Saturday, July 16, 2016

Choosing Your Home at Prairie Hill

When deciding on which of the 36 potential homes in our future cohousing community is the right one for you, there are many factors to consider. All the options have their own special attributes regarding location, size, price, orientation and design. Below you can see the current site plan, with the units marked with an X which are already sold. Fortunately for prospective members, there are units left in every category.

Here are some reasons why people choose the various unit options:

Commonhouse Apartments: As you can see above (commonhouse is colored blue/green), 2 of the 4 apartments are already sold. If you are into living small, these 515 square foot apartments can be very appealing. They are the least expensive of all the choices at Prairie Hill. And living in the commonhouse puts you right in the center of the community. Just downstairs are the common areas of the spacious kitchen, dining room, lounge, laundry, recreation room and children's play room. These apartments are perhaps the most accessible living spaces at Prairie Hill, with parking right outside the door.

Townhouses: The four townhouses (light pink on the plan) have the advantage of being near parking as well as Miller Avenue, while also being close to the commonhouse. They are offset so that there is a maximum of light available.Each has a porch facing toward the center of the clustered homes. All these units are one-story, the two on the outer edges a large 950 square feet, the two in the middle 800 square feet. As you can see, there is one middle unit that has not yet been sold.

Stacked Flats: These are fourplexes, with two units on the top floor and two on the ground floor. We have four of these stacked flats, 16 units in all. Three of the four buildings are set into the hillside (colored green above). That means that you can walk out to a patio and gardens even on the second floor units. The stacked flats are available in three sizes, 645 square feet, 800 square feet, and 950 square feet. So far, no one has chosen the largest size. Each unit has access to a shared porch across the front of the building as well as its own private patio. Since these buildings are at the highest point of our building site, the view will be pleasing, with good access to parking and the commonhouse, and near the gardens and orchards on the top of our land. One of the stacked flats (colored yellow above) will not be set into the hillside. That means that the only access to the upper two units will be a central stairway (which will also be included in all the stacked flat buildings).

Duplexes: There are six duplexes (or 12 duplex units). Four of these (colored dark pink above) have an upper main entry, and two (colored blue) have a lower main entry. All the duplexes are two-story. All have entries on both floors (because of being set into the hillside), and even the lower floor will have plenty of windows (not basement-like). The designation of upper and lower entry refers to the entry that is facing the common area of the cluster, where sidewalks lead to the buildings. Duplexes come in two main footprints, 645 and 800. Multiplied by the 2 stories, this means the square footage would be 1290 and 1600 square feet. Duplexes are often the choice of a family with need for more space and more bedrooms. However, a single person or a couple might choose a duplex and decide to live on one floor while renting out the other.

There are a number of reasons why a prospective member might want to join Prairie Hill Cohousing sooner rather than later: being part of the planning process, having input into important development decisions, being included in the excitement of creating something aligned with your values. Another reason is that you are able to choose your preferred unit before the people who come after you.  In other words, the first member has first choice, the second has second choice, and on down the line. Someone who joins tomorrow would have a choice between 22 possible units. Someone joining in six months will have considerably less options. The good news, however, is that all these units have great qualities and there is still a variety to choose from.

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