The ugly duckling modular home

From myth to reality: the beautiful truth about modular homes

You know the childhood story – the ugly duckling that was picked on by his barnyard friends until one day he matured into a beautiful swan…. that story. In much the same way, modular homes have gone through the same transformation.  Modular homes have been around since the 1950s, starting because of the demand for homes after World War II.  At the beginning, it was function over form so the “ugly duckling” vision of modular homes stuck.  Years of misinformation and confusing modular homes with mobile homes still has many avoiding modular homes for all the wrong reasons. Here’s the truth about modular homes and why you should consider this beautiful swan.

First and foremost, it would surprise many that the home I live in is a modular.  Here’s a pic:

Why the surprise? Because of the myths surrounding modular homes.  So, let’s break that down:

  1. Modular homes are NOT mobile homes.  Unlike mobile homes, modular homes DO appreciate in value, their resale value is good and they do last longer than mobile (i.e., manufactured homes).
  2. Modular homes do not all look the same.  You can customize each and every feature of your home just as you would a site built home. The difference is that the construction is faster because it is built inside in sections and then delivered rather than being built onsite where weather and construction schedules lengthen the construction time.  Another advantage of being built inside is that they are “green” meaning they have a lower negative impact to the environment. Most importantly, you can incorporate Universal Design elements in your customization.  (Curious about Universal Design? Click here to read our blog about it).
  3. Modular homes can be financed just like site built homes because they, too, do not depreciate like a mobile home.  In addition, because construction time is often less, the finance costs to the homebuyer are also less.
  4. Modular homes are NOT cheap.  You can customize your modular home with the same high end finishes and coverings as you would a traditional home but they can be 10 to 35% cheaper than a site built home.

If you are considering downsizing your home and building a smaller home or considering moving into a planned pocket neighborhood community then you should consider modular homes as a way of saving your savings, having all the customization you want and seeing faster results.

Universal Design: It’s not just about you.

What if every building and every home was designed to make it accessible to anyone and everyone who wanted to enter regardless of their age, size, or ability or disability? In the design world, it’s called “Universal Design” and can be applied to products as well as places and even websites.

What is Universal Design?

It was not until 1997 that Universal Design was created,

“Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. An environment (or any building, product, or service in that environment) should be designed to meet the needs of all people who wish to use it. This is not a special requirement, for the benefit of only a minority of the population. It is a fundamental condition of good design. If an environment is accessible, usable, convenient and a pleasure to use, everyone benefits. By considering the diverse needs and abilities of all throughout the design process, universal design creates products, services and environments that meet peoples’ needs. Simply put, universal design is good design.” Source: http://universaldesign.ie/What-is-Universal-Design/

Universal Design in Homes and Community

When it comes to communities and pocket neighborhoods where clusters of homes are built with those interested in being neighbors and enjoying their home, Universal Design becomes even more important.  Each home is not just built for the tenant’s accessibility but also with everyone else who may be visiting or staying in the home or the community. Here are examples of common universal design features in homes (for more, click here)

  • No-step entry. No one needs to use stairs to get into a universal home or into the home’s main rooms.
  • One-story living. Places to eat, use the bathroom and sleep are all located on one level, which is barrier-free.
  • Wide doorways. Doorways that are 32-36 inches wide let wheelchairs pass through. They also make it easy to move big things in and out of the house.
  • Wide hallways. Hallways should be 36-42 inches wide. That way, everyone and everything moves more easily from room to room.
  • Extra floor space. Everyone feel less cramped. And people in wheelchairs have more space to turn.
  • Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces help everyone stay on their feet. They’re not just for people who are frail. The same goes for handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Thresholds that are flush with the floor make it easy for a wheelchair or stroller to get through a doorway. They also keep others from tripping.
  • Good lighting helps people with poor vision. And it helps everyone else see better, too.
  • Lever door handles and rocker light switches are great for people with poor hand strength. But others like them too. Try using these devices when your arms are full of packages. You’ll never go back to knobs or standard switches.

