Terrifying: to fill with terror or alarm; to make greatly afraid.
Yup. That dictionary definition pretty well sums up the dread I felt buying my first home. If I only knew then what I know now … If only there had been an internet (dating myself here), if only I had someone to talk to about the process, if only I hadn’t had the mistaken idea that the real estate agent would handle everything …
To this day, I remember in great detail the trauma around buying my first home. Just one detail to illustrate: settlement took more than four hours of intensive negotiation via my settlement attorney, the seller’s two real estate agents and the seller — all at the table — as the seller balked at items in the contract that he had to fulfill as required by law. It didn’t go well.
Since there’s no time like your first time buying a house … make it a first time to remember as an adventure instead of trauma.
What causes all this stress? Safe to say that with the possible exception of having and raising children, buying a house will be the single biggest monetary investment the majority of us make in our lifetime. When you add to that the emotional aspect of that purchase being buying a HOME you can see how the stress can spark.
The mechanics of buying a home are the same whether you are choosing to live in cohousing, a typical urban, suburban, rural community development; buying a condo, co-op. single family detached, duplex, quad, or multi-family home; married, single, young or old — everyone marches through the same hoops to get to settlement, get the keys and move-in.
While buying in cohousing can offer some relief in reducing the suspicion of being “ripped-off” if you’re not prepared you can be just as surprised in buying a cohousing home as any other house.
The process follows these general steps whether using an agent or buying a home For Sale By Owner:
Mostly, the home buying process is a LOT of clerical, administrivia work. If you don’t like details … the process can be a bear. But it is totally doable.
In the Cohousing Toolbox below you will find some references to get you started on your way. It is NOT exhaustive. Educate your self by conducting your own research. Don’t overlook taking advantage of any home buying seminars in your area. There is lots of free or low cost workshops available for home buyers.
Make your first home buying experience fun to remember!
The Cohousing Toolbox
Sometimes you just need TOOLS to help you on your way. Whether you are a newly forming group or a well established community, here's some stuff designed to grease the skids of cohousing.
Jargon, jargon, jargon. You gotta know the rap to play the game. Don't try to cram the information like you are studying for a test. Give the references below a once over and then use them when you need to understand or define a term of art in buying your home!
New York State -- applies to us all!
The Motley Fool
The Definitive Guide for Homebuyers
A Mortgage Glossary
HUD Steps for Buying a Home
Financing Your Home
Affordability Calculator -- how much can you afford?
Mortgage Calculator -- what will your mortgage cost?
Do you have a tool to share? Send your thoughts, comments and suggestions to Ann. Include contact information. We'll print suggestions in a future newsletter!
Saturday, February 20, 2016 come out for the Visitor Day at Heathcote Community! Freeland, Maryland.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 7-8:30 p.m. DC Home Buyer Seminar
Presented by GPN Title, Long & Foster, 1st Portfolio
Saturday, March 5, 2016, tour Takoma Village Cohousing in Washington, DC. Sign up via Washington DC Area Meetup.
Saturday, April 16, 2016 the Living Well, Aging Well Summit will be held at the Fairfax County Government Center from 9am-3pm. The mission of the summit is to collaborate, present knowledge and provide a forum for individuals, family members, general community members and industry professionals to explore multiple aspects of living and aging well.
The Summit will feature multiple opportunities to learn and grow:
Please stay tuned for more information about how to register!
Heathcote Community, a 50-year old intentional community and permaculture demonstration farm, is seeking proposals from families or groups who would like to be Associate Members of Heathcote and rent Heathcote’s farmhouse for a year.
Saturday, April 30, 2016 Have you registered for the unique opportunity to promote your community along with others around the country through the National Cohousing Open House Day ?
This will be a great way to strengthen the bonds within and between communities while lengthening your waiting lists and filling openings. It will help generate new interest nationwide as well, thus more communities can emerge over time. Sign up using this form.
Aging Better Together: May 20-21, 2016Salt Lake City, UtahDiscover how you can live a powerful purposeful life in cohousing!The conference holds the keys to creating a highly functioning senior friendly cohousing community. You will learn how to get started, meet the people who can help make it happen, and discover best practices from others who have already made the journey.
There is something for everyone - those exploring the idea, newly forming groups or existing communities with aging members.
Do you have an announcement? Send your info to Ann using the standard 5-Ws: Who, What, Where, When, Why + contact info!
More Transforming Furniture
Konnekt -- a furniture system designed for the life of the Common House. "Pouf" system includes backrests, tables and framework to add as you like.
By Swedese 2016
Leftover wood chips + cement + water = Cool Acoustical Panels.
Form Us With Love has created some very sexy acoustical panels for BAUX.
Noisy Common Houses are all too common. Common solutions are the standard 12" acoustical tiles seen in many commercial buildings and Tectum which many cohousing communities have used effectively. Nothing wrong with this other than these tiles and panels are ... unattractive.
These Baux acoustical treatments are low impact, green, sustainable and they don't look like 12" white squares with little holes in them ...
According to the website, the panels are designed for use as architectural wall features while also serving to dampen noise. Very sexy.
More inspiring photos.
Ann Zabaldo is a passionate promoter of cohousing. She was on the develoment team for Eastern Village in Silver Spring, MD and Takoma Village in Washington, DC where she lives. She serves on the Board for MAC.
See cool blog for Emerson Commons.