Wine Country and Horses

Welcome to Sonoma County! A short hour north of cosmopolitan San Francisco, where life slows down but sophistication remains in the midst of farms, quaint towns, vineyards and redwoods. Join us here to search for your wine country home, to learn about our real estate market and for a personal view of life in Sonoma County Wine Country.

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Excuse Us While We Are Under Construction

filed under: Real Estate 2.0 posted on September 14th, 2009

Wine Country and Horses

We don't have the same construction budget as Cal-Trans and any possible shut-downs to traffic won't cause the same commute complications as recently experienced in the San Francisco Bay Area, but we are undergoing some technical maintainence over the next couple of days.  So if you notice some odd behavior on our pages, or some missing links, our apologies in advance as we update our blog platform.  After nearly 2.5 years of existence, a little software overhaul is due.  It will enable us to improve our services and the look and feel of the site.  If you need to reach...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 1 Comment »

Horse Lovers! Don't Miss the 2nd Annual Sonoma Change Fundraising BBQ

filed under: Horses and Wine Country, Wine Country Living posted on September 12th, 2009

Wine Country and Horses

Last year's inauguaral Benefit BBQ for the Sonoma CHANGE Program (Coins to Help Neglected and Abandoned Equines) was a great success!  A fun event in a beautiful venue that raised significant money to help coordinate efforts in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties to save neglected horses from abuse and neglect. In 2009, your help is needed more than ever. It seems that ticket sales are down this year due to the economy, and the need to help abandoned horses is greater than ever.  This year's event is at the beautiful Shone Farm of the Santa Rosa Junior College, on the border of...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 2 Comments »

"It ain't over till it's over." or what Yogi Berra can teach first time buyers about Real Estate

filed under: Buyers posted on July 28th, 2009

Wine Country and Horses

So if you know me well, you know that I am a die-hard THIRD generation New York Yankees fan. (DISCLAIMER: Despite this fact, I have several clients, good friends and colleagues who are Boston Red Sox fans, but that is another story.) How does Yogi Berra relate to the current real estate market in Sonoma County, Ca? Well as current clients of mine will tell you-they thought they'd found a perfect house. We'll call it "Park Place". Great commute location, walking distance to shops and restaurants, and best of all a vastly over-sized, 13,000 square foot park-like back yard (complete with...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 1 Comment »

Sonoma County Real Estate Market Half-Time Report

filed under: Buyers, Market updates posted on July 27th, 2009

The long days and sunny weather have taken me away from my computer--sorry it has been so long since my last post. I have a new iPhone (fun and without a doubt best new productivity tool in a long time--probably since my first Palm Pilot in 1996). I am available by phone or email or Twitter, Facebook, etc. if you have an immediate question, please feel free to contact me. And thanks to those of you who already have! We are in the thick of a hot summer market here in Sonoma County. Buyers have been coming back...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 2 Comments »

Add Solar now, Pay Later with your Property Taxes: Innovative Sonoma County program provides property owners with financing for Energy Efficient Improvements

filed under: Sellers posted on April 22nd, 2009

Wine Country and Horses

One of the biggest problems with solar and other alternative energy systems and home energy conservation projects in general is that the upfront costs can take months or years to recoup in the form of lower utility bills. Plus, if a property owner is not sure they will be in the structure long enough to realize those benefits, there is even less incentive to make an investment, especially in our current economy. But reduced consumption of energy immediately benefits the planet, leading to less pollution and a reduced carbon footprint.  Unfortunately the environmental benefits don't reconcile immediately with short term financial outlay. One...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 6 Comments »

Where the action is in Sonoma County Real Estate

filed under: Market updates posted on April 17th, 2009

Wine Country and Horses

Brokermetrics, a real estate data analysis service provided by Terradatum, is currently beta-testing a new tool for analyzing real estate sales trends by price range. This is really welcome as far as I am concerned because our market is so hot at the low end (under $400,000) and so slow at higher price points that it is really difficult to make sense of market stats country wide for all price ranges. It takes a lot of slicing and dicing to confirm what most of us already know, that mid and upper price range properties are moving much more slowly than...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // Comments Off on Where the action is in Sonoma County Real Estate

Are you a Property Virgin? $8,000 $Reasons to find why now might be the time to buy your first home

filed under: Buyers, Finance and Lending, Real Estate 2.0 posted on April 4th, 2009

I have got to give credit where credit is due..Krisstina Wise is an Austin real estate broker, head of the Good Life Team. Earlier today she followed me on Twitter. I decided to check out the website of her self-described "hip" Austin real estate brokerage. I found it engaging, well-thought out, informative and professionally done. They use video judiciously and well and have some good tools for buyers and sellers. Their blog had a post on the new federal tax credit for first time home buyers. It wasn't the feds who coined the "Property Virgin",...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 4 Comments »

Median Home Price Rises in Sonoma County

filed under: Market updates posted on April 3rd, 2009

Wine Country and Horses

A few days ago I wrote in a post: The sheer activity level, the vast number of first time buyers and investor clients looking for rental property, and the declining number of new listings have all been detailed here over the previous months. In December, new sales exceeded new listings for the first time in many months, and, beginning in February it seems to us that the bottom was reached and had passed some entry level buyers by. A few minutes ago I received the following snapshot of the Sonoma County Real Estate Market closed sales figures from March 2008 through March...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 1 Comment »

The Credit Crisis Simplified

filed under: Finance and Lending posted on April 1st, 2009

Kudos to blog buddy Gretchen Merrick, writing from the South Bay, for calling my attention to this wonderful animation which explains the origins of the current credit crisis in clear and simple fashion. Her post contains a link to an interview on Terry Gross's Fresh Air Show on National Public Radio, which offers more detail. The Credit Crisis Simplified | South County Real Estate Today I thought I would offer the video here. I love this form of visual communication when done well! The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 3 Comments »

Have we hit bottom in the Sonoma County real estate market cycle?

filed under: Market updates posted on March 30th, 2009

Actually the only way you know is when it has passed by. A few weeks ago an agent friend and I were visiting as I fed the horses one early spring evening. She was telling me of the difficulties she was having successfully securing a home for first time buyers. This a great agent with many years of experience who was working with entry level low income buyers in Sonoma County. They were looking for a home priced under $200,000 in the Santa Rosa city limits. They were pre-approved for FHA financing with the reputable lender who had...Continue Reading!

posted by Pam Buda // 1 Comment »