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The Next Trend: Multi-generational Ecovillages with Pizzazz

Old-fashioned sense of neighborhood? Eco-village? Co-Housing?                                                                   

 I hit the nature trail with a client-friend of mine this mid-morning. This tiny woman has long had a gigantic interest in "improving  the world,
one neighborhood at a time."

Today she was beaming as we chatted and walked-- the reason- she and her group of investors are about to create an ecovillage.

At 70-something , she informs me,
this is one of the most thrilling projects she has sponsored.

Old-fashioned Sense of Neighborhood? Eco-village?
Co-Housing?


Whatever you call it, those who are
"in the know"  say this is
the next trend in multi-generational quality of life  housing.

"And what a wonderful opportunity for me" my friend confides.
 "I won't be alone,
stuffed in some institution at 80. I am assured that my neighbors hold a commitment to a relationship with one another and will look in on me."  ...

 

Co-housing is a collaborative opportunity  in which residents of all ages actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborho ods. 

 "The cohousing idea originated in Denmark,"  my friend explains.   
"We can sculpt the way it comes together!  (see my earlier BLOG on
"E-PUDS")  There may be sustainable landscape design with all kinds of  native plants, organic vegetable and herb gardens, a labyrinth, walking and hiking trails on adjoining acres, places to sit and relax, an amphitheater in the woods...oh so many creative ideas!" 

Her enthusiasm is contagious. Although the overall neighborhood design offers all the features of conventional homes, those who live in an ecovillage also have access to common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground, a meditation deck and fountain, and a lodge... a "green plan"  that encourages both social contact and individual space. Again, there is the understanding that, as a member of this multi-generational  community, you are entrusted with a shared sense of caring for all who live there. 

An ecovillage may be in an urban or rural area. It is not defined by its location, but rather by concept. The defining characteristics are participation, sense of community by design, common areas and facilities, resident management and management by consensus. This community is structured to meet the needs of residents. An example? The inviting central lodge or gathering place, the social center of a community, with its large dining room and kitchen, lounge, recreational facilities, children's spaces, and frequently a guest room, workshop and laundry room, where neighbors can get together for optional group meals two or three times a week.

Although the overall neighborhood design offers all the features of conventional homes, those who live in an ecovillage also have access to common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground, a meditation deck and fountain, and a lodge... a "green plan"  that encourages both social contact and individual space. Again, there is the understanding that, as a member of the community, you are entrusted with a shared sense of caring for all who live there.    

 "Management by Consensus..on the Bridge"
 

 

 

 

 

Neighbors Get Together in Nature and Converse.



Here's a Peek at Ecovillages/ Sustainable Communities

Sunward Cohousing near Ann Arbor, MI. ... A place "where lives are simplified, the earth is respected, diversity is welcomed, children play together in safety, and living in community with neighbors comes naturally."

Winslow Cohousing  on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, WA. ...Where residents aim to "a minimal impact on the earth and create a place in which all residents are equally valued as part of the community."

 EcoVillage at Ithaca, NY.  ...Here the goal is "to explore and model innovative approaches to ecological and social sustainability."  

Earthaven Ecovillage   near Asheville, N.C.... Where residents are "dedicated to caring for people and the Earth by learning, living, and demonstrating a holistic, sustainable culture."

RIGHT NOW in Asheville my fellow ECO certified REALTOR , a talented urban planner is working on an  ecovillage infill project ...This will include  8 Units around a central courtyard in popular West Asheville. These quality living spaces will be Healthy Built certified and will feature bamboo floors, solar heating. Residents will be able to walk to access most of their daily needs in 5 minutes.  You can see a site plan here.

For interesting information about Healthy Built Homes including the Gold, Silver and Bronze Ratings Scale
click here.

 

 

 

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GO HERE - for Tips & Talking Points.
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Asheville NC Real Estate Journal for RESOPURCES & REFERRALS -Mountain Homes and Land Legacies- Asheville 1031 Realty© 2014.  Designations: NAR GREEN®, EcoBroker®, Eco Certified ®Real Estate Consultant, ePRO®. Unauthorized reproduction of any information including photos and graphics on this site is a violation of existing copyright laws.  All rights reserved.

he Necessary Disclaimer! We disclaim liability for damages or losses, direct or indirect that may result from use of or reliance on, information contained in the blog or for accuracy of comments or opinions of visitors to our blogs.

 

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Comments

This is fascinating, janeAnne.  We have a new urbanism development going in here - not quite the same thing as an eco-village, but the developer is planning on, within each small "village" within the total development, having it possible to walk from one side to the other in no more than ten minutes, having people living above retail in part of it so that they only have to go downstairs to go to work or upstairs to be home, and where walking (except perhaps in August!) will be a way of life and community will be part of the design.  I'm eager to see how it works out and have all sorts of ideas about how to market it when it finally exists. 

 

Posted by Tricia Jumonville, Texas REALTOR , Agent With Horse Sense (Bradfield Properties) almost 12 years ago
Hey JaneAnne. How syncrhonistic!  Anne & I had just discovered Earthaven online and are planning another trip to have a look.  Regards!  Don S.
Posted by Don almost 12 years ago
Hi Tricia ...you write: "I'm eager to see how it works out and have all sorts of ideas about how to market it when it finally exists." I'd like to hear more about your ideas! I have a few of my own...prety exciting for all ages...and good news for Baby Boomers, eh? 
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Don and Anne...You will find Earthhaven a fascinating place. I have heard by the grapevine  it took them years to get to consensus before they even began to build , but they say it was worth the effort.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

janeAnne

I know I really need to come out there and see this new world. It sounds facinating.

