Home Buying in Cotati>Question Details

Heather, Home Buyer in Santa Rosa, CA

Any thoughts on the Cotati Cottages and the upward of $300 HOA's with little to no amenities?

Asked by Heather, Santa Rosa, CA Mon Jun 9, 2008

We have been looking at the two on the market (one now almost a year) and see a couple in pre-foreclosure on the HUD site. We are curious about the area and other HOA's.

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Our HOA fees on Santero Way have been just under $200 in Cotati and it feels like a rip-off. Seems like I should get a pool or gym. There is no accountability or discipline to neighbors that trash the area or don't clean up after their pets... so basically our HOA pays for them to water the lawn area and maintain what little landscaping there is.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 27, 2009
Hi Heather,

I've been a property owner since the beginning. I assume you are talking about The Cotati Cottages next to Lowes Home Improvement store?
I belong to other HOA's and believe me this project is very nice in comparison. The landscaping is well maintained, there is a clubhouse/meeting room with a small playground for kids, and above all it is a very secure location regarding crime and that sort of thing. If you can get in on a forclosure I would jump on it.
Norm Weintraub
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 27, 2009
Hi Heather,
Be sure to ask your loan agent what a $300 HOA fee will buy in terms of purchase power. You may be surprised at what you can afford, maybe a detached home without an HOA!

Good luck :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 1, 2008
Heather, I'd be a bit wary of condo developments in the lower price points these days. With the flood of foreclosures coming on the market many of these HOA organizations are having difficulty getting dues paid on a monthly basis. This leads to issues with reserves, maitenance not being done and vacant units popping up. Many who could not afford our overblown prices bought these condos, many just converted apartments, and are now paying outrageous HOA dues per month. I saw a project where I'm soon to list a foreclosure property with HOA dues of $331.00 per month!! And it is basically an old apartment building converted to a condo with almost ZERO amenities and the place resembles a warzone!! If this is truly a "lifestyle" question, lower yard work,ease of living, then make sure you spend a few more bucks and find a property which has some stability. Do your due diligence and get out the reading glasses and explore the HOA dues/reserve for replacement and read all the latest minutes!! Also, check on the ratio of renter versus homeowners and if there is an specific "mitigation" as this could impact your loan. I would use caution as I see many more foreclosures on the horizon for the least expensive condo projects in Sonoma County.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 21, 2008
Hey Heather,

You are probably talking about Windmill Farms on East Cotati. These are wonderful units but the fees are pretty high for what you get. There are also no garages, only carports.
Most of the units need to have their from picture windows replaced due to blown seals. I attended a board meeting a month back and also reccommended that they buckle down and the residents taking better care of their front yards. White picket fences or not, debris affects all the units around them.
I closed a unit there last month in the low $200s and we got significant credits back from the Seller for cosmetic work.
If you need a list of foreclosures in the area, let me know. There are a ton of them out there!

If you need anything else, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Best to you,


Kenneth Schrier - Realtor
Kenneth Schrier Real Estate Group
CPS Property Advocates
Rohnert Park, Ca.
Web Reference: http://kenschrier.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 18, 2008
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