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1. What does co-housing really mean?

Pretty simple, really: An intentional community of private homes clustered around shared space. Each home has its own complete, private kitchen, but the shared “common house” usually has a full kitchen and dining area and other shared amenities.


2. So are you guys all hippies?

Less simple. We don’t all wear Birkenstocks or lean left politically, but we do all buy into the idea that the safest, healthiest way to live is in community. Some of us go to church on Sunday. Some of us gather for Buddhist sanghas on racial diversity. Some of us host potluck dinners for new fathers.


We’re actually quite proud of the religious, ideological, professional, and age diversity of our crew. You’ll find teachers, architects, writers, pastors, window washers, nurses, small business owners, finance experts, and artists, among us. (Oh, and full disclosure, there is a 1975 VW Bus on the premises, so guilty as charged.)


3. Doesn’t it drive you a little crazy to be together so much?

The surprising thing about being intentional about community—i.e. creating structure—is that you actually have a fair amount of control over and buy-in to how much you hang out with people. It’s written into the rhythms of the community.


In our community, as we would assume in most like ours, people are very aware of one another’s need for privacy and moments of introversion. It’s perfectly fine to go to common meal, make a plate, and head home to be alone. If we think someone’s suffering in some way, we do get compassionately nosey, but there is a huge spectrum of how social people are and that’s a-okay.


4. What were the most challenging aspects of creating the community originally?

How long do you have? Creating a community from scratch—both physically and socially—was incredibly hard. There were floods, literally, and lots of tears, in the process. It required a tremendous amount of emotional fortitude, patience with one another and the process, and a real sense that we were investing in something for the long term. We got way better at having hard conversations as the founding went on, and never quite figured out how to make the water heaters work properly. The imperfection is part of the beauty of the place and our memories of the hard parts, like childbirth, fade with time.   


5. What would you have done differently if you had the chance to do it over again?

It’s a tough question to answer, but generally speaking, we would have had more sober expectations about how much time and energy it would really take to create a community like this from scratch (3 years!). We had little kids and busy work schedules and, at different moments, really had to scale back our vision. We also would have had a therapist on retainer. Just kidding. Sort of.  


6. What are the biggest gifts of living in the community?

Every one of us has a different answer for this. Here are just a few, from our community members:


“It’s impossible to sum it up, but I would say that becoming a parent within this community has been my biggest gift. I have so many mentors that I can ask questions of or just get much-needed, long-term perspective, and I know my kids will grow up with a variety of role models, aunties, and uncles. I have neither the skill nor time to nurture the garden, and yet my family and I benefit from it every single day. I never feel existentially alone.”


“Living in this community has given me many opportunities to grow in both being more compassionate towards others and setting appropriate limits. Cohousing is like a crash course on adult development -- and that truly is a gift.”


“Community made the leap of first-time homeownership a much less daunting, anxiety-ridden experience for me. I benefit so much- from a neighbor’s relative who acted as broker, to the advice of those in community with a great eye for design or a skilled hand for woodworking and faucet-fixing. It feels a bit like training wheels for homeownership.”


7. What is the ownership structure?

The ownership structure in a cohousing community can vary. We are a condominium association, which means that each household  has individual its mortgage but also pays dues to the association. Dues cover costs such as insurance and property maintenance.


8. Do owners and renters live there?

It varies. Currently we are close to 100% owner-occupied, but at other times there have been more renters. We love renters, as long as they embrace our ethos, but we do try to make sure that the majority of those living in the community at any given time are owners.


9. How do you govern?

We have a board that consists of a representative from each household. This is mandated by the State of California for condominium associations.


10. What kind of turnover is there?

Very little. Once you start living this way, it’s hard to imagine going back to living without the proverbial village. Or cooking your own dinner seven nights a week. Ugh.

Other questions?


Visit our Contact page and someone from the community will respond as soon as we're able.

Quote we love

We need to untwist our notion of personal freedom by acknowledging that dependence is the human condition. Genuine freedom can’t be had by denying our individual limitations. Freedom comes from understanding them and working around them, and from building a community where bonds of loyalty compensate for the things we can’t do ourselves.

Deborah Stone


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