Whether it is intergenerational (more popular) or age 50+ cohousing, people live in their own condo or attached house and usually eat one or two meals a week together in a common house on the property.

You can join the community at any stage in the process. Those in from the start purchase the property or team up with a developer. Residents determine design, financing and construction, and own (some communities let you rent) and maintain the property together. All decisions are made by consensus.

Issues to Consider

There’s as much privacy or togetherness as you want. Residents aren’t required to participate in group meals, or make them, but most people do. In intergenerational cohousing, people interact informally with all ages, form close relationships and often become one another’s surrogate family. Since you own and maintain property together, costs are shared. Cohousing’s downside is that everyone makes the rules together—rules you might not like.