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Cohousing approach worth emulating?
Old 08-07-2017, 04:47 PM   #1
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Cohousing approach worth emulating?

Curious what everyone thinks of this approach in the video/story? Studies indicate that cohousing may be the main driver to why Denmark and some other European countries rate so highly on the happiness surveys.

Big House, Many People: Local man builds home for entire family and friends - Story | FOX 13 Tampa Bay
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:57 PM   #2
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Each to his/her own, but it sounds like h*ll on earth to me. I'd be miserable in a place like that.

Quiet? solitude? Privacy? Forget about it. You're one with the borg, you will be assimilated (like it or not).
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Old 08-07-2017, 04:59 PM   #3
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Cohousing is available in the USA for those who want it. Developments pop up all over.

I grew up in a situation similar to what the man describes, but with separate kitchens living rooms. Laundry and playroom/rec-room/tool rooms were common. My aunt and uncle were second parents to me. My cousins are like brothers and sisters. As a kid, it was GREAT!

For the adults, it was OK. But it got really complicated as they aged, especially legally. They had to break it up during the late senior years. The only time I saw my mom and aunt argue was over that damn washer.

It isn't all rosey. And if you go ahead with this in the family, get better legal advice to structure it. USA is also very litigious. It isn't for everyone. It isn't for me once I grew up. I need my peace and quiet and don't want to hear about every problem brought home by the extended family.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:17 PM   #4
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For us this would not work at all.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:39 PM   #5
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It seems to be a regional U.S. thing. When we were looking at possible retirement houses in PA, the vast majority had an in-law apartment, with a full kitchen, in the basement. Since all our parents are long dead, Mr. A. and rejected these homes because we did not want yet another kitchen to worry about, have to replace appliances, renovate, etc., let alone probably paying $50-$80K extra for the house.

Also, my work friend who is Chinese, had a full kitchen installed in his (from China) parents' apartment in the basement of their enormous house. He said it was the only way to keep peace between MIL and daughter, since they had different notions about cooking. He further said that it was very common in Chinese homes in the U.S.

Finally: For those who say they would hate it, is not this, after all basically the way Assisted Living is structured? You get a little room, where you can't even cook, and if you don't want to die from claustrophobia you have to go to the common areas.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:40 PM   #6
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Didn't Charles Manson have a co-housing thing?
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:45 PM   #7
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Finally: For those who say they would hate it, is not this, after all basically the way Assisted Living is structured? You get a little room, where you can't even cook, and if you don't want to die from claustrophobia you have to go to the common areas.
I suppose it depends on the facility but when my mother was in assisted living she did have a microwave to heat things up with. Admittedly there was no stove though.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:47 PM   #8
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If we put our family in this kind of living situation, I would be arrested for murdering my SIL, unless someone else beats me to the act.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:49 PM   #9
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Reminds me of Hutterite colonies. A legal nightmare, and a miserable situation for anyone who values privacy. No thanks.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:52 PM   #10
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I suppose it depends on the facility but when my mother was in assisted living she did have a microwave to heat things up with. Admittedly there was no stove though.
My mother's assisted living (in the CCRC) had a small kitchen along one wall, just as many studio apartments might have. It had a refrigerator, microwave, oven, sink, and so on, with cabinets above and below. She used the refrigerator but not much else. (I have no idea whether or not the stove was even plugged in, but it does sound wiser to omit the stove.)

They had really great meals with a big fruit and salad buffet, and a menu to order from as well. Between meals, they could go to the kitchen and swipe some fruit or ice cream for a snack. My mother would take leftovers from dinner and put them in her refrigerator for later.
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Old 08-07-2017, 05:57 PM   #11
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Cohousing developments are available in the US. Having seen them up close and personal, I would rather live in a tent in the woods/cut off a toe. The free rider problems are quite significant and all the decisions the community makes seem to hinge on what the most argumentative or least intelligent resident says or thinks. Maybe it works in Denmark, but I want no part of it.


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Old 08-07-2017, 06:01 PM   #12
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They do this already, it is called Big Brother on CBS.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:03 PM   #13
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Doubt I could handle the aromas & needles.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:03 PM   #14
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Don't live in one but this is a co-housing community in Beaverton, looks like a townhouse condo set up with extensive common area. Home
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:35 PM   #15
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It could work but it's not for me. An actuary I know bought a house in Kinnelon, NJ (very nice suburb) with two kitchens; his two daughters and sons-in-law lived there, too, with the grandkids. When I talked to him he was very happy with the arrangement. The lower floor of my current house has 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a porch overlooking a lake. The guy who sold it to us said his in-laws lived there for 13 years.

Me? I'm sitting here typing this wearing a T-shirt, bra and panties. I don't want any company, thank you.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:38 PM   #16
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It could work but it's not for me. An actuary I know bought a house in Kinnelon, NJ (very nice suburb) with two kitchens; his two daughters and sons-in-law lived there, too, with the grandkids. When I talked to him he was very happy with the arrangement. The lower floor of my current house has 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a porch overlooking a lake. The guy who sold it to us said his in-laws lived there for 13 years.

Me? I'm sitting here typing this wearing a T-shirt, bra and panties. I don't want any company, thank you.
The outfit you describe is the ER-Forum uniform, required for all female members when posting here... ha ha!
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:41 PM   #17
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It could work but it's not for me. An actuary I know bought a house in Kinnelon, NJ (very nice suburb) with two kitchens; his two daughters and sons-in-law lived there, too, with the grandkids. When I talked to him he was very happy with the arrangement. The lower floor of my current house has 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a porch overlooking a lake. The guy who sold it to us said his in-laws lived there for 13 years.

Me? I'm sitting here typing this wearing a T-shirt, bra and panties. I don't want any company, thank you.
I think the Playboy mansion worked that way.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:50 PM   #18
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The outfit you describe is the ER-Forum uniform, required for all female members when posting here... ha ha!
And I get all dressed up for this place? We all need to post some selfies to justify these descriptive comments.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:36 PM   #19
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I could do this only with a very select group of friends and relatives.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:49 PM   #20
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I read an article about this in th UK. It was for seniors housing. It was started as an attempt to improve health through socializing. It has been very successful. Not certain if I would want this. Seems to me it was a home with six or eight people living it it. Private spaces but as I recall a common cooking area.

The one thing I do remember from the report was that the health, physical and emotional, of the inhabitants improved significantly as did the resident's perception of their respective quality of life.
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