Out of those group efforts, I encouraged one group to continue and they became a very successful and well managed community.
I encouraged the other group members to not try to continue starting a new community in a very competitive real estate market and to merge their efforts into other communities and create synergy through combined efforts. They did and they are very happy about their decisions.
I recommend that any small group in particular, especially those who are thinking of breaking new ground as pioneers, or who may have made a best effort and folded their program, to consider moving en masse to an established community which may still have multiple lots, condos, or home building opportunities still available. Many experienced builders over the past years combined companies rather than risk trying to restart in an uncertain economy.
Why start over on a four to ten year risk loaded enterprise when an energetic community is waiting to embrace you all only a few hours drive or a brief airline flight away. A good example: Liberty Village in Maryland has 18 homes completed and ten platted lots immediately available to start construction. We are working vigorously to determine what makes new housing even more affordable more quickly: Smaller Houses? Lower Quality? Different Technology? Dropping geothermal ground source heating systems and focusing on smaller and tighter homes with photovoltaic instead? Liberty Village is trying to be open to all creative thinking.
As Liberty Village completes its next ten new homes, it will also have ample land and zoning available to build another ten later to bring it to our approved community size of 38 total new homes. Liberty Village has already moved in at least three households relocated here from California, and all appear to be well assimilated as settlers even if they missed the opportunity to join us as pioneering burning souls 15 years ago. One retired to move here; another kept her California job and works here remotely with ample time to walk her dog every day instead of driving to an office; another negotiated job reassignment to her company's Maryland office and left cohousing in California to leapfrog to Maryland. She rented a house initially and is buying a home this year.
There are 28 households here including renters now sharing the existing 18 homes, and enjoying community meals every week in a charming, delightful, photovoltaic energized Common House. More residents may mean even more common meals as well as less work for everyone. The number of kids has grown from four to 24 and they have a very active Kids Club of their own.
If you'd rather live with friends than strangers, check out Liberty Village with your family and friends. Why start over on a four to ten year risk loaded enterprise when an energetic, experienced community is waiting to embrace you all only a few hours away.
Cheers and best cohousing wishes,
Liberty Village, MD