Archive for the 'Buyers' Category
Help! There is not enough country property for sale in Sonoma County. I have buyers and very little to show them at the moment. Sebastopol, Healdsburg and the Valley of the Moon in particular are very low on new country real estate for sale. A really lovely piece of land with two legal units in an estate setting between Graton and Forestville just went into escrow with multiple offers. A charming farmhouse with two studio buildings and a small horse setup privately situated just 5 minutes outside of Sebastopol is in contract with multiple offers. An all cash buyer, rumor has it, plopped down nearly 2 million in cash (pending inspections) for a GORGEOUS 20 acre piece with a classic coastal home and large studio building within a week of entering the market. I think sellers are hunkering down due to the negativity in the press and uncertainty and fear in the economy. But well-priced, well marketed and properly prepared homes in Sonoma County, particularly country property, will sell quickly. There are a lot of buyers out there who have gotten off the (classic 3 rail wood board) fence who are looking for new homes or weekend getaways. If you have a country property in Sonoma County that you want to sell, please contact me for a free market analysis!
I was surprised to note how many of the people who visited my open house last month at a cute farmstead in Sebastopol were looking for property for their dogs! This property was in a great location at the end of a private lane well away from main roads and neighbors who might be disturbed by the occasional bark.
Well I shouldn’t be surprised since one of the main reasons I moved to Sonoma County was to have more room for my two dogs (Vizslas) and the horses as well as the humans of course, yet still be within an hour of the Golden Gate Bridge. Finding a safe property off the main thoroughfares was a key priority to me, and is to many of the buyers of Sonoma County real estate I meet.
Sonoma Pets is a print publication and on-line pet directory for Sonoma County published by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. There are many excellent small animal and equine veterinarians in the county, so much that many pet owners from the Bay Area will travel here for specialty care.
I just got off a phone call with fellow Realtor Donna NordbyÂ of Diversified Lending and Real Estate.Â We were comparing notes about our busy weeks when she told me that she showed 22 homes in the $300,000 to $350,000 range last week to some clients.Â Most if not all were REO (bank-owned) properties that had been through foreclosure.Â Fully FIFTY percent of them had already received anywhere from 10 to 15 OFFERS each.Â She literally put the listing agents’ office on speaker phone so thatÂ her clientsÂ could hear the newsÂ with herÂ as they called one property after another and got the same news.Â The nice properties in nice locations were the ones with multiple offers.Â The rougher ones in less desirable locations comprised the fifty percent without offers.Â Â Â Â At one property (not her listing), she had opened it up to show clients and three potential buyers walked in the door and asked her if they could see it.
Meanwhile I had a full house yesterday with a record amount of traffic at the country property I was hosting.Â Had some great talks with a steady stream of buyers and the consensus was that now was the time to buy.Â Late last year the thinking was more a wait and see attitude.
Â I have a feeling we are going to have a warm and lively spring.
Sunday afternoon, March 9,Â I will be hosting an open house at a lovely country home on just under 2 acres in South Sebastopol.Â Â 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.Â Â Â With the sunshining youÂ will be able toÂ appreciate the fabulous 360 degree views, including Mt. St. Helena.
Â Please come see me tomorrow, March 9 at 5611 Hessel Avenue in Sebastopol, Ca 95472 from 1 pm to 4pm.Â Â If you click on this link it will take you to the interactive Press Democrat open homes guide.Â 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.Â Â The homeÂ I am hostedÂ is listed by my good friend Izetta Feeny, and is extremely well-priced at $725,000.Â See you there!
Â 5611 Hessel Avenue, SebastopolÂ Open House this Sunday 3/9 from 1 to 4 pm
Just got a call from an agent today about an up and coming interesting new country property listing in a very close in Sebastopol location but a nearly 2 acre parcel on a country lane, so it sounds like the best of both worlds. A country feel, room for horses or grapes, privacy…..yet walk to Ragle Park, or walk to town with Michelin rated restaurants like K and L Bistro. It should be on in a few weeks but will be a short sale, so will need a patient buyer. Let me know if you would like any more information about this or any other upcoming properties.
I enjoy looking at market statistics for the Sonoma County real estate market. As a realtor and full time professional in the market, I look to statistics to confirm or enlighten me vis a vis my own perceptions. I also know the damage that can result from a broad brush focus on statistics. Witness the overall drop in Santa Rosa real estate values year over year of over 15%. (according to Zillow) Not only Zillow but lenders use this sort of data to tar any Santa Rosa home, when the truth is the hardest hit have been the large tracts of entry level inventory that Sonoma County communities such as Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park/Cotati and Windsor have. These communities have the highest preponderance of entry level single-family tract homes which were hardest hit by the sub-prime crisis. All of these communities have some wonderful country properties, vineyard properties and horse farms which will be negatively impacted from a lender’s eye in terms of valuation, relative to equivalent properties in Sebastopol, Healdsburg, Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Sonoma. They could be equally or more scenic, have oodles of wine country juice but are harder hit from a statistical eye.
