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Old 03-18-2009, 06:35 PM
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,594 times
Reputation: 52


Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
The intentional communities in New England all very pricey, for those in very comfortable circumstances. Not only are the prices quite high, but there's the prop taxes and community fees. If it's a 55+ community, it's rather homogenous...and boomer-idealist, which can be either a good thing or grating. And the kids...little and teens...and consensus on every decision, etc.


I don't know about men, but as a woman of a certain age, I want comraderie and support without too much "in-your-face" community, the kind you may get with co-housing. But again, it's cost cost cost that must be borne over the next 10 years...can I/we afford whatever option we choose?
I had many of the same concerns you have when I first started looking into cohousing or intentional communities. So far I haven't found any of my suppositions to be true. You do need to be willing to work with other people to solve problems via concensus. I feel confident enough that I'd find people to live with who won't have screaming children and loud music. There is a process used to determine if a particular community is a good fit.

The only continuing problem is the higher prices. That usually happens during construction when people have to make unforseen decisions about countertops or hardware or something else. Most people can afford to pay for those changes or upgrades. I cannot. But I can afford to live in community with like-minded people in small, green homes.


Old 03-18-2009, 06:39 PM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,011,439 times
Reputation: 15649
Default Narrowing down the needs

Okay, if some of us want:
1. to live in a very affordable town or city, on our SS or small pension
2. to have the option of gardening/maybe community gardening
3. eliminate expensive house upkeep and rising prop taxes BUT maybe not choose co-housing
4. have space for our hobbies and also to socialize with like-minded
5. avoid the paths of tornados, hurricanes, volcanoes, and devastatingly cold winters and hot summers...

Where do we go? I'd like suggestions on the Eastern end of the US, as I will not be able to afford airfare to see family as I get older (nor do I want to go by air!) . So far, Knoxville has the highest vote, AFAIAC. Where else?? Anyone else interested in this part of the U.S.?

PS: Marganne, the costs I'm referring to in cohousing communities is less to do with interior details. In NE, these communities are not within towns, they are out n the country, and the units and monthly fees are way out of my price range. They are attracting, obviously, a wealthier clientele. I don't know how they will fare financially over the long term. If I had that kind of money though, I would have many easy choices open to me. I'm looking for something that maybe doesn't exist...independence, caring people around me, and shared resources such as gardens, transportation, etc. Surely there's something out there that provides these, but not necessarily the typical cohousing that takes so much "processing" time and consensus, etc. I'm not putting this down, just don't feel it's my style...but that said, if you have specific communities in mind, I'd love to know about them...

Last edited by RiverBird; 03-18-2009 at 06:55 PM..
Old 03-18-2009, 06:40 PM
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,594 times
Reputation: 52
Originally Posted by ConeyIsBabe View Post

This is exactly how I feel, having reached an age where I'm finally "in control" and don't have to be submissive to someone else's choices. Therefore, it's most important to me to continue my independence for as long as I'm able and that's why I would not consider sharing my living space with anyone.
This is a common misconception of living in a community. I sure wouldn't want to live somewhere where I couldn't make my own decisions and had to live the way others lived, even if I disagreed. It's easy to take a cursory look at cohousing, then write it off your list of possibilities. I'd encourage you to look at the options a bit closer before deciding it's not for you.

Old 03-18-2009, 06:50 PM
Location: Sacramento, CA, USA
84 posts, read 191,594 times
Reputation: 52
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Where do we go? I'd like suggestions on the Eastern end of the US, as I will not be able to afford airfare to see family as I get older. So far, Knoxville has the highest vote, AFAIAC. Where else?? Anyone else interested in this part of the U.S.?
That's a difficult choice. I heard that the area around Durham, NC is nice and not quite so humid. The further inland (from East coast toward mid west) you go, the land usually is less expensive and taxes are lower.

Somewhere in that continuum, is the 'perfect' place. There always seems to be spots in every state that don't get quite as much rain, or don't get as much snow as the rest of the state, or where the temperatures consistently are different than in the surrounding area.