Visuals always help:

More research and information

To read more case studies incorporating Universal Design, visit this website:  http://universaldesigncasestudies.org/

To read about universal design and aging in place by the National Association of Home Builders, visit: https://www.nahb.org/en/consumers/homeownership/aging-in-place-vs-universal-design.aspx

 

Spring in Asheville and Progress!

Hello WLIC followers!

Been a long time since I mentioned the next steps in my life.  Here’s a quick update.

Awhile back I bought the property next to my home. I recently sold it to a developer who is working closely with us to design a pocket neighborhood.  There are currently plans for 10 modular homes to go on the property, one of them being mine.

I currently have three friends who are planning on being my neighbors and part of the development as like-minded community individuals. There is room for 7 more modular homes. At the moment each of us in the process of custom designing our modular home and deciding on which lot to place our home.

Why modular? It is more affordable, quicker to build and allows me to incorporate Universal Design elements that I wanted in my home. We should be ready by Fall, 2018.Each home is about 1000 to 1500 square feet, so it is small but not that tiny.  There is a creek along one side of the property and my current home is adjacent to the property.  The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful yet we are close to downtown Asheville amenities.

My desire for the use of this land has lasted a long time.  Some of you have been with me on this Quest from the beginning and I am so excited that you can follow along in this blog as we begin the building process and developing our neighborhood – our community to live and age in!Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Marianne

Summer and Fall classes on Guidebook – Asheville

Your Quest for Home

 Here are the happy faces of those who completed the Guidebook Summer session at our potluck social after four intense sessions intense together. We didn’t want to say goodbye and also wanted to see Sheila’s amazing home and gardens. No wonder she is conflicted about her next steps. Like many of us, who like our current homes and stuff, we can’t imagine leaving anytime soon. Yet, there is that small voice saying, “Don’t wait, start now!”
Eight of us gathered at my little house in North Asheville for a jam packed one and a half (1 1/2) hours every 2 weeks or so. The dates were decided before hand and most everyone made all of the sessions, which is really important.

Class participants comments afterwards:

“Being in Marianne’s workgroup, Quest for Home, was very beneficial to me at this juncture of my life.  Not only did the exercises in the book, once I actually did them, give me clarity that I was looking for, but hearing other’s concerns and experiences gave me insight into my own journey.  The sharing of experiences helped us see that the obstacles we are encountering are not just our own or our lack of ability or experience but are shared among most women.
Highly recommend!” Marty Knight
 “The workshop was invaluable. Marianne is an excellent facilitator–attentive, perceptive, and organized–and the group bonded quickly. We all learned a lot about cohousing and a bit about ourselves. I’d recommend the workshop to anyone thinking about a cohousing community.” CT
“I got a lot out of the book and workshop, which helped me organize my thoughts as I consider and evaluate a very different living situation than I have now, an intentional community, rather than a single-family house model.  The constant reminder to “pay attention to what you don’t want as well as what you do” will become a litmus test as new ideas are considered.  First time through is an eye-opener, but I will go back to relevant sections over and over as I go forward.  I would not have done the exercises on my own, but working in a group showed me options I hadn’t considered, as well as giving me a schedule to work to.  Valuable experience!” Linda B.

Fall sessions starting soon!  The organizing meeting is September 13th.

For details: Click away!   Dates and times and fees:  http://wlicbook.womenforlivingincommunity.com/

 The Table of contents and a flavor for the Guidebook.
You can also purchase on Amazon or download on Kindle – click here
Talk and meet others on Wed, Sept 13 at 6:30pm at Earthfare West Community Room in Asheville to get a feel for the book, the author and others. Or email Marianne and sign up by Sept 24th, class size is limited. info@womenforlivingincommunity.com
If you are not in Asheville or surrounding area, or thinking it’s going to be cold out there to drive this winter?  The plan for future programs on the Guidebook will be to use of Zoom or some techie thing on the horizon. Stay tuned (by making sure you are subscribed to our website).
Is there a book sitting on your shelf? Hope it is this one and link. Take it down from the shelf and join us!

