Why would I buy a home in a place I’ve never seen? The community, that’s why

Normally, I would visit a place before I bought a home there. But this isn’t a normal time. And Treehouse Village isn’t a normal place.

It’s a cohousing project — more on that in a moment. It’s also a community of people who use words like “joyful” and “living lightly” and “multigenerational.” That means there will be children in my new neighbourhood. We will share resources. We will have access to trails. There are beaches. I really didn’t need to know much more than that.

But there’s so much more to it than that.

Treehouse Village is a condominium development project located on 15 acres of forested land in Bridgewater, a thriving town on the LaHave River in Nova Scotia (otherwise known as “Canada’s ocean playground”). The Treehouse site is within walking or biking distance of schools, shops, amenities, and services. There will be 30 private homes clustered in a form that facilitates social interaction. Each household will own their own condo and will also have access to a 5,000-sq.ft. common house and a shared workshop space — not to mention gardens, outdoor play areas, trails, old-growth forest, and hopefully a few treehouses. We will share tools, equipment, talents, and resources.

There’s still more than that.

It’s the community. Treehouse Villagers are joining together to create an intentional community that is welcoming to all. We’re committed to sustainable living and Passive House construction. We’re working together to build our own homes and our own community policies. We’re contributing our skills, knowledge, and experience, while working with our professional team to move the project toward the anticipated completion date of September 2022.

When we move in, we will know all our neighbours — because we will have created our community together. Households with children will benefit from the proverbial village it takes to raise one. The rest of us will benefit from having young people in our lives and will gladly help any way we can.

So, what’s this thing called “cohousing?” It’s a process by which groups of people work together to intentionally form and maintain their own community of private homes and shared spaces. Cohousing originated in Denmark in the 1960s and has since gained traction in North America. In Canada, there are more than 40 cohousing communities either in formation or already up and running. The U.S. has close to 300. Treehouse Village is Atlantic Canada’s first cohousing community and we will also be one of its greenest neighbourhoods.

Now more than ever, the pandemic has highlighted the shortcomings of our isolated, disconnected, single-family, single-unit urban/suburban world. Community is more important than ever.

After two months, I already know many of my future neighbours better than anyone in the building where I’ve lived for the past eight years.

Despite the pandemic, Treehouse Villagers are connecting, working, and socializing every day — with virtual coffee chats, a book club, training courses, social events, Slack conversations, phone calls, and emails. And, yes, lots and lots of meetings on Zoom as we share the responsibilities of development, marketing, legal/finance, community life, and policymaking. After two months, I already know many of my future neighbours better than anyone in the building where I’ve lived for the past eight years.

The Treehouse message is branching out into the world. Our community of 21 equity households (and counting) will be arriving from across Canada, the US, and the UK.

Some Treehouse Villagers have already moved to Bridgewater from as far away as California. Others are still out of town, out of province, and out of the country. But we will all be heading to Bridgewater because we are all seeking connection with a community.

So, why buy a home at Treehouse Village, even during a pandemic?

I’ll let my future neighbour Mark Parry reply. He and his wife, Mandy, and their young daughter live in Bristol, England. They are looking forward to moving to Nova Scotia for the beaches, the quality of life, and the people.

“The draw of the Treehouse community is something special for new people moving to Nova Scotia or even Canada,” says Mark. “To have 29 sets of neighbours you know is priceless.”

The draw of the Treehouse community is something special for new people moving to Nova Scotia or even Canada,” says Mark. “To have 29 sets of neighbours you know is priceless.

Mark Parry

Read more about Mark’s journey and why he and his family decided to join Treehouse Village.

Now ask yourself: Would you know 29 of your neighbours before you’ve moved to a new place?

Treehouse Village is 70% sold!

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Categories Bridgewater/Community Life/Families/Moving/Passive House

Post Author: Allyson Rowley

Allyson is a freelance writer, editor, and communications strategist, with a previous background in the performing arts. She's delighted to be telling the Treehouse Village story. Her writing portfolio is at allysonrowley.ca.

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