I think I've found out this kind of information from the forums here at city-data. It's the people who live there that know the climate quirks the best.

Old 03-18-2009, 07:58 PM
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico
512 posts, read 1,311,375 times
Reputation: 464
Default My philosophy on the gift of support

I feel a bit guilty that I'm not affected by this economy the way so many of you are, and that my life is finally smoothing out while many are being threatened. But I do have something to offer here...

I'm really here to speak about the topic you mentioned in 2 different posts: social networking, support and comraderie.

I've dealt with severe episodes of depression throughout my life, which led me to become somewhat of an expert in 'managing' what I couldn't prevent. Support is key to how well people get through things,
and after realizing I couldn't completely eliminate episodes, I could improve them by
1. paying attention to early signs, and
2. developing a support system when I was well: people who knew what I wanted when I was incapable of making good decisions, or who I, at least trusted.
Research shows that support is the key ingredient to recovery, physically, mentally and emotionally. When I moved to Tucson, I joined a support group since I was alone, and noticed how many people simply relied on their 'doctor as expert' and weren't very aware that you could do so much to prevent a horrible outcome in the event of a crisis. Some were on medication cocktails of 7 or more drugs-because their doctor told them what to take. I eventually hooked up (and trained with) a woman who was right on target with my beliefs, and who has written several 'workbooks' for people to create their own plan (WRAP: Wellness Recovery Action Plan, Mary Ellen Copeland). To me, it was just common sense that if I enlisted 'supporters' when I am well, and if I can educate them about what I need when I'm in crisis, and trust them to carry out my wishes, that I could acheive a much better outcome--often preventing crisis, to begin with! It's like the pill you carry with you 'just in case', that you often don't need to take--but the key is that you have that pill if you need it. Friendship is a wonderful form of support!
-Believe me, I've had some nightmare hospitalizations, with friends or family who simply didn't know what to do. (one friend called my work, telling them I tried to commit suicide. Not the best decision, but the only thing she could think of.)
Sooo, I was very surprised when Wisteria said I was the only one she's spoken with by phone.
Remember, I stayed with her on my trip to Yuma, and was supposed to meet up with ConeyIsBabe, but it didn't work out (yet, anyway). Our meetup was not random, or simply convenient... I made it a priority!
..an opportunity to strengthen the bonds I found in this thread, cuz you guys are people I like in my life, whether we ever get together or not. My point is that support is key to everything, and while we can't solve each other's problems, we can 'lighten our loads', so to speak. I'm not sure why more phone conversations aren't happening, but I'm here to encourage it as a way of 'strengthening the bonds', and I invite anyone who feels like talking, to DM me, and we can exchange numbers.
...OK, I also have to admit I recently watched "Sex and the City: the Movie" after following the series, and I see the same principle at work. I love the friendship of those gals, working through every issue and phase of their lives together.. 'Just Hollywood?'--- No, it's real, but too many think of friendship as an extra, instead of a necessity. Time to correct anyone that puts friendship on the back burner, till they 'get it together'. Coming together helps everyone get it together! I guess that's the role of a spouse in more traditional relationships, but as admittedly single women, we aren't just people to write with, we are women worth supporting and sharing our lives with, no matter what path we take! But it doesn't happen magically.
Most people want to do the right thing for each other--we need to let
others know what works and what doesn't.
2 phrases to remember:
"How can I help?"
"Here's what I need".

