dave says:

    Interesting. I’d like to see a Zillow report on a house or two which is used for cohousing? I was wondering about per-couple cost & how it compares to a standard home.

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