What is Cohousing?
Cohousing is an option that advocates living in an active community where you have a relationship with your neighbors before, during and after construction. Because the neighborhood and the homes are designed by the persons who live there, cohousing offers homeowners a social network that is already built into the neighborhood. This model works because those who live there continually develop social capital through shared activities that occur naturally as people work together and enjoy activities in the common house and common open spaces.
The common spaces are designed for daily use, are an integral part of the community, and are always supplemental to the privately-owned homes. Because cohousers have “right-sized” their homes for the space they actually use on a daily basis, the common house contains a dining room large enough for the entire community to share meals as desired, as well as activity rooms, a workshop, and sleeping rooms for any guests that come to visit. The cohousing community is managed by the people who live there, with no one person having authority over others. If the homeowners decide that some practices are not working, they work together to change them. Decisions are made by consensus rather than majority rule.
How did Heartwood Commons get started?
Like many cohousing groups, ours grew out of a conversation among friends who all agreed we wanted an active and engaged lifestyle as we grew older, and we definitely wanted friends close by. Plus we were tired of maintaining a home that was bigger than our needs. When we discovered cohousing, we knew they had found the perfect solution.
Where is Heartwood Commons?
Heartwood Commons land is conveniently located in the heart of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We've selected a beautiful, green 4.8 acre property for our home. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood at 7141 S Quincy, it offers easy access to amenities. We're close to RiverParks, the Gathering Place, Turkey Mountain, shopping, and only a few minutes from downtown.
When should I consider cohousing as an option?
The experts tell us that smart financial planning in anticipation of retirement means starting early. Much less often are we encouraged to plan early for the housing option that will make our retirement years most rewarding. It is never too early to begin exploring the option of cohousing in a community of 55+ active adults. In fact, the best time to consider any senior housing option is when one is healthy and able to make decisions independently. Those who have made the decision to “right-size” their lives, to make a real step toward successful aging-in-place, to increase their social capital by investing in a thriving neighborhood—in short, move to cohousing—have been amazed at the liberation. Bottom line: When should I consider cohousing? DON’T WAIT TOO LONG!
Are there advantages to joining right away?
Yes there are! We still have many decisions to make and your input would be helpful. You can also start developing relationships and forming friendships with your future neighbors. Join now and you can participate in the development and help shape the culture of the community.
Who owns houses in a cohousing community?
Heartwood Commons will be owned by the people who live in the community. Each of our 36 households will own their own home as well as a share of the common property including the Common House. The legal structure has not been finalized but will likely be a Homeowners’ Association (HOA).
How will the “work” of Heartwood Commons get done?
The strength of our community will be determined by the participation of all owners, and we have found that everyone has something to contribute to the whole. We anticipate that each owner will participate in the upkeep and maintenance of the community. The way you participate is widely variable and based on your own unique skills and capabilities doing the tasks you most enjoy. All owners agree to participate on a team. The work of planning, managing, operating, maintaining, and growing Heartwood Commons will be divided among these various teams.
How will the community make decisions?
Decisions at Heartwood Commons are made based on our agreed-upon values, and the process we use for decision-making is akin to consensus. Consensus decision-making requires that all voices are heard, which often results in more information being considered. There is no “winner” or “loser;” a decision is made according to what is best for the group and whether the decision is something that each member “can live with.” These collaborative solutions can have an elegance and creativity that is only possible through collective wisdom. It is an amazing process that we are all learning more about each time we engage in it. The great thing about managing and operating our own community is that all decisions are our decisions and can be altered or completely revamped as the community sees the need for change.
How does everyone get along?
One of cohousing’s great strengths is the assumption that members can work out their conflicts. It is not our intention that everyone be best friends; it is, however, our commitment to being good, respectful neighbors that makes even seemingly insurmountable problems manageable. We are a community that enjoys working together and playing together. The planning and development stages have been productive and enjoyable. We couldn't be more excited about building our homes and living together in our community!
Can I have a pet at Heartwood Commons?
Yes. Our "Pet Agreement" explains the details. For the comfort of all, pets should be leashed when outside of your home. Among our planned amenities is a dog park.
What is Heartwood Commons’ smoking policy?
In alignment with our values of creating a community that supports health and wellness, Heartwood Commons is tobacco-free.
How are we environmentally friendly?
Living lightly, mindfully and sustainably on the land is one of our core values. This is expressed in the building materials we plan to use, the size of homes we are choosing to build, the shared amenities we hope to include, as well as the abundant gardens and green spaces we have incorporated into the design of our community.
What happens when I need to sell my house?
Homes in Heartwood Commons will be privately owned, and it is the owner/heirs/estate that is responsible for selling the property. However, since it is in the community’s interest that new owners understand the concept of cohousing, we expect to develop a process that will assist the seller by helping to identify potential buyers, by publicizing the availability of the home, by helping connect those interested in purchasing a home to the seller(s), and by providing an orientation to cohousing and to Heartwood Commons for potential buyers.
FUN FACT: 'Heartwood' is at the center of a tree with its main function being to support the tree.
So, while the colorful homes will be the face of the community; the homeowners are the heart and support.