*who knows, maybe we'll end up looking as good as those gals on TV, if we become friends!
Old 03-18-2009, 08:14 PM
Location: Edina, MN, USA
6,956 posts, read 7,406,670 times
Reputation: 16299
Anomoly - I knew there was a reason I missed you!! I couldn't agree more with everything you said. I also admire close women groups (without the gossip, cattin, etc...) When I hear women who claim to be good friends rip each other apart the minute one leaves I bow out of their "close" friendship. But I know it's possible because I've had those special friends. BUT, Anomoly, dear, NO TOILET BOWL RACING!!!!!!
Old 03-18-2009, 08:46 PM
1,569 posts, read 3,088,722 times
Reputation: 924
Originally Posted by mmhere View Post
I haven't read it, but know of it. I belong to a mailing list that includes many of the cohousing projects throughout the world plus lots of people who help to put projects together, including developers. It's very attractive to me (once I got past my prior bias about cohousing). It was very upsetting when we finally got to the bottom of why some cohousers wouldn't want to share a community with small homes. They think of them as Katrina Cottages that will lower their property values. Funny thing -- for those places who have combined different sizes, property values haven't suffered. Perception is everything.

The mailing list is sponsored the the national Cohousing Association at yahoo or google groups. If you want to subscribe and check it out, you probably can find a link to the list from the cohousing web site. If not, just ask me and I'll dig a post out and send it on over. I spent the first 3 years on the list just reading and absorbing and learning without posting.

Thanks Marganne! I'll check it out. One of the huge differences I see from the east to the west is the size houses. Santa Fe and Olympia have many tiny homes that are worth $$$$. Santa Fe has a good concept requiring builder's to build 25% affordable housing when they build developments because it ends up a mix of all sizes and prices. Unfortunately there aren't enough of the "affordable" houses available especially now that everything has slowed to what appears to be a complete halt on building. And the affordable are $200-250,000.

I have a lead on a renter. I went to my knitting group tonight and someone knows someone who is looking for a place. She's an older woman and an artist. Sounds like a possibility.
Old 03-19-2009, 12:58 AM
Location: Alaska
384 posts, read 878,559 times
Reputation: 186
Wow anomoly - bullseye. What continually gets reinforced for me on this thread is that I have that support and interaction - right here where I am in the forzen north. It is amazing, it is so integral to my daily life. I just don't think it can be replaced....perhaps only with something that looks like it but does not feel like it at the deepest levels.

I think it might have been tesjae who said something like "are you going to let weather trump that?" . It was a wake up call for me.

I love the idea of cohousing (but not the angst of constant processing!). I looked at one in Vermont (in middle of Burlington) - it was sooo expensive for such a small small space that was not really well laid out. The units reminded me of the wwII housing projects.

newenglandgirl - how about the mountains of North Carolina? I've been in Eastern TN in late August, early September with no airconditioning in the house - by the time you dry off from a shower you are wet all over again. I couldn't wait to travel north.
Old 03-19-2009, 06:44 AM
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,011,439 times
Reputation: 15649
Default NEG takes trip to VA

Thanks for all the fine suggestions. I have a few days off next week and am going to return to the Roanoke area, maybe get to Charlottesville. Mainly to just get away, as our depressing winter is finally easing and I desperately need a change of scenery. It's drivable in a long day. Anyone out there got a preference between these two areas?
In the meantime, I've got up the courage to let go of the heavy furniture pieces & piano that I never play. In anticipation of some kind of change in 09....out they go!
Old 03-19-2009, 07:08 AM
Location: Maine
3 posts, read 5,714 times
Reputation: 10
Default Getting Together

Wisteria, you have hit the nail solidly on the head. And some of us are even older but still healthy, active individuals with lots of life ahead.

Great things begin with a small core group of doers who can build on each other's ideas, and make their weight felt. There are many possibilities for those of us in the upper age group if we pool ideas, make a plan then follow that plan.

You're right -- there are millions of us out there, invisible, fragmented, isolated, thrashing around trying to find a way to survive. It angers me that we should be so overlooked by our society. Most of us have worked hard to have what little we do and now we tend to be brushed aside as inconsequential in the economic scheme of things. And yet, what power we could exert if we were more visible.

I would be very interested in attending a retreat where we could share ideas and perhaps even develop a plan.

Ideas for a time and location?

Jean, Somewhere in Maine
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