I have my house listed for sale by owner to generate interest. It’s not really for sale now but I know cohousers take awhile. First off, they look for communities and then it may take awhile for a house to be available so I want to be found for when it is ready to sell. I love my renters and they can stay as long as they like unless the community lays down the law on renting.
However, investors and realtors notice the zillow home by owner flag and call, text, email, send mail, etc. Today I was talking to a nice realtor since he sent me a local report and was persistent so I thought I’d at least call. He asked a simple question – what did you like about living there?
Long exhale. That’s a hard question. The house is beautiful so that’s not the problem. I moved in for the dream community but it became a nightmare. So, for new people, there are new people and more people are moving in (and some bad apples out). It should be fine for them.
What did I like?
Honestly I thought there would be more. Cooking common meals ? No. Felt like a short order cook and did find a few winning recipes but I definitely did not like cooking for a big crowd. Eating common meals? No. The taste of my neighbors is very new age and not very filling or tasty. And my kids would NEVER eat the food. Conversation at common meals? Never really had an interesting one. I expected deep philosophical debates. Or laugh out loud moments. Didn’t happen for me. That’s one reason I wanted to live in coho – I loved living in Mexico in the community and thought I could do it forever if I was with educated people. Now I think the way they naturally came together for agriculture and what they could afford was the glue. I do remember laughing out loud there and having interesting conversations just not about books. Democracy and running the place through consensus? No. I didn’t mind it when I was there but once I left I realized how much free time I had. No more committee meetings. No more plenary meetings (unless I choose to go but I haven’t as an absentee landowner). Plus I thought I was in charge. That we all were. We could do things. Make things. Instead, everything lingers forever and maybe something gets done a year later. And the most important things or problems get swept under the rug – at least at the place I was in. Not very healthy. Borrowing sugar from neighbors? I literally did do this – once. I have new neighbors and sugar borrowing isn’t a problem. Being cohoused? (running into a neighbor and talking and not going right home like you though) I do that now with a shared parking garage and mail boxes. Cohousing is not the only place this can happen. Plus, I”m not an introvert so talking with people is not an issue for me. Rides to mechanic? Since I left with my self esteem stomped by a group of people, I’ve met new friends through a class on self-esteem. I was surprised to see all these beautiful strong women in the class and most had some similar experience – a job or person who insulted them. So, the other day when I actually missed cohousing because my car decided to die in the middle of nowhere and the nearest people I knew to pick me up were the cohousing community. However, through this support group I have a new friend in a town that was closer and she came through. Plus, she used to drive for UPS and loves driving! Otherwise there is uber, Lyft, and taxis yet none of those will go in the middle of nowhere. And it would have been awkward if I was still in coho and found out none of them wanted to drive an hour and half to get me. My sister had already jumped in her car to get me 2 and ½ hours away. Family is still the best, unless they are abusive which btw some call cohousing communities like family. Well, most of the people I lived near must be from the toxic kind of families.
So, what did I like? I think the only thing was the fire pit. Yet there wasn’t any amazing conversations there either. I just love looking at fire. I had good conversations around the fire in Mexico. We had one good convo at coho but it was when a family member of one of the member’s was there. And, I have a new fire pit at my new place.
I think the only thing I like is the dream of what it was supposed to be? A community. A place where they communicate, care, and look after each other. That’s not happening now but it could. I hope it does for the next owner. However, I told my renters to slowly meet everyone and decide who you want to spend time with, if anyone. Enjoy the house. Enjoy the beautiful neighborhood. Coho with caution. I think the best way to sell my house is to emphasize the comforts of the inside of the home and make it a sanctuary, just in case they don’t get along with the Joneses like what happened to me when they came carrying pitchforks.