According to the latest sales numbers, condos and townhomes did a brisk sale over the last few months of 2016. While the prices have gone up, they’re nowhere near as expensive as a stick-built home anywhere in Sonoma County. Most of the condos (and townhomes) sold between $350K and $550K – give or take a few thousand either way – so I’ll just call it at a median of $450,000.
In a market where many first-time homebuyers are frustrated with home prices that don’t seem to be dropping, purchasing a condo or townhome is a way to start gaining equity as opposed to paying rent every month. Sure, there are HOA fees – but the $200 – $300-ish spent each month is far less that the $1,800 to $2,800 currently being asked for rent.
Also, consider that owning a home can get expensive if you happen to have a pool, internet service or a gym membership. HOA fees generally cover things like pool maintenance and a common area, so even when added to a mortgage, this fee is nominal.
If you want to get out of the rental market but can’t yet afford a home, here are 7 condos/townhomes available now in Sonoma County;
489 W 2nd St, Cloverdale – $494,900
2 beds, 1 bath, 1,620 square feet. Year built: 1950.
This cute little place is a duplex, and the outside looks like a small 1950s tract home. It has a one-car garage and a backyard for entertaining, so if owning a home where you have space to entertain is a long-term goal, this isn’t a bad start.
354 Harvest Lane, Santa Rosa – $349,950
3 beds, 3 baths, 1,310 square feet. Year built: 1987.
This is a traditional condo in every sense of the word. The HOA fee is on the higher end of what I think a lot of people would want to pay at $410/month, but if this is a first step toward homeownership, a few years won’t break the bank.
The interior has been recently upgraded, and the oven and dishwasher are included. That’s a bunch of money you won’t need to spend anytime soon.
18488 Happy Ln, Sonoma – $469,000
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,398 square feet. Year built: 1985.
This is a PUD (Planned Unit Development) so it is a single family home, but it comes with an HOA fee of $345/month. This fee covers grounds maintenance, insurance, management, and security. The development only has 7 homes as part of it, but from what I could see the grounds are very well maintained.
This is a two-story home, and the upper bedrooms have their own balconies. I chose this shot of the kitchen because it shows that, with 1,398 square feet, there’s room for everyone.
200 Foss Creek Cir APT A, Healdsburg – $525,000
2 beds, 2 baths, 955 square feet. Year built: 1988.
Healdsburg is a small town, but the houses there come with big price tags. Foss Creek circle is – technically – within walking distance to the square downtown. This condo is a find if a fancy zip code is what you’re after.
The HOA fees at this complex are $383/month, but that includes this pool.
437 Bernice Ln, Sonoma – $369,000
2 beds, 1 bath, 919, square feet. Year built: 1983.
Downtown Sonoma is quaint, and this condo has easy access to everything you’d need to do concerning shopping and/or dining. It is on the second floor, so homebuyers who don’t like stairs may want to pass on this one.
But if you’re a people watcher, or just enjoy relaxing on the patio outside, the views are great. The HOA fees are $395/month.
217 Elbridge Ave APT D, Cloverdale – $248,000
2 beds, 2 baths, 912 square feet. Year built: 1992.
On the lower side of median is this 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo. It was built in 1992, so it’s a bit newer than some on this list.
The $285/month HOA gets you into this pool and spa, along with a recreation center that you can reserve for gatherings.
160 Healdsburg Ave UNIT F, Cloverdale – $379,950
2 beds 3 baths 1,402 square feet. Year built: 2007.
This 2007 condo in Cloverdale is my favorite so far. It has a two car garage, open kitchen, and room for a full-size washer and dryer. The HOA is low at $220/month.
And let’s face it – it’s all about this kitchen. (Photo courtesy of RE/MAX Full Spectrum)