WHAT IS COHOUSING?
Cohousing refers to an intentional community of private units/homes and shared spaces where neighbors know, care for and support each other. Cohousing communities can take many forms, but usually mean they collaborate on managing community business and activities and usually share some regularly scheduled meals. There’s a lot more information here at the Cohousing Association.
DO I OWN MY OWN HOME?
Yes. Wisdom House occupants all own a private, modern condo unit or cottage with a full kitchen and one or more bathrooms.
DO I ALSO OWN A SHARE OF THE COMMUNITY?
Yes. Along with other households, you own an undivided share of the common spaces, which include but are not limited to a dining/meeting room with a commercial-grade kitchen, living room/library, courtyard, patio, gardens, hallways, walkways, and utility areas. You own your own parking space if you have one.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Typically, cohousing projects cost about the same as comparable cottage/condominium projects. The individual units are often smaller to encourage the use of common spaces. Based on the size and specific finishes chosen, our units are initially planned to be sold for between $200,000 and $500,000. Future resale prices will vary.
WHAT ABOUT HOA FEES?
These are yet to be determined, but typically will include water, garbage, recycling and community wifi as well as a monthly contribution to our reserve fund. Owners pay their own electricity and gas if they have it, as well as any individual television and Internet connections. The community develops the annual HOA budget.
WHAT ABOUT PARKING?
While many of us are planning on reducing or eliminating use of a private vehicle, most units come with a single off-street, secure parking space. We have intentionally located our project to be well served by public transit and private car-sharing services.
HOW BIG ARE THE UNITS?
Our homes come in various sizes and configurations to meet the needs of our members. There are one- and two-bedroom homes and some with a third room that can be used as a bedroom or study. Home sizes range from about 800 to 1400 square feet.
IS THIS A CARE FACILITY?
No. We do not offer skilled nursing care, medical support or memory care. We are not a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), nor a retirement home or convalescent facility. We are a group of active adults who have chosen to live in a tight-knit community of caring, helpful friends. We believe this will enable many of us to stay in our homes longer than if we lived in isolation.
DO YOU ALLOW CHILDREN?
Absolutely! We love children, and they are frequent visitors. We cater to adults 55 and older, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a child or younger person living in your unit with you.
IS COHOUSING JUST A VERMONT THING?
Cohousing is sweeping the nation. Per cohousing.org, there were about 160 cohousing developments in operation and another 140 in various stages of development across the country.
DO I HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY MEALS?
No, but you are encouraged to do so. It’s one of the best ways to socialize and better get to know community members. It is envisioned that a number of planned community dinners will occur each month, as well as others on special occasions. Members are expected to help with at least one meal each month.
HOW IS WISDOM HOUSE DIFFERENT FROM A TRADITIONAL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY?
Wisdom House was designed by our members and is owned and operated by us. There is no corporation or non-profit organization making decisions for us. We are driven by what benefits our members, not a corporate bottom line. Most importantly, Wisdom House is an intentional community. For us, a strong community is an explicit goal, not the lucky coincidence of having good neighbors. We think cohousing is a more pleasant fulfilling and satisfying way to live.
HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
It’s easy — you fill out the CONTACT form, we will add you to our Interest List and we will be in touch with you. We plan to hold some community meetings in 2020 as the project develops. We recommend that you consider whether cohousing is right for you before you sign up to be on our wait list. See Our Living in Cohousing page.