Seniors Center


Things You Might Want To Know About Buying In Rossmoor Retirement Community Below herewith are some of the important things you need to know in considering a purchase in Rossmoor.  For additional information, please visit the retirement community's own website at:

Some of the Biggies:

  • There is a $7,000 mandatory Membership Buy In Fee with every purchase.  This fee is the current (as of today's date 2-9-09) amount required for entrance to the Golden Rain Association.  Because everything is negotiable in purchasing real estate, the seller can be requested to credit towards part or all of the buyer's buy-in fee.  It is up to the seller to decide whether they want to accept, reject or counter with a higher number which includes whatever credit they are seeking towards their membership fee.   The fee covers the admission of however many people are buying and occupying the property as of the purchase date.
  • It is traditional in Rossmoor transactions to have the Buyers and the Sellers split the Escrow fee of $1500 (as of 2-9-09) and $600 Admission Fee and a possible Community Facility Fee of $200 each.  (The Community Facility Fee has often already been paid if there was a re-sale of the property since its inception back in 1997 as it was a one-time fee.)
  • Buyers are qualified by income and age to become a member of the non-profit Golden Rain Association.  At least one spouse must be 55 years old.  No children are allowed to live on the premises.  Guests are only allowed to visit for a two week stay. 
  • Someone interested in buying should be aware that they can only rent the property out once for a total of one year.  After that the property will either need to be owner-occupied or sold.
  • Taxes are impounded which means that the Association collects them monthly along with your homeowners dues.  You will have an advance amount collected prior to the close of escrow.  So, do not be surprised to see Rossmoor's demand to title including one extra month advance homeowners dues plus one or months of calculated taxes.
  • If you need financing, there is presently only one lending offering loans on co-ops.  (The very low priced properties in Rossmoor are often co-ops.) Interest rates for co-ops are higher than typical condominium financing.  Mutual #2 has the most liberal buy-in only requiring a 20% down payment. Most of the other co-ops require a 30% down  payment.  One Mutual requires a 40% down.  Some of the co-ops still have a loan balance against the mutual.  This is disclosed with your purchase agreement if there is any balance remaining as it effects your total equity. At the present time the one lender offering loans on the co-ops does not offer reverse mortgages.
  • If you obtain financing to purchase your property, a lender has income qualified your application. Under these circumstances, Rossmoor's membership requirement for income qualification is considered fulfilled.  If you are in a position to buy your property outright, however, without a loan, Rossmoor's requirement to verify and qualify your income is triggered.  They require that you document to prove that your present earnings exceed 4 times the proposed HOA dues + calculated tax impound based on approximately 1.25% of the property's purchase price.
  • Rossmoor requires a buyer to have 2 orientation meetings.  The first is done by the ReSales and Alterations Department before the close of escrow and explains how the property can be re-sold and must be inspected by Rossmoor Inspectors prior to selling.  The regular orientation where a buyer gets introduced to security for parking sticker, etc. should be set up by the buyer a week or more in advance of estimated closing date. 
  • There are ordinarily a minimum of 2 property inspections by their department done with the seller prior to the close.  The first is done when you want to put the property on the market.  The second must be completed within 2 weeks of the proposed close of escrow.  The buyer is copied with all reports rendered from these inspections. If there are any repairs which the Rossmoor Inspector has identified as being the responsibility of the owner to take care of, they must be re-inspected and cleared prior to the close of escrow.  This could require the seller to get a third or even more inspections to clear any inadequacies.
  • Sellers should be prepared to obtain a termite inspection in addition to the Rossmoor Property Inspections.  Sellers who want to avoid surprises and eliminate the possibilities of issues arising from Buyers Remorse should also consider getting a Property Inspection Report ordered to identify potential pitfalls.
  • There is a definite process of getting permits from Rossmoor, as well as the City of Walnut Creek for anyone who wants to do renovations on a scale larger than say painting.
  • You want to retain all Rossmoor paperwork on your original acquisition of the property.  If you do not, they rely on their records as to what improvements exist and you may be arguing with them on the sale side of a transaction as to whether or not something like attached sun blinds actually exist.
  • Rossmoor has a negotiated rate for cable, water & electrical.  The present cable contract is with Comcast offers you a basic television and cable package at a great discount.  You can elect to upgrade for additional costs which are still discounted.
  • Mutual #2's rules do not allow for charcoal barbeques on the balconies.  You can operate a gas grill so long as it is placed and operated in a manner so as not to annoy the neighbors. Each mutual has their own set of rules. 
  • The green fees as of 2-9-09 are only $9 for 9 holes and $18 for 18 holes.
  • A seller has a $2,000 amount of the proceeds of their escrow held back for 60 daysby the title company per the direction of Rossmoor.
  • A seller of an estate which has a possible gain will have an escrow requirement from the State of California to withhold a minimum of 3% of the sale proceeds or complete a form that will be provided by the title company to show why it is exempt.  A loss on the sale constitutes an exemption.
  • A Good Realtor will help you to identify contractors and inspectors to assist in every element of closing an efficient escrow!  Call Hollie for assistance at: (925) 457-7073.  Be aware that the Golden Rain Association keeps an active list of approved contractors.

Rossmoor Community Description From Their Website Excerpted from Rossmoor Facts:

Rossmoor is a nationally recognized and award winning senior adult community located in the picturesque 2,200-acre Tice Valley area of Walnut Creek. Surrounded by acres of open space, this community is only two miles from downtown Walnut Creek, and 25 miles from downtown San Francisco.

Development of the community began in 1963, and today, there are approximately 6,700 residential units in three cooperatives, 12 condominium and one single-family home developments (referred to as Homeowner Associations or HOAs)

Forty percent of the homes are garden-style duplexes to four-plexes, and the remaining are either mid-to-high-rise, and one area of 68 individual single-family homes. Homes vary in price from low $100,000s for some cooperatives to over $1 million for the single-family homes and garden style condominiums.  At least one resident must be 55 years of age or older to live in a home in Rossmoor.

Rossmoor is a community of active seniors where recreation is a way of life. The excellent recreational facilities include:

  • 27 holes of NCGA-rated golf
  • three community swimming facilities
  • an exercise facility
  • eight outdoor tennis courts
  • three lawn bowling greens,
  • bocce ball courts and
  • hiking trails.

Staying active is essential to the quality of life in Rossmoor. Residents enjoy craft and hobby studios, five inviting clubhouses with meeting and activity rooms, a full-service library and picnic ground. Classes, entertainment, educational programs and trips are presented by the Recreation Department, and the 200 active clubs, groups and organizations plan activities and events.

An age-restricted community, Rossmoor provides a wide-range of services and amenities, including :

  • 24-hour Public Safety assistance
  • a full-service out-patient medical center
  • bus transportation within the community to enable its residents to maintain an independent, active lifestyle

Residents of Rossmoor need to be able to live independently. On-site skilled-nursing facilities are not available, but are located just outside the gate. Rossmoor does, however, have congregate housing in a 300-unit condominium facility called the Waterford. Here residents receive meal, housekeeping, recreational and other on-site services.

Rossmoor is in a location that is blessed with an ideal climate. Summers are clear and warm with cool evenings, and winters are moderately cool. Rainfall averages 20 inches annually, and humidity is in the dry middle range.

U.S. News and World Report named Rossmoor one of "America's Best Healthy Places to Retire" in September 2008. Here is a link to the article:

( If you cannot find the article on the U.S. News site, you can download or open the PDF file just by clicking on the icon.)