If you're thinking about buying a home and want to be in a tight-knit community where you know your neighbors and help each other out, cohousing might be a good choice. Cohousing is a collective community where you live in a private dwelling but share common areas like the kitchen and garden. In the U.S., the housing would be comparable to a condo or townhome but with stronger ties to neighbors and community activities.
Cohousing has been around for 200 years in Scandinavia, but a modern model didn't emerge until 1964 in Denmark. Since then, building a sense of community through cohousing has been on the rise. According to the Cohousing Association of America, there are approximately 150 cohousing communities in the U.S., including this one in Massachusetts.
- Community support
- Relationship building and feeling of connectedness
- Diverse group of people
- Children can be nurtured by more than their immediate family
- Mutual well-being
- Shared community duties
- Communal dining
- Community decision making
- Allows people to age in their homes
The benefits of cohousing not only include a close community but improvements in mental health. With a social environment, there's little room for loneliness. If your neighbors didn't see you at dinner or a community meeting, someone would check on you to make sure you're alright. This type of living promotes socialization and a sense of belonging that many people wish to have in their lives. Cohousing gives you the privacy of living in your own home with the closeness of a thriving community.
If you want a sense of community and an extended family, cohousing might be a great fit. You'll feel a connection with your neighbors that you might not develop in a traditional neighborhood. Imagine the sense of security and companionship you could have in your life if you lived in a cohousing community -- you've always got a friend. If you don't have cohousing in your area, consider reaching out to your real estate agent or a local builder to encourage cohousing in your city.