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Frequently asked questions...

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Questions about our Homes

What is included in each home?

 

Our homes are constructed offsite and shipped to the site largely complete. They are installed in either small housing villages or as Accessory Dwelling Units at existing homes. Each home includes the following items:

  • Architecture and engineering

  • Permitting and inspections

  • Perimeter stem wall foundation

  • Building shell

  • Exterior finishes

  • Decking (porch and adjacent deck)

  • Interior walls

  • Plumbing fixtures and piping

  • Windows and doors

  • Roofing

  • Interior finishes

  • Cabinetry

  • Electrical system

  • Heating/cooling system

  • Tankless water heater

  • Kitchen appliances (refrigerator, stove, oven)

  • Washer and dryer

  • Site infrastructure including water, sewer, and electricity service

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How large are the homes?

Each unit is a freestanding 1-bedroom, 1-bath, 480 square foot home.

Are the units sustainable, fire resistant, energy efficient etc…?

 

Homes are designed to be sustainable and energy efficient and exceed the requirements of the CA Green Building Code. The units have primarily non-combustible exterior materials in compliance with the Wildland Urban Interface requirements.

Can I customize bedrooms, bathrooms, layout, colors, etc.?
 

The exterior color of the homes can be customized. Other design features, including the floor plan and configuration of the homes, are standardized to streamline production and reduce costs.

Can I visit an existing home?

The home from our Backyard Program pilot project in Santa Rosa is available to be viewed by appointment.

Questions about our Backyard (ADU) Program

Who is the target audience for these homes?

 

Beginning educators, nurses, first responders, retirees, and those from other sectors with incomes of approximately $4,500/mo.

 

Can homeowners choose their tenant?

 

Yes, but they must meet the guidelines for housing affordability and fair housing.

Who owns the unit? Is there a buyout option?

 

Homes for Sonoma owns the unit for the duration of the ground lease (10-15 years), but homeowners are able to buyout the unit at any time. An amortization table is provided with each contract to show the amount owed throughout the duration of the ground lease.

How much of the funding does the homeowner contribute?

Homeowners can contribute as little as $5,000 depending on the desired length of the ground lease and the desired amount of monthly rental income.

How much rental income can a homeowner anticipate earning?

The exact amount is specific to each project, but on average the rent will cover any added expenses associated with the ADU (e.g., property taxes, utilities, insurance) plus an additional $300-$500/mo.

What are the land requirements?

  • Not on a hill/slope greater than 10%

  • Road and site access suitable for unit delivery (a crane may be required)

  • Zoned residential (R1 or R2)

  • Not located in 100-year flood zone

  • Not forested

What is the process and timeline?

  • STEP 1: Land/site review

  • STEP 2: Feasibility study (1-2 weeks) | Agreements, contract & timeline (1-2 weeks) | Site design & permitting (3 months+)

  • STEP 3: Unit delivery & final construction (4-8 weeks)

  • STEP 4: Tenant selection & move-in

Questions about our Organization

How was Homes for Sonoma founded?

Homes for Sonoma started with a text: "Jeremy lost his home." This heartbreaking comment was familiar to anyone living in Sonoma County the week of the 2017 wildfires. It was a time when information spread quickly between friends, coworkers and family. A time of overwhelming loss. The tone quickly changed from devastation to action. One question emerged: "What can we do?"

Friends quickly pulled in others who were looking to help. Within a week, 20 community leaders were sitting around a conference table at Quattrocchi Kwok Architects in Santa Rosa. The mood in the room was somber, but positive. Our group of designers, architects, and influencers met to discuss solutions. We wanted to do something to help our friends and family, and community, who had suffered great losses. And we felt strongly that housing was our community’s most critical need. Over the following weeks, a leading solution emerged: temporary modular housing. We named ourselves Homes for Sonoma and got to work getting houses for our community.

Within one year we gathered with friends and supporters to celebrate the opening of our first community. A handful of the six fire survivors who would be moving in later that week were handed the keys to their new homes. We knew at that moment that we had developed an efficient and cost-effective housing solution that could go well beyond housing fire survivors. We want to help individuals who make up the diverse fabric of our society such as first responders, educators, medical, construction, and hospitality employees.

The majority of our nonprofit Board of Directors continues to be made up of individuals who were sitting around that conference table back in 2017. We are committed to doing the hard work necessary to provide quality housing options for the people in our community who need it most.

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