Meetup Message from: Mary Siegfried, EBCOHO Supporting member through 9/4/14 of East Bay Cohousing - Berkeley/Oakland/Emeryville/SF


Yesterday I was thinking about my need to find and move myself into a new home, possibly in another neighborhood, and beyond that, maybe even in another part of the country. 

I had not yet taken any real steps to locate new housing beyond perusing craigslist ads and doing some half-hearted searches on forrent.com and other real estate sites on the Internet. After several years in the same cozy, comfortable studio with its magnificent view and gorgeous sunsets, I was feeling understandably overwhelmed (and somewhat saddened) by the idea of uprooting and replanting myself in another location even though I knew it was time to do so. 

Truth is I was dragging my feet. I realized I needed some kind of "push" to make me start moving to move. I also knew I wanted more than just another apartment. I wanted something comfortable in a friendly neighborhood surrounded by people with whom I could communicate and socialize. 

That's what prompted me to reach out and make contact with Raines and Betsy, organizers, facilitators and coaches, etc., for Eastbay Co-housing, an organization devoted to developing and helping people build community oriented cohousing. As a new supporting member of ebcoho at meetup.com, I was entitled to a free coaching session (along with program discounts and other perks). So, why not request it? 

Betsy (bless her) responded immediately and Voila! Within a few days I was seated at a table with her and Raines discussing my dilemma. After some initial questioning and listening patiently to my explanation of what I thought I might be looking for, they went into action. 

The two of them explained how I might proceed and began presenting possibilities for communities (not just houses or apartments) where I might live happily. They gave me much more than websites and numbers. In many cases, they were able to give me some background on each location (based on their own experience) and suggest how I might make exploratory contacts. They also told me what they thought might meet my needs and what they felt might not be really appropriate and why (although they encouraged me to check everything out for myself). 

I was fascinated and impressed by how much they knew. The sheer volume of data they provided--along with recommendations based on what I had told them--was admirable. They provided not just quantity but quality. 

I had entered the discussion feeling somewhat at a loss with only a vague idea of what I was looking for and how I might find it. But within a relatively short time, they helped me clarify what was really important (to me) in terms of housing so that by the end of our consult I had a much better grasp of what I would be looking for and how I might proceed to find it. 

Yesterday I was a real "deer in the headlights" when it came to finding a new place to live. Today I am feeling cool and confident about finding something possibly even better than what I have. 

So kudos (and thanks) to Raines and Betsy. I'm so glad I called you, and I am happy that I decided to become a "supporting member” of Eastbay Cohousing. It was a wise investment that has already paid a big return. 


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