The following is a list of some real estate terms that you will
frequently run across when looking to buy or sell a home in Rossmoor.
Golden Rain Foundation
GRF is a trust that
was established to maintain the public property within Rossmoor. GRF is
responsible for all the roads and public buildings within Rossmoor. GRF
is not responsible for anything within a mutual association.
A Mutual is a geographical area with specific boundaries that
includes a specific number of condominiums or co-ops. A Mutual is
incorporated in the State of California and is part of a large master
community association called Golden Rain Foundation. The land within the
boundaries of a Mutual is owned and maintained by the Mutual Homeowners
Association. The Homeowners Association (HOA) is responsible for the
buildings, streets, and grounds of Mutual. The common area is all of the
structural elements of the buildings housing the individual condominium
units and parking garages, and all land and exterior areas. Members of
Mutual pay a fee to the HOA that is used to maintain the buildings,
roads and grounds in the Mutual.
Each Homeowners association assesses a monthly fee. This fee goes to
two separate entities, the Homeowner Association and the Golden Rain
Foundation. Approximately ½ of the fee goes to Golden Rain to cover the
operating cost of all public areas, i.e. Movie Theater, roads and open
space in Rossmoor. The other ½ goes to the local homeowner association
and pays for the maintenance of all homes in the association, water,
sewer, trash removal charges for all homes and the landscaping of the
grounds within the association and maintenance of the roads within the
Condominiums may be either vertically stacked or horizontal units. An
individually owned portion is called a unit or manor and consists of
interior space within a defined set of walls, floors and ceilings.
Condominium owners are responsible for the maintenance of the interior
space of their unit. The condominium owner is also responsible for the
furnace, a/c and water heater. The condominium owner has exclusive use
of decks, patios and parking areas assigned or attached to their unit.
In a condominium association, each homeowner owns a share of all the
land in the association. For example, if there are 75 homeowners in the
Mutual, each homeowner owns 1/75th of the Mutual, not necessarily the
land under or near their home. The home can be placed in a trust or
willed to heirs like other property.
In a co-op the buyer is purchasing a
membership in a corporation. He is not purchasing a specific manor but
is buying an equity position in a corporation. The corporation owns all
the buildings and the lands within the association. The buyer signs an
occupancy agreement, which is similar to a rental agreement. Co-op
buyers are responsible for the maintenance of the interior space of
their home. They have exclusive use of that space and a carport space.
Equity in the corporation may be willed. Co-ops can not be owned by a
corporation. Co-ops were originally designed as affordable housing. and
were financed by 40 year FHA/HUD loans. All of those loans are paid off. As of January 2006 co-op units may be financed. If a buyer pays
with cash only they must show an income of 4 times the monthly HOA fee
and have $70,000 in liquid assets. Only one lender finances coop loans in Rossmoor - National Cooperative Bank based out of Ohio. Buyers are required to put 30% down when they are financing a coop.