 

Posted by Susan Trombley, Broker/Realtor, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Youngs (Trombley Real Estate) almost 12 years ago
I've been reading about these communities for a couple of years. The concept is super.  Do you have any idea on how these communities are doing with re-sales?  
Posted by Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky, Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel (Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel) almost 12 years ago
I'm going to have to make sure Tony reads this - although he raced to get his EcoBroker certification in October, I don't think he has had much time to follow-up.
Posted by Suzanne Marriott, Associate Broker, CLHMS, e-PRO (Keller Williams Arizona Realty) almost 12 years ago

Fascinating...Carrboro NC / Chapel Hill NC involved in co housing and co-op communities. I use to live in Chapel hill- are you familiar with either of these projects?

http://www.solterra.net/  

http://www.carrborocollaborative.com/projects.htm

 

 

Posted by Michele Connors, Your Eastern North Carolina Realtor (The Overton Group, LLC Pitt & Carteret County) almost 12 years ago
Hi Maureen...the ecovillage infill project pretty much sold out pre-construction...Asheville's commitment to "Smart Growth"is most likely part of that....
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

Suzanne...the ecovillage concept is one that is attracting a lot of interest in the Asheville area...thx for letting Tony (and others) know about it...I think this lifestyle canimprove the quality of life for so many people...

Susan...come on over here! The Biltmore is wonderful at this time of year...and the gingerbread contest winners at the Grove Park Inn or on display...

Michele...thanks for the info on the projects...I'll check out the links!

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

JaneAnne ~ this sounds wonderful.  We have an eco village going up as soon as they take the old Gates Rubber Factory away.  I'm anxiously awaiting the renovation, it will be a huge improvement...

Good post, as ususal!

kk

Posted by Kristal Kraft, Selling Metro Denver Real Estate - 303-589-2022 (The Berkshire Group Realtors) almost 12 years ago
Add Harmony, Florida to that list.  If you don't know where it is contact me!
Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) almost 12 years ago

Great post as always, JaneAnne.  The Washington Post also did a nice write-up of Earthhaven recently.  ---Corey

Posted by Corey Atherton (Suncadia Real Estate Sales Company) almost 12 years ago
I really wish we had something like that here!  I would move in in a minute!  It sounds almost utopian.
Posted by Chris Tesch, College Station, Texas Real Estate (RE/MAX Bryan-College Station) almost 12 years ago

JaneAnne......  great post. Interesting also. Curious though, you mentioned people that get together to design something like this. Who finances this though. Meaning,,,, if people designed a community as this... does a builder come in and build this. Is it expensive to buy there, because land is not cheap. Meaning... builders would sometimes rather build more houses closer together to get more a bang for their buck.

I like it though.... thanks for sharing. 

Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 12 years ago
Hi Jane Anne,  this is excellent news!  What an incredible marketing concept for a village for the boomers!  We have a bit of a natural tendency towards extended family living due to culture and economics here, but this concept is very new and exciting to me.  Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Kelly Mitchell, TheWineSiren.com Food | Wine | Fab *Napa Valley (The Wine Siren & Agent Caffeine) almost 12 years ago

janeAnne: 

I think the multi-generational concept will be the wave of the future as more and more families reject the notion of putting their parents in nursing homes. For that matter many baby boomers may also start looking ahead to where they eventually want to spend their golden years. This concept just makes too much sense!

 

Bill

Posted by Bill Westel, ECO (Eco-Steward Realty) almost 12 years ago
Kristal..I'd like to see venerable old buildings become co-housing for venerable old Flower Children...not sure if a rubber factory is venerable, but I love the idea of an eco-village in a facotry...Please let us know how this evolves. THX!
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Allison...tell us about Harmony, Florida...I've heard of Celebration, but not Harmony.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Hi Corey...There NO place like YOUR Creston... where "Design Guidelines have been created to maintain a sense of visual harmony between all homes, whether large or small, and the natural environment. They define the Creston style and ensure architectural integrity while allowing a range of personal expression and homes sizes from cottages to sizable retreats. Cottage does not necessarily reflect size, but a certain mountain style and quality. Integrated into the neighborhoods of North Carolina mountain towns are "cottages" of the Craftsman, Bungalow, Post and Beam, and New England Shingle style. Log homes certainly are a part of this mountain heritage and enrich the diversity."
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Jeff...I need to get you talking with Corey (see comment just above this) who can give you the answers to  your questions..."Who finances this though. Meaning,,,, if people designed a community as this... does a builder come in and build this. Is it expensive to buy there, because land is not cheap. Meaning... builders would sometimes rather build more houses closer together to get more a bang for their buck."..AND you have inspired me to write an ariticle on this...after the holidays.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Chris..Not sure if Utopia is for everyone...but ecovillages ARE beoming more and more desirable to more and more investors.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Hi Kelly...your comment on a "village for the boomers" made me smile. I cannot imagine the Woodstock Generation going down quietly
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago
Bill...your comment that " multi-generational concept will be the wave of the future " also made me smile. I like to think  that grandparents and babies can coexist in ecoVillages.
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) almost 12 years ago

Everyone~

I have been thinking about Bill's comment that..."..the multi-generational concept will be the wave of the future as more and more families reject the notion of putting their parents in nursing homes. For that matter many baby boomers may also start looking ahead to where they eventually want to spend their golden years. This concept just makes too much sense.." 

I wrote a post about baby boomer trends and now am wondering if you are seeing co-housing evolve in your areas of the country.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) about 11 years ago

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