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[Mods it'd be great if you can give me an hour or two on this before moving]

We've been seriously considering our next step after being a couple of years into a move from London to a semi-rural, veg growing 'light-green' family focussed existence, it's been all-good so far.

The next stage for us seems to be either to buy (2009/2010), prices willing, a decent sized house with enough space for some easy to manage livestock although more recently we've also considered Intentional Communities, a concept that is new to us but that does also resonate with our closet tin-hat tendencies.

Some of them seem quite hard-core and scream of evangelical vegetarianism, stripy trousers and death by committee, but there are also a number that sound quite 'normal' and rather pleasant, set in lovely locations with a great sounding community spirit; something doubly interesting when considering hedging bets for the end is nigh scenarios.

So, whilst it's obvious that we'd need to try something like this out over time and without immediately buying in, I'd be interested in anyone's experiences in this sort of thing, anecdotal or first-hand.

Bringing it more on-topic I'd be particularly interested to know how the ownership of - say - 20 acres and a big old house can be shared sensibly over 10 - 15 families with all of the issues that this would bring when people wanted to sell their share.

Edit: spelling and missed a bit

Edited by OMG

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[Mods it's be great if you can give me an hour or two on this before moving]

We've been seriously considering our next step after being a couple of years into a move from London to a semi-rural, veg growing 'light-green' family focussed existence, it's been all-good so far.

The next stage for us seems to be either to buy (2009/2010), prices willing, a decent sized house with enough space for some easy to manage livestock although more recently we've also considered Intentional Communities, a concept that is new to us but that does also resonate with our closet tin-hat tendencies.

Some of them seem quite hard-core and scream of evangelical vegetarianism, stripy trousers and death by committee, but there are also a number that sound quite 'normal' and rather pleasant, set in lovely locations with a great sounding community spirit; something doubly interesting when considering hedging bets for the end is nigh scenarios.

So, whilst it's obvious that we'd need to try something like this out over time and without immediately buying in, I'd be interested in anyone's experiences in this sort of thing, anecdotal or first-hand.

any hyperlinks to the sort of thing you're talking about?

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

My uncle Frank lived on a commune in the 70s.

He ended up marrying a cow.

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Guest Steve Cook
[Mods it'd be great if you can give me an hour or two on this before moving]

We've been seriously considering our next step after being a couple of years into a move from London to a semi-rural, veg growing 'light-green' family focussed existence, it's been all-good so far.

The next stage for us seems to be either to buy (2009/2010), prices willing, a decent sized house with enough space for some easy to manage livestock although more recently we've also considered Intentional Communities, a concept that is new to us but that does also resonate with our closet tin-hat tendencies.

Some of them seem quite hard-core and scream of evangelical vegetarianism, stripy trousers and death by committee, but there are also a number that sound quite 'normal' and rather pleasant, set in lovely locations with a great sounding community spirit; something doubly interesting when considering hedging bets for the end is nigh scenarios.

So, whilst it's obvious that we'd need to try something like this out over time and without immediately buying in, I'd be interested in anyone's experiences in this sort of thing, anecdotal or first-hand.

Bringing it more on-topic I'd be particularly interested to know how the ownership of - say - 20 acres and a big old house can be shared sensibly over 10 - 15 families with all of the issues that this would bring when people wanted to sell their share.

Edit: spelling and missed a bit

I'm very interested in this also, for pretty much identical reasons to the ones you have outlined. I look forward to the contributions posted on this thread.

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Guest Steve Cook

With reards to the house, I guess the only way to satisfy the legalities of the situation would be to partition the house into separate living areas that could be bought and sold as seperate flying freeholds on a 1000 year lease held by a trust that was invented for the purpose

Edited by Steve Cook

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I stayed with my sisters ex boyfriend in a commune in Johannesburg quite a few years back. It had been going since the sixties, in a big old town house with about seven bedrooms, couple of living rooms, bar, swimming pool, tennis court etc. It was called "the big pink" as I remember, not sure if it's still there or not these days.

It was quite interesting, all the people there were pretty ordinary and sensible (mostly young professional couples) , it was a bit like a very big shared house except that the rules were very clear and quite rigidly enforced.

Everyone had one responsibility, such as running the bar, keeping the pool, keeping the tennis court etc, weekly big supermarket shop was on a rota and the basics costs shared. Cleaning and an evening meal was done by a maid paid for between the occupants.

