Open Homes Tag

Every weekday is Broker tour day in Sonoma County Real Estate

Most Sonoma county realtors could spend a good four or five mornings per week touring new listings in Sonoma County. Some folks call them caravans. It would take at least 2 weeks of doing so to hit all the new listings on tour because of dueling chapter schedules and a large county.What a Sonoma County Realtor could do every weekday morning Monday  Generally quiet but groups such as Marketing Masters and Homescopes meet on Mondays, plus there are some office meetings. Tuesday The main Santa Rosa Chapter meeting of NORBAR (the North Bay Association of Realtors).  As many as 100 to 150 realtors attend a breakfast meeting, educational session and swap information on upcoming listings, buyers needs, rental requests and market updates.  Property tour ensues for Santa Rosa.  One week is East side, one week the west side. Mike Kelly cracks the whip so you'd better stick to business! Wednesday The Sebastopol, Russian River and Petaluma chapters of NORBAR have their breakfast meetings --see above for the agenda.  Sebastopol, Russian River and Petaluma property tours. Thursday  The Healdsburg chapter of NORBAR, The Cotati-Rohnert Park chapter and many of the large brokerage offices such as all the Coldwell Banker offices (separately), CPS and Prudential have their own sales meetings, marketing sessions and broker tours.   Our Santa Rosa office (over 100 agents) meeting and tour covers the East side of SONOMA county one week and the West side the next.  That means we could be looking at properties from Cloverdale and Healdsburg down to Petaluma on the same morning (theoretically!).  This is why FOOD at broker open houses is so important, and water on hot days.  Got to fuel the troops! Friday  Friday morning is the weekly meeting of the Windsor Chapter of NORBAR and the Windsor tour.  Cloverdale is in their somewhere as well. That means the average Sonoma County Realtor could spend 16-20 hours per week at breakfast meetings, marketing sessions and on property tour and still not cover the whole county.  How do you use your time?   How much time every week do you tour and network with other realtors?  What is the main benefit of attending these meetings? (Next post an update on some interesting new listings on the market in Santa Rosa, from a lovely view home on 2 acres to 2 Rincon Valley bargains and and Junior College duplex.)...

Do you know what your home's Walkscore is?

One of the most appealing things about living in Sonoma County is the tremendous range of fantastic amenities for such a rural community.  People come here for the scenic beauty and they stay, moving from large cities in the San Francisco Bay Area or Southern California because there is so much to do, from great dining and wine tasting (of course!) to a thriving small theatre and music scene to a large arts community.  Granted, it's not Manhattan, where the world is at your doorstep, but we pack a surprising amount into a scenic package. One of the things I enjoy most about working with Sonoma County real estate buyers, is sharing with them the personal discoveries I have made and my favorite haunts in communities from Sebastopol to Sonoma, Glen Ellen to Healdsburg, Santa Rosa to Windsor, Occidental, Graton, Kenwood, etc.  One of my goals with this blog over time is to collect some links and tools that will serve as my personal guide to Sonoma County.  Over the coming months, you will see more community pages with my personal recommendations and links to handy resources for Sonoma County residents and would-be residents of the Wine Country. In the meantime, I have found a great tool to help you get started learning about any home you might consider buying:  Walkscore.com.   It provides a Walkability score for any given address.  What is that?  From the Walkscore Home Page:Walkable Neighborhoods Picture a walkable neighborhood. You lose weight each time you walk to the grocery store. You stumble home from last call without waiting for a cab. You spend less money on your car—or you don't own a car. When you shop, you support your local economy. You talk to your neighbors. What makes a neighborhood walkable?A center: Walkable neighborhoods have a discernable center, whether it's a shopping district, a main street, or a public space. Density: The neighborhood is compact enough for local businesses to flourish and for public transportation to run frequently. Mixed income, mixed use: Housing is provided for everyone who works in the neighborhood: young and old, singles and families, rich and poor. Businesses and residences are located near each other. Parks and public space: There are plenty of public places to gather and play. Pedestrian-centric design: Buildings are placed close to the street to cater to foot traffic, with parking lots relegated to the back. Nearby schools and workplaces: Schools and workplaces are close enough that...