New Tribe Training – Round 2 May 2017 in Asheville NC

Last October we hosted a New Tribe Training at the Center for Art and Spirit in Asheville, North Carolina (click here to read that blog post). The training was a huge hit with a full roster of excited participants from all over, and participants now in the process of starting their own tribes.

todd2 (1)“On a personal level, Bill & Zoe’s New Tribe Training profoundly shifted my perspective on emotional intimacy and how to see the gifts that different people can bring to any relationship or group. When it comes to building tribe, the strong yet tender approach that they have developed could easily save anyone interested in building community, years if not decades of fumbling in the dark.”
Todd McCall, Asheville, North Carolina
“I will be forever grateful that I decided to take the New Tribe Training. The Training has regenerated every aspect of my life. My connections with others are easier and deeper. My personal growth is more robust. Even the trajectory of my life is improved. _Everything_ is better! Sign up! You won’t regret it.” Paula Willis, Asheville, North Carolina

New Tribe Training May 18 – 21, 2017 | Asheville, NC

If you missed the training last year, no worries!  There is a second opportunity May 18 – 21, 2017 in Asheville, NC.  In fact, there are 3 other opportunities with trainings in Portland and Ashland Oregon and Ontario, Canada.

What is it?

A workshop for people deeply longing for a close knit, non-residential, loving community as a safety net for challenging times. Led by Bill Kauth, co-founder of “The ManKind Project, Warrior Monk & Our Tribe” and Zoe Alowan, co-author of We Need Each Other and also co-founder of Our Tribe.

Fee: $175 with registration for hard costs of venue & all meals. At the completion of the workshop Bill & Zoe will formally request a gift based on value you have received over the 3 day workshop ($300 – $1500).

Space is limited to 24 people

Registration: via email to bkindman@mind.net or contact Bill or Zoe at 541-482-2335 / 530-263-4778. To learn more about Tribe, visit www.TimeforTribe.com.

#3Asheville 2017 Flyer-page-001

New Tribe: Focusing on us

In the last few months I have been involved in a process called “Tribe” forming. I hosted and co-facilitated the training workshop last October in Asheville.  We are bringing that workshop to Asheville again this May and thought I would share with you some of what I’ve learned from the process that may be helpful to you:

Community starts with People

Over the years of I have shifted my focus and my priority to People as the most important factor in Community.  How many of us have lived for years in a neighborhood and still not known our neighbors? How many times have we relocated to a fabulous town with great amenities and yet feel alone? How many of us have a great network of friends but yet worry who will take care of us during times of emergency, general need or holiday aloneness?

With these questions in the back of my mind, I read the book “We Need Each Other: Building Gift Community by Bill Kauth with Zoe Alowan.  This book outlines the core principles behind the Community movement.  I read this book in the past. In May 2016  I attended the “New Tribe” Training in Oregon and realized Tribe and what I learned at the training was the missing piece.  I want to share with you what resonated with me as you have been a part of this Journey:

My Lessons from “New Tribe” Training

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Tribe Training, October 2016

Lesson 1: New Tribe is…. It is a closely knit, non-residential, loving community.  Your tribe, are the ones… (taken from the book at our training)

…you spend the most time with.
…you trust the most.
…who will become your best friends.
…who will cover your back.
…you will cover their back.
…you think of first (in joy or emergency).
…with whom you co-create your life.
…with whom you have made commitments.
…who you will know for the rest of your life.
…with whom you are woven together in natural reciprocity.
…with whom you go beyond money as the currency of exchange.

I am sure as you read this you immediately thought of people that fit these descriptions and thought.. hey, I already have this. This New Tribe is a way of re-thinking our traditional ideas of tribe for our modern world. It does not require relocating or sharing a home. Consider the New Tribe a “layer” which can be put over aging in place or aging in community.

Lesson 2: “I don’t just want this I need this.”  (from a participant in the May training).The idea of having people that truly care about my well-being truly resonated with me.  “I’ve got your back, you got my back…. 

Lesson 3: Shared Values and Decisions

Other important things for me were agreed upon values and commitments within the tribe. Some are:

  • committing to a place/town/location where you’re going to stay long term 
  • commitments/agreements to each other
  • personal integrity
  • respect a durable safety net
  • celebration of relationships
  • each of us offers what we can contribute
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Tribe Training, October 2016

Lesson 4: Belonging

Since belonging is an important part of any group, this particular group meets face to face every week. Members live near each other and makes a long-term commitment.  There is a membership process with an agreed upon group size.  There is functional leadership and a decision-making process. 

