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New: Affordable and Community-Focused Living with Cohousing

Posted on Oct 12, 2018


Human beings need each other to survive. However, recent research shows that 22% to 50% of Americans feel socially isolated. Psychologist John Cacioppo says, “We don’t talk about feeling lonely because it is stigmatized. We tend to celebrate individual achievement, with success marked by what we do and not how we live, or give to others.”

Claude Fisher, sociologist at UC Berkeley, notes that this loneliness does not have to be a normal part of modern American life. According to Fisher, “Like the mistaken belief that Americans are increasingly rootless and mobile, [we tend to think that] modern life is about disintegration and alienation.” This is not, however, necessarily true.

To combat loneliness and social isolation, cohousing communities are popping up all over the world. These communities are especially popular in Scandinavian countries like Denmark, where families and couples of all ages live together on multi-unit properties.

Cohousing, however, comes in many forms. To talk to Pickett Street about creative home-buying options, call or email them at info@pickettstreet.com or 425-502-5397. Or, read on for more examples of communal living in the Seattle area.

1. Capital Hill Urban Cohousing

Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing allows nine families to live together in eco-friendly units that range from 810 to 1,300 square feet. The building features several communal spaces, including an interior courtyard, a rooftop garden, and a common house with a kitchen, dining area, and guest rooms.

Residents say that trust and communication are key to this community’s success: “We did a lot of work building communication skills; we spent more time on that than on the building. As problems came up, we all stayed in and trusted that the mind of the community would be greater than the mind of the individual.”

2. Duplex Home Buying Hack

Pickett Street’s preferred mortgage lender Cody Touchette calls this hack one of his favorite investment strategies. Margaret Smith discusses how the strategy helped pay off her mortgage.

Essentially, this hack involves a home buyer purchasing a multi-family home, such as a duplex. The buyer then lives in one half of this home and rents the other half in order to cover the mortgage. Touchette and Smith explain that every time you add a unit to your home, you have someone that is helping you pay your mortgage. Buying a multi-family home exponentially increases your buying power.

3. Backyard Cottages and Mother-in-Law Apartments

Recently, a Seattle City Council review proposed easing regulations on backyard cottages and mother-in-law apartments. This proposal would make living in Seattle more affordable and reduce teardowns of older houses. According to the Seattle Times, backyard cottages and other detached accessory dwelling units can help new homeowners afford their mortgage payments.

Seattle buyers are excited to take advantage of this change. Andy Fessel and his wife own a home in Queen Anne and plan to build a cottage in the backyard to accommodate their daughter and her husband, who couldn’t afford to buy in the city on their own.

Whether you wish to invest in traditional single-family home or in communal living, Pickett Street encourages you to take advantage of increasing inventory and buy now. Reach out to Pickett Street today for more information about your home buying options in the Puget Sound Area (info@pickettstreet.com or 425-502-5397).

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