That is why the laser beam approach is best when you are actively in the market for real estate, or are planning to sell a property for that matter. As my colleague in coastal San Mateo county, Marian Bennett said recently,
“Coastside real estate is very â€œlocation specificâ€. Trends can be information but they are not the whole picture if you are ACTIVELY in the market. In our office alone, 2 homes sold within hours of being listed last week. Part of that may be heading into the spring buying time and/or the seller had the golden triangle (my phrase) of Location, Price, and Presentation. “
Last month I posted an encouraging word about increased January 2008Â real estate sales Â activity in Sonoma county.Â My fellow realtors and I are all noticing a pickup in buyer activity since December.Â “People are realizing that their are some “smoking” deals out there and getting down off the fence.Â I think 2008 will be the year of the buyer.” said my broker at Coldwell Banker, Rick Laws , on a brief phone call today.Â He had just emailed us the first look at February real estate sales data for Sonoma County homes and condominiums and the data verify the gut feel possessed by many of us who as realtors are active in the market on a daily basis.Â Â I am glad because I was feeling a bit like Pollyanna after my last post, given the gloom and doom in the media.Â The mediaÂ spinÂ generally lags street level reality by weeks or months, which is why timing the real estate market or any market for that matter, is so difficult to do.
Â Anyway, newly opened escrows (ratified contracts) are up over 65% this month from last to 363 units.Â January saw the largest number of ratifieds of any month since last July 2007, but get this, February’s sales are up to a level not seen since AUTUMN of 2006!Â Given seasonal factors, that is a pretty encouraging sign.Â January ratifieds were 220 units and December was at 171.
If you are interested in learning about some of the great real estate buys in Sonoma County, whether for single family homes, country property, horse property or investment purposes, please feel free to email me or call.Â Â I will post more in depth data for February when it becomes available in another week or so.
Just had lunch today with a group of friends (aka The Russian River Valley Girls) at the new Bistro 29 in downtown Santa Rosa–they graciously opened for us for a private lunch and the food and service were fantastic!Â It was a tough day to schedule for a lot of folks who are furiously preparing to host lots of locals and tourists for this weekend’s Russian River Wine Road Barrel Tasting.Â Anne GiereÂ of Sapphire Hill Winery, who heroically organized our lunch at the same time she is getting ready for the weekend, reminded me that this is the 30th Anniversary of the Barrel Tasting tour!Â Â It has become such a big success that this year, as in 2007, the festivities stretch to cover two weekends.Â Â Hard on the wineries to staff but lots of fun for the rest of us.Â Many of my friends from the Bay Area come up and rent limos or designate a driver and then cover the area vineyards to sample wines not yet committed to bottles.Â Â People have been known to buy copious amounts of cases to bring home and wine futures to pick up at a later date.
“Barrel Tasting is not a food or themed event.Â It’s all about the WINE…many wineries offer “futures” on their barrel samples. This is a chance to purchase wine now, often at a discount, then come back to the winery when the wine is bottled, typically 12-18 months from now. Many wines are so limited, buying futures is your only chance to purchase them.”
Help us, help the Redwood Empire Food Bank – $1 from each tasting glass sold is donated back to the Food Bank. This resulted in a $30,000 donation for 2007.Barrel Tasting is not at one location. You drive to the wineries you would like to visit.
We will produce a program that shows the specific wines each winery will offer for the two weekends – you can expect to see that online beginning Feb. 1, 2008.”
Up and coming cool Sonoma County country property listings:
West SebastopolÂ Â 1 acre 3/2 house in scenic areaÂ $759,000 end of Feb
Prime close-in country location near downtown SebastopolÂ Â $825,000 “ish”Â 3/2Â 1/5+- acres coveted end of lane location
Prime wine country home and 3.5 acres surrounded by vineyards and horse properties.Â Now set up for horses, eminently plantable to Russian River pinot noir or Syrah or?Â Pool, 4BR, 2BA.Â Lovely views and fabulous bucolic setting on a quiet lane.Â Price TBD.
South Sebastopol mini-farm with horse setup, house and granny, in the $800’s.Â Coming end of February.
HealdsburgÂ 2 useable acres in prime end of lane location surrounded by larger parcels, lovely views, modest 2BR comfy home.Â $850,000Â ish.Â Later this spring.
Call or email me to check on these or other upcoming properties in Sonoma county,
Well they have been out in force even in the rain, but it is sure a lot more fun to look at property when the sun is shining.Â Our local Coldwell Banker Santa Rosa office had 23 open escrows last week which is a noticeable post-Super Bowl bump perhaps.Â Â In a “normal” market we average 20-30 escrows a week opened but December and January were down under 20 for the most part.
Marian Bennett in Coastal San Mateo county notes a similar trend in a recent post:Â “They came from the Frenchmanâ€™s Creek neighborhood, Fremont, San Francisco, Sonoma, even southern Californiaâ€¦tired of waiting for the bottom to hit, or starting the spring house-huntingâ€¦and many checking out our coastside communities on one of our â€œ10â€³ days on my subjective weather meter.”Â Â Â Even in the rain two weeks ago, I had buyers come from all over the Bay Area to view a lovely Sebastopol country property I was holding open.Â Â Buyers who may feel like Redfin employee Susan Brady–a self-confessed mid-Peninsula resident with Sonoma Country property aspirations, on the outside looking in.
If you want to see that same property in the sunshine so that you can appreciate the fabulous 360 degree views in a typical Sebastopol mini-farm setting on nearly 2 acres at the end of a peaceful country lane, please come see me tomorrow, February 17 Â at 5611 Hessel Avenue in Sebastopol, Ca 95472 from 1 pm to 4pm.Â Â ThisÂ property is listed by my friend Izetta Feeny, and is extremely well-priced at $725,000.Â See you there!
Â 5611 Hessel Avenue, SebastopolÂ Open House this Sunday 2/17 from 1 to 4 pm.
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