Open August 24 1-4 pm: An ideal West County Country Property on 2.83 acres

Please come join me today at 5850 Gilmore Avenue in Cotati, my latest listing and a fantastic country property that is well-thought out, secluded yet convenient and very up to date. You and your family and critters could just move right in. When I looked for my current country property home I wanted a property like this--lots of usable land, nice house, really cute second unit and most importantly I wanted scenic beauty and a really peaceful location away from traffic so my cats and dogs would be safe, not to mention humans as well. I also wanted to be convenient to town and services, and to commute to the Bay Area. Don't be mislead by the Cotati address on this cool property--it is actually on the west side of 101, north of 116 on the way to Sebastopol. Don't get me wrong, Cotati is a neat town with lots of fun shops and restaurants, but this location on Gilmore would just as easily appeal to someone wanting Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Penngrove or Petaluma. This little country pocket in Cotati is peaceful, has lots of horse properties and small farms as well as vineyards surrounding it, and many of the neighbors have been here for years. My clients have owned the property since 1977 and their meticulous care and updating shows. Yet this home is about5 minutes to 101 so it is a great commute location that feels miles away. It is my experience that people looking for Sonoma County country property don't first think of places such as Rohnert Park/Cotati or Windsor, but you can uncover some gems by searching and thinking a little outside the box. Come see for yourself today. This property could accommodate horses (and does with a 2 acre pasture (+-), stalls and tack room. It also is home to roller pigeons and has two coops and a small aviary. There is a shop for painting autos with air compressor and 220 power plus another shop (called the "man" building) for hanging out. Plus a cute 2002 small modular with kitchen, den, bedroom and bath, all in its own fenced in, redwood lined yard at one corner of the property for privacy. There is only one home past this property on a sleepy lane, and many bigger parcels surround it, with views of the...

The Best of Healdsburg and Sonoma County–visit our Open House on the web

My wonderful client Jill is an excellent horsewoman. She and I met riding on Fred MacMurray's beautiful Twin Valleys ranch on the border of Healdsburg and Forestville. It is only fitting that her wonderful classic Healdsburg bungalow be the subject for an innovative open house this Sunday from 1-4 PM. Jill get's what were doing so she was very excited to allow Trulia and me to set up a live webcast on Trulia's blog for the first open house at her home at 414 Piper Street. Only concern she had that it would be like the Truman Show. We thought this home and its fantastic close to the Healdsburg plaza location would appeal to the type of people who would be watching the Trulia blog who may be frequent visitors to Sonoma County and appreciate the finer things that a community such as Healdsburg has to offer. While Healdsburg is about 80 minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge, it is a very sophisticated community with country charm. Since the early 80's when I used to visit good friends Joan and Larry Franceshchina, I fell in love with the wine country of Sonoma and eventually made a home here. Since 414 Piper Street would make a great weekend getaway or fantastic tele-commute location I thought it would be a great fit for the folks on Trulia to see and appreciate. So tune in Sunday from 1 to 4 pm or thereabouts. Maybe you will fall in love with 414 Piper Street, Healdsburg. FYI, this property has an excellent walk score of 83, meaning many amenities and services are available with a block or three or four. Just park your car and enjoy....

