More Than a Condo: Renting at the Frog Song Cohousing Community
Unlike most contemporary housing, this is an opportunity to become part of a true community. Cohousing is a form of living that combines private residences with extensive common facilities designed to create a sense of belonging. So you’re not just renting a condominium; you’re becoming part of a place where neighbors know one another . . . just like an old-fashioned family-friendly neighborhood. Cohousing recreates the sense of togetherness, physical security, and community while providing the privacy and stability of individual homes.
Located in downtown Cotati (one hour’s drive north of San Francisco, and just north of Petaluma, CA), Frog Song is a vibrant, multi-generational community built in 2003. 90% of the homes are owner-occupied and have shared ownership (through the Home Owner’s Association) of all common facilities.
In addition to your space, your household will also have the use of our 3,000 square-foot Common House. Unlike “clubhouses” in most condo and apartment complexes, which often sit sadly unused, our Common House is designed to be used all the time—as a place for the kids to go, for common meals, music nights, and parties—and has grown to be the center of our community. It includes a kid’s play room, a kitchen, dining room/dance and music hall, laundry facilities (with a gray water system feeding the adjacent orchard), and a library/quiet room.
And unlike most condo and apartment complexes, which really don’t offer much in the way of functional outdoor space, the outdoor areas truly are designed to be used. Your household won’t be confined to a tiny yard or patio. The site is designed not for the convenience of cars, but for people and children (when you see the “children playing” sign, you actually will see children playing; our kids have a much safer place to be outdoors here than in many places—this is a wonderful place for raising children). There’s also a small sports field for the kids to play in and several gathering places for hanging out outdoors by yourself or with others.
Frog Song is located near parks and play areas, and is in easy biking distance to local schools—though our kids go to a variety of schools in the area (and our parents can offer a lot of advice and experience with nearly every school nearby, from pre-school to high school).
About the Home
This sunny, two-bedroom, one-bath cohousing condominium is an 890-square-foot upstairs flat next door to the Common House. The master bedroom is 12 feet by 11 feet, and the second room is 11 feet by 10 feet.
This home comes with an option to be partially furnished, and has a bright, open floor plan, and has a whole-house fan, in-floor heat, a bathroom light tube, and attic storage. It’s right next to the kid’s outdoor play area, and within sight of the kid’s playroom in the common house (very handy for households with children).
You’ll enjoy sun all day long through energy-efficient, double-pane windows in three walls of the unit. The home also has two decks: one at the entry and one off of the kitchen.
More about Frog Song
Other shared amenities include a vegetable garden, fruit trees and climbing trees for the kids, and several outdoor patio and play areas.
Holiday celebrations and special occasion gatherings are frequent and the community is very friendly and open to newcomers.
More information about the community can be found at http://www.cotaticohousing.org, and more information about cohousing itself can be found at the Cohousing Association of the US’s website at http://cohousing.org.
The HOA and How We’re Managed
The Home Owner’s Association (HOA) provides basic internet, laundry, HOA casualty insurance (renters will be required to carry additional insurance for their belongings and liability), and maintenance of all exterior portions of individual homes, all common buildings, and common property.
The HOA also owns and manages a block of commercial spaces along Old Redwood Highway which serves as a source of income for the community.
All owners are on the Board of the HOA, so there’s quite a bit less strife than in many condo associations. We have successfully used a consensus-style decision-making since our group’s inception in 1999.