CoHousing Solutions has extensive experience in all phases of community development: from site search and feasibility to growing and strengthening your group, from overseeing the political process of planning approvals to outreach and marketing, structuring investments, putting together viable development budgets and construction financing packages, from facilitating options and upgrades selection, to overseeing construction and assisting the community with move-in. Katie has been a cohousing developer (the one that signed on the line), a project manager in the trenches, a consultant to affordable housing developers, and a resident of several communities she’s developed, giving her a broad perspective of the entire process. Working as a development consultant, CoHousing Solutions helps our clients determine what skills and professionals they need and who will be responsible for each task. Contact us to begin the process.
A sampling of the areas CoHousing Solutions consults on:
- Group Formation: How do you find your other neighbors, and what do you do first to get a project off the ground?
- Site Search & Acquisition: How do you find an appropriate property? How do you negotiate the best purchase terms?
- Project Feasibility: Will this property work for your group? How much will your homes costs if you build on this property? Are there issues that you aren’t thinking about that will add costs or risks?
- Building Your Development Budget: What will your homes cost? CS has built numerous development budgets, and actually seen them thorough to the end of construction, gaining a perspective to evaluate how well they performed. We can help you build a realistic budget early on, and understand what will make the most impact in holding your costs and prices.
- Raising the Money (Investment Structures & Bank Loans): CS has refined a system for raising investment from your member base and others to cover development cash flow. We can help you develop an investment plan for your project, based on our tried-and-true document templates adapted to your project. We know how to package your project to find competitive construction loans, as well as mortgages for your buyers.
- Finding Your Professional Team: What other professionals will you need? When should your hire them? How do you find them? We can help you with putting together a strong team, and assisting with negotiating their services and fees fairly.
- Finding A Development Partner and Putting Together A Fair, Workable Partnership: Our in-depth understanding of how developers work (Katie previously partnered with cohousing groups as their development partner), will help you find an appropriate development partner. We can explain the business model in terms a developer understands, and assist the group and developer to find an appropriate sharing of risk, reward and expectations for a successful long-term partnership.
- Design Programming: Katie is a licensed architect who worked on many cohousing communities’ designs, with a specific understanding of the how common houses are used. She no longer has the staff to provide full architectural services, but can facilitate the design programming process to define criteria and priorities for your group, working closely with your architect to make the process more efficient, while ensuring your group has the advantage of three decades of lessons learned on successful design.
- Membership & Community Building
- Marketing: Looking to build your cohousing group’s marketing presence and credibility? CoHousing Solutions’ offers marketing support services to forming communities who’ve engaged with our firm for development consulting services. We can advise on what works, how to prioritize your time and budget, and help you get it done. Click here for further details on our Marketing & Outreach Services.
- Setting up your Homeowners Association (HOA): We can help you avoid pitfalls that may make it hard to get competitive mortgages, and provide sample management documents, policies, and budgets from other cohousing project’s HOA’s.
- Project Management
- Construction Management
By working with CoHousing Solutions, your community can benefit from the systems and processes we have refined over the last 30 years working with many different communities. These systems will assist both the community and your professional team in developing a strong collaborative relationship. We can save you time, money and headaches through a more comprehensive relationship, working on a regular basis with your community and your local professionals.