Open May 18 1-4PM: A Panoramic Country View Property in Sebastopol

As a 10 year resident of Sonoma County, one of the only things I really missed when I moved up here from the San Francisco Bay Area in early 1999 was my fantastic 3 Bridge SF Bay view with spectacular sunsets every night from every room in the house. It was a great way to transition from a busy day by enjoying the sunset in the evening. My current home is not situated to take the western views in, although when I feed the horses, that is my sunset viewing time. That is why I love the listing at 2210 Pleasant Hill Road in Sebastopol, and offered to Pamela Bernier, the listing agent, that I would hold it open this Sunday May 18 1-4 PM in the hopes that I might introduce the property to some folks looking for a lovely 2.6 acre parcel, home and small horse setup set way back near the end of a peaceful country lane. The entire home faces the rolling western hills of Sebastopol with panoramas of vineyards, orchards and distant redwoods. The acreage is very usable and would accommodate horses or livestock, an avid gardener or grape grower or just some folks who want to kick back on the decks at sunset and unwind in a their very own Shangri-la. Come visit tomorrow and learn about this or other properties on the market, as well as current Sebastopol and Sonoma County real estate market trends. This last week I toured 11 new property listings on the market in Sebastopol, as well as others around the county, so I can fill you in! ...

Sebastopol and Sonoma County Real Estate Market Update

Since I have been looking at the foreclosure market in Sonoma County, I decided to switch gears back to country property and take a look again at the health of that market. Tomorrow, May 18th, I am holding open a 2.6 acre country property with a spectacular view setting, usable for horses, gardening, grapes or getting away from it all. So I decided to look at the Sebastopol market trends for properties in a similar price range, $600,000 to $1.1 million dollars to see how prices and inventory are doing now, and over the last year. Some of my previous posts have covered this topic in the past. Here is a chart of Market Trends for the $600K to $1M price range for real estate in Sebastopol for the last year. The median price through April has risen from $735 to $765. With such a small sample size this number can fluctuate widely but the really startling number is the amount of listing inventory, which has declined from 93 last May to 63 now. Have the sellers been scared away? The number of accepted listings versus sales inventory is also a good indicator that this upward trend could continue. Perhaps it is because the foreclosure and short sales are in short supply in Sebastopol. That is why all real estate is local, and buyers and sellers alike can benefit by looking at market trends for their particular area. I heard a good reference the other day which stated that looking at national or statewide real estate trends to figure out what is going on in your market is like trying to predict your local weather by referencing a national average temperature of 57 degrees. Kind of hard to do. If you have questions on this data or would like to slice it a different way, please email or call me, or visit tomorrow at 2210 Pleasant Hill Road. ...

Equus Hall of Fame Banquet tonight!

After feeding the horses, and then dressing up, I am headed out with a group of friends and clients (many times one and the same!) to tonight's Equus Awards, Sonoma County's Academy Awards for the horse community here! It is the annual benefit for the Sonoma County Horse Council, and its only fundraiser of the year. WineCountryandHorses (this blog) has put together a table of ten and we are looking forward to perusing the silent auction items. I have advised everyone to bring their checkbooks, and friend and tablemate Christine DeLoach of Hook and Ladder Winery has also graciously donated several cases of Hook and Ladder Third Alarm Chardonnay to the Council for this evening's festivities. I think a few bottles of red may find their way in tonight as well! I guess Rush (below) will have to eat dinner at home with Giles and Missy while we party! ...

Wonderful Sebastopol Mini-Farm with 4 BR/2BA

Sunday afternoon, March 9, I will be hosting an open house at a lovely country home on just under 2 acres in South Sebastopol. It would be suitable for horses or 4H, orchards and possibly vineyard.The 4BR/2 BA home sits on a knoll at the end of a private country lane, equidistant between 101 and the quaint town of Sebastopol, a vibrant community with everything from world class dining, excellent schools, a Whole Foods Market, weekly farmers markets and a small community theater and cinema. With the sunshining you will be able to appreciate the fabulous 360 degree views, including Mt. St. Helena.Please come see me tomorrow, March 9 at 5611 Hessel Avenue in Sebastopol, Ca 95472 from 1 pm to 4pm. If you click on this link it will take you to the interactive Press Democrat open homes guide. Type in your criteria such as the town of Sebastopol, price range, etc. and you will get a map of the homes open this weekend, along with directions and a route guide. The home I am hosted is listed by my good friend Izetta Feeny, and is extremely well-priced at $725,000.See you there!5611 Hessel Avenue, Sebastopol  Open House this Sunday 3/9 from 1 to 4 pm ...

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