How does a community get started?
Sometimes a developer who already has control of a site or piece of land will initiate and/or drive a new community. Other neighborhoods begin with a core group of future residents who hold the vision of cohousing and build momentum with outreach to prospective neighbors. Sometimes they will work with a local real estate professional to help them find an appropriate site. And they will be wise to contact cohousing professionals to help them establish the basic systems, roles and responsibilities of members. Completed cohousing communities and The Cohousing Association also can provide support to individuals seeking cohousing for themselves, and to new groups through this website, tours, workshops and our biennial national conference.
Why join a group at the beginning?
The sooner you enter the community, the more opportunity you have to be part of the design and planning. Early membership also gives you a higher priority in the order in which homes will be selected. Many groups offer a financial incentive for joining the project early, such as a discount applied to your final house price.
What about buying into an existing cohousing neighborhood?
Turnover tends to be very low in built cohousing communities. The vast majority of people who sell their homes do so because their life circumstances change, not because cohousing doesn't work for them. The Cohousing Marketplace lists cohousing homes for sale or rent, as well as developing groups seeking new members - or you can find information on most cohousing communities (built and forming) using the Community Directory.