Monday, January 23, 2012

Newest Shared-Living Idea!



I'm currently exploring a new shared living idea. There are many churches on the market as participation in religious services is down. So what about converting a church into condos with community space? The parking areas could be converted to garden space, there would be a shared workout room, maybe a community kitchen, shared outdoor areas, etc.



Churches are found in all kinds of neighborhoods and urban areas. They are often large and have interesting architecture. I watched a Selling New York segment where someone had done this very thing. It was an interesting and beautiful conversion.

On the negative side - my husband. He says I need to find investors up front. That's what I get for marrying a man in finance. Always looking for ways to pop my bubble with the pinprick of reality.

So just as an informal poll - how many of you would be interested in living like this? I'm not asking ANYONE to invest! This is just a beginning point. It may not be a church - it could be some other kind of building. But I'm just curious to know if any of you have ever thought you would like to live with others in a shared-living environment of like-minded people.

I'll put a poll up on the sidebar for a couple of weeks, just for fun.

21 comments:

DJan said...

I would definitely be interested in living with like-minded people. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't agree with me. He wants a discrete living arrangement.

Hilary said...

I wouldn't mind sharing land space but would want separate living quarters. I've already done years of apartment living and really prefer my own space. But these images sure do show churches beautifully renovated.

Nancy said...

DJan - It would have to be a mutual decision, that's for sure. Thanks for responding!

Nancy said...

Hilary - Yes, I'm thinking condos, or apartments. I need my personal space, too. The communal spaces would not be in the personal apartments.

JeannetteLS said...

Three of us are planning on finding a way to live together some time in the next five years. I think the conversion of a church idea is fantastic. IF only you have money. We are, each of us, poor. Together, however, we can be comfortable in part of a two family home, perhaps, or renting a house. Only not many people rent LONGTERM. Mostly they want to sell and it's a stopgap.

I have drawn HOUSEPLANS for the ideal space to me. Three or four suites: two on the main floor level, two upstairs with a guest room in between. And a large kitchen dining room, and living room. THEN there is usually a sunroom/family room and/or a space for our studio. We are all artists. A fourth might join us a couple of years later.

I have a feeling more and more people currently over fifty-five will be trying this! We are all single now and do not care to explore NOT BEING single any more. That helps...

Nancy said...

Jeanette - I absolutely love your ideas! Keep them in your mind and work on them - allow it to begin to organize. You never know what is right around the corner.

Cole said...

Interesting idea. I think I would be more interested in living in some type of community/self sufficient neighborhood ie: school, recreation, education, worship, etc. on the premise that is made up of like minded people/spiritual people, but with separate homes-living arrangements. Kind of like a spiritual Del-Webb. LOL

Nancy said...

Cole - I have one like that in mind, as well. I see homes all through acreage with the homes all being different. Some are tree houses, some are molded of sand bags....

ngillard said...

This is a concept that I would be very interested in too. Love the renovations on your blog.

Brian Miller said...

that would actually not be a bad idea at all...esp older churches that are already partitioned into rooms with a large community room...

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I actually think that communal living of some kind is going to become normal as prices continue to rise for just the basics. Private space, yes, but I like the idea of communal space, a communal garden.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Our dream has always been to buy a motorhome and move with the seasons. As inviting as it sounds, I am afraid I would miss gardening. Fuel prices are a big factor, too. I like the idea of community. I have sort of done that here in our park. We have 25 seasonals and we plan get togethers through the winter months with a group of "like minded" campers. If I stay here, I already have communal living, sort of.......

Nancy said...

ngillard - Thank you :-)

Brian - And already have the heating, etc. Some have big commerical kitchens already.

T & R - I also think it is going to be big in our future. People are all too often isolated. I've talked with a couple of widows that are very interesting in communal living with personal spaces.

Kathy - You definitely have that where you live. Your seasonal visitors have created a community of like minded people and you have your lovely spaces as well. I have no doubt that you all support each other.

Rob-bear said...

I've been thinking about this kind of living arrangement for over 40 years. The opportunity has never presented itself, so we haven't done it.

I've seen a number of churches taken over and turned into living space. Some didn't get very good treatments; others were exquisite, as in the pictures you have shown.

Blessings and Bear hugs on your adventure! Even if it's only in your mind.

R. J. said...

I like to visit a furniture store nearby that resides in a renovated old church. I like community as an idea but it is not practical for me. I know myself and I like a lot of space.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

someone i met in blogland bought an old european church, graveyard and all, and converted it into a private home - beautifully done - and such a building would work, too, for communal living i think - in my hometown, several old multi-story warehouses were bought and converted into rental artists apartments - also another great possibility for communal living, the warehouse -

ellen abbott said...

I've always liked the Mexican model with individual living quarters around a common patio with garden space. Maybe a big communal kitchen, laundry facilities, stuff like that.

Nancy said...

Rob-bear - I do think there needs to be respect when dealing with a church remodel. One hopes it is for a happy, healthy, outcome.

RJ - I like a lot of private time, as well. But I think it would be good for me to be part of something bigger. I like the idea of my grandson being close by. I lived in an environment with my grandmother after my mother died that included a big extended family in a few-block area. It is wonderful for children. I had my great grandmother within walking distance. I visited her every day.

Gypsy - I also like the idea of a warehouse! I think it can be any building - location is what's important.

Ellen - That's a terrific idea. One model I've considered is like a wheel - the spokes are individual living and the middle is communal with green space between the spokes.

kate i said...

Nancy, these are beautiful church conversions...love them. Although I like the idea of communal living in theory, I've come to realize I'm a very private person in many ways...I need a lot of alone time to recharge.

I think it's a great idea though and like you, I think it's going to become more and more popular (out of necessity) to pool resources, both monetary and human, in the future. My son and daughter in law have even talked about it as a possibility.

Nancy said...

Kate - Interesting that your family is considering such an arrangement! I do think pooling resources is going to be a thing of the future. For many reasons. I am also very private, but I think having my privacy in my own apartment, or house, would be enough for me - especially if I am attached in some way to the people in my community. That's the key - like-minded people you either love or will grow to love.

susan said...

I've also seen some beautifully restored churches made into living spaces but you can always tell the individuals did the conversions for themselves. I think it's a wonderful idea.

I experienced communal living in cities (Montreal and Vancouver) during the late 60's and 70's. For most people, moving into an "intentional community" is not an immediate option – many are not particularly interested in the concept. But we all need community, if we are to thrive as individuals and as a society. In today's urbanized environment, dominated by cars, mass media, and rat-race lifestyles, community can be hard to find. It's great that you're exploring possibilities.