Archive for the 'Healdsburg' Category
Recently I was working with some long term clients who, though American, had been living in Provence for the past seven years, and London prior to that. They decided it was time to return to the states permanently, and had the entire 50 states from which to choose, as they could work anywhere. I was referred to them by an agent to Santa Barbara, who was introduced to me via Twitter through mutual colleagues. A decidedly high tech (at the time in 2009) connection!
I had originally met them when they first decided to return to the US from France. I introduced them to all of the beautiful towns and Sonoma and Napa. Unfortunately family stuff kept them in France until recently. We stayed in touch via email and phone–we shared some common interests in good food and wine and they kept an eye on the market. Just recently they decided it was time to return to the US.
Of all the places in the world they could go, they chose Healdsburg. I couldn’t agree more. Sonoma County and especially Healdsburg is a beautiful place to be.
My clients flew in from France to get started on their new home search. It was mid-January and there was almost nothing on the market. They had decided they wanted a quality vintage home walking distance from the Plaza in Healdsburg, ideally with a decent sized lot as they were coming off five acres and loved to garden. Guest quarters and a pool, with some architectural interest and high quality rounded out the bill.
Being well connected to our local real estate market, By networking with other realtors all over the county, not just in Healdsburg, I was able to find the perfect property that was not yet listed on the market. I knew it was a good bet when two different agents both suggested it. We had about six properties to look at and a weekend to find them something as the shipping container was shortly to be filled with their possessions and strike out across the Atlantic.
My clients loved the “stealth” house, made a good offer and got into contract almost right away. Just in time to as threats of two more offers came in just hours after our offer was accepted and the seller’s friend tried to buy it out from under us once he found out the property was being sold.
Fortunately, we were in contract before any problems could start.
My clients are now flying back to France to finalize the sale of their Provence home and will be returning to Healdsburg and their new dream home. Meanwhile, I arranged for all the necessary inspections and attended them, and arranged for bids on some of the items that came up in the initial round of inspections. They were back in France packing like mad. We handled the entire escrow and final negotiations via phone and email and electronic signatures.
A couple of months later, they were firmly ensconced in their new home in Healdsburg, and we have managed to celebrate more than once over some of that good wine country food and wine.
Call me if you would like to find your dream home in the Wine Country.
Much of Healdsburg’s charm stems from the fact that it is a small town. Small town sales volume does not lend itself to great real estate stats since the sample size is so small. That is why I mostly look at sales and real estate market stats county wide. Nevertheless, once in a while we look at individual communities. By looking back at charts over a two year period you can see the seasonality of the numbers and get a little more of a feel for the market. Beware though. Healdsburg has seen some of the highest sales prices in the county (in the many millions) and also has some more typical lower entry level prices around $300,000.
If you throw in a property that sells for many many millions of dollars one month in to the mix with only a few other homes and you will see wild fluctuations in median and average prices. That doesn’t mean the price of your Healdsburg home has gone up fifty percent in a month as the slide on median sold prices indicates! Probably the most telling slide is the one that shows supply and demand. Inventory of homes for sale is down 34% over the last two years, and the number of sold properties is up 24%. Increasing demand, declining supply. Same story you see throughout Sonoma County. Healdsburg for its size has a higher percentage of expensive homes and ranches, and has had fewer distressed sales.
Here is the next in my series looking at market conditions for various communities in Sonoma County.
Healdsburg real estate represents a small sample size with monthly sales ranging from 2 units to 24 units and median price ranging from $352,000 to over $3,000,000 on any give month over the last two years, with several months in which the median price was just over a million. So take this with a little grain of salt. Nonetheless, inventory never really spiked for long, sales are on the upswing, median price is down 27% since October 2007.
Month’s supply of inventory moved downward from 14 months in October 2007 to 6 months today, a balanced market, probably reflecting the amount of high priced inventory on the market here. MSI peaked at 25 months in February 2008.
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.
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