Frequently asked questions about Phoenix Commons
WHAT IS COHOUSING?
Cohousing, imported from Denmark, refers to an intentional community of private homes and shared spaces where neighbors know, care for and support each other. Cohousing communities can take many forms, but in essence, they collaborate on managing community business and activities and usually share some regularly scheduled meals. For more details, see cohousing.org’s description.
DO I OWN MY OWN HOME?
Yes. We each own a private, modern condo unit 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 a dining/meeting room with a commercial-style kitchen, living room, library, community room with large-format TV screen, fitness room, laundry room, office, hobby/tool room, bike storage areas, garage, courtyard patio, gardens, walkways, elevator 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 condominium projects. The individual homes are often smaller to encourage the use of common spaces. Currently listed units range in price from high 400’s to low 700’s, depending on the size and configuration. Future resale prices will vary.
WHAT ABOUT HOA FEES?
Our monthly dues (as of January 2021) range from $628 to $709, depending on the size of the home. This includes water, garbage, recycling, personal wifi and community wifi as well as a monthly contribution to our reserve fund. Residents pay their own electricity as well as any individual television connections. The community develops the annual HOA budget.
WHAT ABOUT PARKING?
All but two of our units own a single off-street, secure parking space. Most spaces are in a tandem configuration where two cars park one in front of the other in one long space. Our building location is well served by public transit as well.
HOW BIG ARE THE HOMES?
Our homes come in various sizes and configurations to meet the needs of our residents. There are one- and two-bedroom homes; in some the second room can be used as a bedroom or study. Home sizes range from about 626 to 1108 square feet.
WHERE CAN GUESTS STAY?
We have a guest suite with two bedrooms that can be reserved for visiting friends and family. This removes the need for extra bedrooms in each unit.
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 55+ 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 TO VISIT?
Absolutely! We love children, and they are frequent visitors.
WOULD I BE ABLE TO TAKE EXTENDED TRIPS?
Yes. Others in the community may gladly help keep an eye on your plants while you are traveling. Some even volunteer to care for pets in some cases, or you can hire a pet sitter to come and go or stay in your absence.
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. Currently, we have two planned community dinners each week, as well as others on special occasions. Members are expected to help the meal program succeed by contributing according to their abilities, from setup to cooking to cleaning and other tasks as needed.
HOW WOULD I KNOW IF I’D LIKE PHOENIX COMMONS?
If you are interested in buying a unit that becomes available in the future, you would have opportunities to meet current members, tour the building, and participate in social activities. The Community Cornerstones page describes the roles of respect and responsibility when living in community and talks about the kind of people who thrive in such environments.
HOW IS PHOENIX COMMONS DIFFERENT FROM A TRADITIONAL RETIREMENT COMMUNITY?
The Phoenix Commons community was organized 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, Phoenix Commons 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 and satisfying way to live, and studies show it can actually be less expensive than comparable private alternatives.
CAN I VISIT PHOENIX COMMONS?
Yes, we give tours for interested parties upon request (with reasonable notice). Contact us through this website to let us know you’d like a tour.
DO YOU HAVE A MAILING LIST?
Yes, have a mailing list for those who are interested in living at Phoenix Commons. Just let us know via this website if you’d like to be added.