No Surprises Checklist

No Surprises Checklist

To help you figure out if Cascadia may be a good fit for you, we offer this checklist to help you identify actions you can take to get to know us, as well as areas or issues worth exploring more carefully.

Things to Do

  • Attend at least one HOA meeting.
  • Join us for a community meal.
  • Participate in a work party.
  • Spend time socializing informally.
  • Read the:
    • Guiding Principles (Mission, Ideals and Values) [PDF document].
    • By-Laws [PDF document].
    • Consensus Decisions.
    • Policies about participation, pets, and children.
  • Think about both what you hope to get out of living here, and how you can contribute.
  • Go through the rest of the information in the pre-purchase package.

Things to Know about Cohousing in General

  • Cohousing is more about connections between people than it is about a physical living arrangement.
  • Experience across many cohousing communities indicates that cohousers who eat together are generally happier with their cohousing experience and feel more connected to other members of the community than those who do not. We have community meals scheduled twice a week.
  • Living in an intentional community requires interpersonal skills beyond those that are generally needed to function in other social settings (such as a typical suburban neighborhood, condo complex or office).
  • Conflict is an inevitable part of living in community. Learning to work creatively with conflict is really important.
  • Cohousers tend to know more about each other’s lives than in an average neighborhood.

Potential Challenges of Living at Cascadia

Living at Cascadia means living in close proximity to others, usually with shared walls, or ceilings/floors.
Owners’ ability to change their outside physical space is somewhat limited as with most home owners associations. If specific changes are desired, you will need to make sure they are possible in light of Cascadia’s by-laws and consensus decisions.

It takes time to keep the community running. The expected level of participation is: attend HOA meetings (1 per month, 2 hours each), join at least 1 committee (3-8 hours per month), and contribute to 1 work party per month (3 hours).
We try very hard to mindfully manage our finances so we only rarely need a cash call. To ensure adequate cash reserves, dues generally increase about 3-5% per year.
We operate by consensus, which can be hard work. It requires patience and the ability to balance the best interests of the community with one’s personal needs.