Lesson 5: Important definition differences between tribe and community

Big for me is the overuse of the term “community”.  Maybe “Tribe” is getting overused too. Offered in their book and the training Zoe and Bill gave a difference that resonated with me. In a book Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam describes the difference. Community as a bridging, meaning all of those acquaintances that you have.  Tribe  is bonding, it is those we count on and have as best friends. The tribe is those that you want to have close and ongoing relationships with for the rest of our lives.

There are more lessons… they continue. We choose who comes into our tribe.

If you’re interested in learning more, there are opportunities for New Tribe Training workshops in 2017 in Portland and Ashland Oregon, Asheville NC and Canada
April 13-16, Portland, OR
May 18-21 Asheville, NC – Asheville details here
Sept. 20-24 Toronto, Canada
December 7-10 Ashland, OR

Cottage Community, Intentional Community or Cohousing Development Opportunity in Asheville, NC

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Update
Here’s what I’ve been up to in the last year or so… in case you hadn’t heard, I purchased the property adjacent to my house in Asheville, NC  (original post about this is here: A New Beginning). It is over 2 acres of FLAT land in the mountains. I was ready and primed after all of my time in the Aging in Community movement to find a developer and architect to make my community dreams come true! I like to call it my pocket neighborhood dream community, it is pedestrian centric with smaller houses around a green.


Change of Plans
Now many site plans and conversations later, I’m putting the property up for sale to a more knowledgeable group or person. The costs and time required to fully develop are beyond my means, scope and desires at this time.


I’ve decided to sell the property but still hope to find a developer in the community movement interested in developing an intentional community or cohousing development or pocket neighborhood – a collaboration of trust and mutual interest.


I am letting you know in case, just maybe, you have a connection. You know that 6-degrees of separation thing? Here is my asking of you. Do you know anyone who might be interested? Or are YOU interested? That might look like a group, professional, investor, architect, builder or dreamer like me.  I’d still love to live the dream of having a community in my backyard, but I’ve realized that a development project is beyond me.


Property Information
The property is in a prime location in North Asheville and is flat and beautiful few trees and great for solar, at the end of a quiet peaceful cul-de-sac, qualities we wish to retain.

You can read more details about the property here: www.sunnysideasheville.com or you prefer like our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/sunnysideasheville/
Feel free to send this information to your contacts or contact me at sunnyasheville@gmail.com
The Back Story
For those of you new to Women for Living in Community, here is the journey I’ve taken with this property:  A New Beginning: A dream becomes reality

Go Local for Community Resources

Over the years I’ve met many people in the community movement who have been my inspiration and education.  I’ve been fortunate to have a few right in my own backyard (so to speak).  Here are profiles of 3 such people who have been instrumental in my quest for Community:

LEADER IN ECOVILLAGES AND INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES

dianeleafchristianDiana Leafe Christian breathes, writes and lives about community, specifically, Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.  “Ecovillages are urban or rural communities of people who strive to integrate a supportive social environment with a low-impact way of life.” (Source).

She doesn’t just write about it, she lives in one in Black Mountain, NC called Earthaven (www.Earthaven.org).  This community was formed in 1995 and is now up to 55 full-time residents with diversity in age and background.

Living in an Ecovillage is not just about being sustainable but also how to get along and make decisions. Diana teaches workshops and writes about “Sociocracy,” a way of consensus building in community.  To get an idea of what it means, you can view a Youtube video here, “Diana Leafe Christian – Decision-making in communities + intro to Sociocracy 1“.

All of those seeking to learn about or who live in community have probably come across Communities Magazine. Diana was the editor from 1993 – 2007.  In addition to editing, Diana also published several books about Ecovillages and Intentional Communities.  Her books are considered the “bible” for community (click on titles to view on Amazon):

creatingCreating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities

Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community

What more can I say? How fortunate am I to have her this close?

