Re: Guest room fees
From: Ann Zabaldo (
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:39:47 -0800 (PST)

>> Question - Do you have any other source of revenue for your community
> other than
>> your HoA dues?  How much are your HoA dues per month?

On Dec 18, 2014, at 6:12 PM, Eris Weaver <eris [at]> wrote:
> Our monthly dues range from about $250 to $350 depending upon the size of
> the unit and whether you have a carport.
> We have an additional source of revenue - one of our buildings is mixed-use,
> with commercial on the ground floor and eight residential units above. We
> have a separate legal entity, Cotati Gateway LLC, wholly owned by the HOA,
> which owns the commercial enterprise. Cotati Gateway contributes a chunk of
> its profits to the HOA...which is taxed.
> Having this revenue stream allows us to do more stuff with lower HOA dues!

> It's not ALL rainbows and unicorns, though...there is some financial risk.
> We have had empty units since the recession although that is looking up. And
> mixing some kinds of commercial enterprises (pizza parlor, bakery, beauty
> parlor = smells; healing center = noise (drumming & chanting)) with
> residents in the same building has its challenges.  

Hi Eris —

Your HoA dues are comparable to ours.  But, unlike Frog Song, most cohousing 
communities don’t have any other outside source of revenue besides HoA dues w/ 
the exception of very minor contribution.

Currently, the TVC guest rooms offer a revenue stream that’s fairly important 
for us — about $3k per year.  Since it’s a contribution some people don’t pay 
at all.  We still have to maintain the guest rooms.  Upgrades occasionally 
happen as well.  I believe we just fixed the guest room heating and cooling 
system for a mere $10,000K+.  So I figure the guest room fees paid over the 
years we’ve been here have funded a good portion of this cost even if the fees 
themselves are not allocated to guest room use. (Whether you keep the money in 
one pocket or the other it’s the same pair of jeans.)

Also, as Sharon said in her response, our guest rooms are heavily used by 
friends of friends, colleagues, other cohousers, etc.  One thing I’ve been wary 
of is TVC becoming the best deal in town for bed and bath in DC — 1.5 blocks 
from the metro in the nation’s capital, clean sheets, no bed-bugs.   What’s not 
to like at $25 per night?

I honor Frog Song’s decision not to charge for guest room use.  I also honor 
coho communities that do charge.  Each community gets to these community-wide 
decisions for different reasons some of which sometimes I don’t understand but 
I do honor them.

BTW — it’s not the TAXES that are the issue.   Taxes are GREAT!  (We’re 
providing a service and bringing in some much needed revenue!)  Rather, it’s 
falling under the hotel and hospitality regulations which are labyrinthian in 
DC.  THAT is terrifying …  :-)


Best --

Ann Zabaldo
Takoma Village Cohousing
Washington, DC
Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
Falls Church VA

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