Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Living at EVI

1. What kind of gardening space can I have?

Area around house if you have a house; balcony if you live in an apartment in the TREE common house; and space in community gardens

2. Can I rent or buy in 3, 6, 12 months?

We cannot predict when units become available and cannot guarantee a timeline. Please watch the website.

3. What is the exact process I need to do to live here?

Follow the guidelines on the  Living Here page.

4. What are my other expenses besides a mortgage?

There is a monthly maintenance fee that is specific to each neighborhood which may include items such as taxes, heat and hot water, electric, wifi charges, sewer, and reserve fund contributions.  This fee can be anywhere from several hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars per month.

5. How do banks view a co-op model when granting loans?

A mortgage works the same way here as it would if you were purchasing a home somewhere else. The only difference is that the financial institution lending the money holds your EVTC shares and proprietary lease as collateral rather than the deed to a house. The best way to get details would be to contact one of the local financial institutions that have made mortgage loans on shares in EVTC. You might check with Alternatives Federal Credit Union or Tompkins Trust Company..

6. How often do units come up for rent or sale?

We cannot predict when units become available. Watch the website.

7. What is the price for purchasing a 1, 2, or 3 bedroom unit?

In 2022, units have sold for prices ranging from $199,000 to $385,000, depending on square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and neighborhood. Prices will fluctuate with supply and demand, and interest rates.

8. How do I go about making structural changes to my unit?

All three neighborhoods have a committee dedicated to maintaining the structural integrity and sustainability of the units. Shareholders need to work with this committee if they wish to make structural changes to the unit.

9. Do residents share living spaces?

This usually happens when shareholders have a room available to rent to people who wish to be residents of the community. Please check the website for available rentals.

10. What kinds of community work can I get involved in?  Do I get paid for it?

Community work includes meal preparation, building maintenance, grounds maintenance, gardening, administrative work, maintenance of the common house, membership on governance committees, process steering committees, and helping with community events. These are not paid jobs as they help to keep the cost of living low in our community.

11. Do you offer paid jobs?

Generally there are very few paid jobs in the community. 

12. Why do people leave?

Family concerns; some families need more inside living space; job changes which do not allow as much virtual work; change in personal needs that require a higher level of care. Renters may leave because the house they have been renting is sold.

13. Why do people come?

To be close to family or because they found a job in the area. Residents come because they share our vision of sustainability and restorative agriculture, and are looking for a friendly community co-housing situation.

14. Should I wait to visit ONLY when I see the right size unit listed on the web site?

To be eligible to rent or purchase, you must complete the membership process.  If you complete the membership process ahead of time, then when a unit you would like to purchase or rent becomes available, you are able to respond more quickly.  Completing the membership process does not obligate you to live at EVI.

15. When something is available, how do I find out about it?

Please check the website.

16. Where can I park my Winnebago, camper, or pop-up?

Pop-up campers may be allowed in a specific area if space is available. Larger campers will need to be stored off the Ecovillage property.

17. What are your challenges?

Storage space in the units; communication within the community; handling COVID-19 challenges; and organization of community work.

18. Can residents of one neighborhood use the other neighborhood facilities?

Yes. In general, we try not to duplicate resources, so we share with the whole village. Certain resources may be restricted to a specific neighborhood in special circumstances.

19. How do shared meals happen?  How much are they?

Shared meals usually cost $4-$6 per person, but may be higher if a food is particularly expensive.  Meals are signed up for ahead of time in the days leading up to the meal. 

20. How do guest rooms function?

A resident signs up for a guest room ahead of any use. The resident is responsible for instructing the guests on use of the CH kitchen and cleaning the room and bathroom after the guest leaves.  Residents are granted ten days of free guest room use per year.

21. Do you have a woodworking shop?

Yes, interested residents can be part of the woodworking shop.  A small fee is required.

22. Can I bring my beehive?

There are beekeepers at EVI.  Any arrangements would need to be made before arrival at EVI.

23. Can I hunt?


24. What are the rules for pets?

Dogs are allowed and must be leashed in the village.  A certain number of outdoor cats are allowed per neighborhood. Indoor cats are allowed.

25. Can people smoke here?

Smoking is not allowed in indoor common areas.

26. Can people drink alcohol?

NY State alcohol laws apply.

27. Do you have chickens and/or other livestock?

Interested residents can join a shared chicken coop.  There are no other livestock allowed at EVI.