 

LEADER IN DEVELOPING COMMUNITY TOOLS FOR COLLABORATION


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Zelle Nelson and Maureen McCarthy
are a dynamic couple I met over 1o years ago while on my search for alternatives to lawyers and litigation in community forming documents. They live in Western Carolina in the small town of  Flat Rock. They are the founders of The Blueprint of WE (initially known as the “State of Grace Document) that later became The Center for Collaborative Awareness. The Blueprint of WE is a collaboration tool that can be used by businesses, in family, in groups  and of course, in community. It starts with you and custom designs a collaboration process for building together and is a guide when conflicts arise. You might think of a relationship as you and another person but with the Blueprint of WE, it’s “You, Me and WE.” blueprint

I encourage anyone who wishes to have better collaboration and communication in any personal, community or business endeavor to explore this fabulous tool.

LEADER IN BEING PASSIONATE
gregg
Gregg Levoy  is an author who writes and speaks about passion and callings – what inspires you, what defeats you, what drives you. Gregg does not work directly in the Community movement but what he writes about is important to anyone interested in living a purposeful life with passion. I met Gregg at a workshop over 12 years ago in California and found out a few years ago that he lives in Asheville, NC!
His latest book, Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion has made him a favorite at the conferences on aging due to the nature of the topic and his workshop leading skills. It examines the endless, yet endlessly fruitful, tug-of-war between passion and security in our lives, asking yourself questions like: How do you lose passion and how do you get it back? His other book, Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life, explores how to cultivate passion as a mindset to add vitality to your relationships and work.
Love his website (http://www.gregglevoy.com/) which is full of great stuff.  One of my favorite things on his website is the music and movies he recommends. http://www.gregglevoy.com/vital-signs/music-movies.html but you can also see his workshop schedule. I encourage you to attend one.
As you can see, there are some dynamic  people here in western North Carolina and I only touched upon a few.  We also have great resources which I will write about in a future blog as part of my ongoing desire to serve. In the meantime, please share with me your resources or if you found any of these helpful or inspirational.
Helpful hint: If you’re getting this post by email and have a comment to share, please click here and reply at the bottom of the blog post so that way, your comments can be shared with everyone!

October 6-9, 2016 – New Tribe Training

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October 6 -9, 2016: New Tribe Training

Location:  Center for Art & Spirit (1 School Road, Asheville, NC 28806)

In May 2016 we attended the New Tribe Training in Oregon. As an advocate for aging in community, I saw this as an important way of creating community without the confines of location or having to share homes and land.  We are co-sponsoring this New Tribe Training in Asheville and hope to see you there!

A workshop for people deeply longing for a close knit, non-residential, loving community as a safety net for challenging times. Led by Bill Kauth, co-founder of “The ManKind Project, Warrior Monk & Our Tribe” and Zoe Alowan, co-author of We Need Each Other and also co-founder of Our Tribe.

Fee: $175 with registration for hard costs of venue & all meals. After the workshop Bill & Zoe will formally request a gift based on value you have received over the 3 day workshop ($300 – $2100).

Space is limited to 24 people

Registration: via email to bkindman@mind.net or contact Bill or Zoe at 541-482-2335 / 530-263-4778. To learn more about Tribe, visit www.TimeforTribe.com.

September 23, 2016 – Aging in Community: Exploring Options with OLLI

Our series with OLLI (Osher Life Long Learning Institute)

September 23, 2016: Aging in Community: Exploring Options

Dates: September 23 – November 11, 2016 (8 Week Series, Fridays 9am – 11am)
Location: OLLI (Olli Life Long Learning Institute) at UNC-Asheville
Click Here to Download Course Outline | Register at: OllieAsheville

Marianne Kilkenny will be Session 1 Speaker, September 23 – Starting Where You Are
Assess your personal needs, goals and resources as you age and explore an overview of options.

My class will help kick-start your thoughts to create a plan for your future. How do you envision community as you age? Where are the people you already count on located? What kind of action plan can you create starting in the next three months? Six Months? We will also look at your home now and how it might change as the years go by.

Women For Living in Community