This is a mixed property with four rental apartments and four in the process of being converted to condominiums. The conversion will be complete by the spring of 2018.
Two units will be available for move-in and pre-purchase this summer or fall: a small one bedroom and a large two bedroom with an office. They are in the process of being converted to condominiums. To purchase a unit, a household must make a 15% down payment (it’s possible this might be adjusted to 10%, but that isn’t certain). This gives them the right to move into the unit immediately, and to complete the purchase when the condominium conversion is done, at the price that was fixed when they made their down payment.
The prices are $245,000 and $360,000 respectively, with monthly association fees of $410 and $605. Association fees are high because they will cover complete renovation of the plumbing and electrical, in addition to maintaining the exterior of the building, adding insulation, new windows as needed, and remodeling the common house. They may go down in a couple of years, once there is plenty of money in reserves. The community will make a budget every year, and set the association fees for the coming year.
See the Available Homes page for floorplans and a few pictures.
We have no outside funding, and this is not a limited equity project; if you purchase one of the condominiums, the value of your home will go up or down with the market. Because of the high demand for cohousing in the Bay Area, we expect an increase in value once we get a couple more members and fix up the common house, and it starts feeling even more like a regular cohousing community. For the rental unit, your starting rent will be market rate, and going forward you will be protected by Oakland’s rent control ordinance.
Roles and Expectations
As the developer, I am responsible for the physical plant and the finances until the condominium conversion is final. I welcome help in these areas if people are interested, but it is not a requirement. After the conversion is complete, in 2018, all of the owners will make decisions about maintenance of their property, as is usual in condominiums and in cohousing. All community members (owners and renters) will make decisions together about meals, use of the common house, and other community plans.
All community members will be responsible for creating a cohousing community, with meals, work days and meetings. The new folks will be the primary drivers for setting the tone and culture of the community, deciding how many meals to schedule, and how to run meetings and make decisions. There is money in the budget for hiring consultants for guidance and training in group decision-making, conflict resolution, etc. This is included in the rents and association fees.