It worked quite well, the main point being the rules you had to obey. I guess that's how it managed to work for 30 odd years.

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Don't do it. Socially those kind of things can get quite intense, and issues which normally are dealt with amicably between strangers due to certain social rules can become serious bugbear issues between housemates. Familiarity really breeds contempt.

What happens if you want to leave and sell your portion? Finding someone might be hard, especially if that someone has to be approved by every party. If you're moving due to animosity issues, that can be a well of bitterness.

The reason it doesn't work is that most people are not equipped to deal with the more intense social scene(our society and social mores aren't set up for close-knit (aka control-freakery)), eventually sex comes into play and then all bets are off and things get crazy.

I've watched a number of communities like that over the years(from a safe distance): sober Waldorf school folks, some gentle intelligent folks with psychology degrees that bought a farm with 4 parties to do up, and a bunch of other aged hippie living arrangements. All of those cool living arrangements stressed their inhabitants about their home situation, if not them personally, then their partner, kid or pets. And everyone who moved out has not moved back into such a situation and professed relief at the end of an insane era when it was finally over.

Edited by Cinnamon

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I should add that the joburg place I mentioned had no kids or pets (apart from the 3 huge dogs to keep the numerous armed robbers away).

It worked well for young people without families, I personally doubt it would have done for older people with them.

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

The reason my uncle Frank had to marry a cow was because he had stabbed all the other commune dwellers to death over an argument about a turnip.

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Just the thought of being surrounded by deeply earnest seemingly well-meaning structuralists, with so much inner-control you can see their truth & insecurities (& loathing of your serenity) oozing out of them <_<

How long before one morn you wake up screaming?

Or you find your partner has gone astray, blinded by a pony-tailed smoothy with the dreaded charismatic smile

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The reason my uncle Frank had to marry a cow was because he had stabbed all the other commune dwellers to death over an argument about a turnip.

Pull the udder one

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Thanks for all of the responses.

Just the thought of being surrounded by deeply earnest seemingly well-meaning structuralists, with so much inner-control you can see their truth & insecurities (& loathing of your serenity) oozing out of them <_<

How long before one morn you wake up screaming?

Or you find your partner has gone astray, blinded by a pony-tailed smoothy with the dreaded charismatic smile

You've managed to package up most of my concerns into a couple of lines there Laura.

We're certainly not writing it off yet and will likely go visit one for a weekend to see what's what. The ones that interest us most don't have an overriding philosophy, the people have jobs and you get to live in your own house and simply pay towards shared facilities plus give up one day a month for group tasks (like chopping wood, tending the veg, fixing fencing etc). A couple we've looked at rent out homes too. The try before you buy bit seems particularly interesting even if it were that we simply spend the next couple of years working towards having the skills needed for our own separate smallholding with the bonus of having a support network of like-minded people behind us.

[Edit: grammar]

Edited by OMG

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Thanks for all of the responses.

You've managed to package up most of my concerns into a couple of lines there Laura.

We're certainly not writing it off yet and will likely go visit one for a weekend to see what's what. The ones that interest us most don't have an overriding philosophy, the people have jobs and you get to live in your own house and simply pay towards shared facilities plus give up one day a month for group tasks (like chopping wood, tending the veg, fixing fencing etc). A couple we've looked at rent out homes too. The try before you buy bit seems particularly interesting even if it were that we simply spend the next couple of years working towards having the skills needed for our own separate smallholding with the bonus of having a support network of like-minded people behind us.

[Edit: grammar]

I would really research this one, reading everything you can from the last 50 years. There's a lot of literature. The 60's and 70's spawned hundreds of communities/communes of this type, ranging from Quakers in leafy UK, to the horrors of Jonestown, and Rajneeesh with his 93 Rolls Royces in Oregon. Every conceivable variant seems to have been tried and written about.

The couple of dozen books I've read over the years leave the impression that communal living, however well-intentioned and almost mainstream/middle class, throws up so many tension points that few communities survive in the long term.

The Magic of Findhorn is an entertaining read to start with.

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Sounds good but anything that involves buying into property must be avoided as the price would be infalated at todays prices.

Maybe better to just rent a place that is out of the way and get yourself a gun to defend your crop as groups of people move out of the towns in search of food.

Stack as much food up as you can but watchout for mice getting at it.

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  • 395 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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