I had a great time with family and friends on Memorial Day. What did we do? We visited the other wine country. We headed to Napa (the city of) for the afternoon. Since I live and work primarily in Sonoma County, it is fun to have a getaway in the wine country! Downtown Napa is quite pretty, and the city and county of Napa are working to increase tourism there. It doesn't hurt that a whole raft of excellent restaurants are walkable downtown: Celadon, Angele, Ubuntu (on sabbatical?) and others. We had a great lunch at Angele, sitting outdoors...Continue Reading!
Sonoma Hort (www.sonomahort.com) is a must see but only if you love beauty and lots of flowers, in this case, masses of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, hostas and more, all on 8 acres in South Sebastopol. The second owners have had it since the seventies and it is a retail/wholesale nursery masquerading as an amazing park, with 1.5 miles of trails winding through it, a pond and a meadow and altogether enough picnic tables and benches to have a lovely meal or snack (Just make sure you take all your leftovers with you.) Sonoma Hort is just one of many truly...Continue Reading!
Yesterday I published a post about the dramatic increase in country property newly pending sales compared to the depths of the recession in 2009. Here is a link to the complete report. Enjoy! PLease feel free to comment or send questions. I'd love to hear from you. Sonoma County Country Property Sales ReportContinue Reading!
Following (or leading?) the general pickup in the real estate market both locally here in Sonoma County, and nationwide, country properties are strong. Newly pending sales of properties on 2 acres or more in Sonoma County are at more than the three year high, up 238% !! over the same time in 2009. In fact, February 2009 was the bottom for the median sales price in the county, and the chart belo0w conveniently looks at the sales of country property throughout Sonoma County during that time. All sales that are opened don't necessarily close--there could be property "issues" or financing...Continue Reading!
Since home prices declined so significantly since 2007, the market for buildable lots and land in Sonoma County has been very slow for the last few years. That has started to change as new construction is picking up again. Also, in Sonoma County, picky buyers from out of the area with specific home design desires are beginning to build their own custom homes again. Again, while the unit sales are slow for lots and land, sales are picking up. These figures do not include commercial lots, but they do include agricultural lots. The market for plantable vineyard land, and existing...Continue Reading!
My friend Hollyn D'Lil moved to Sonoma County ten or 12 years ago. She has fully embraced life in the community of Graton, in West Sonoma County. She knows I work with many newcomers to Sonoma County to help them find their ideal wine country homes. Consequently she referred me to the new book by Dewey and Susan Watson called "Shift and Shout: Two Urban Boomers Prove You Don't Need to Retire to Move to Paradise." I moved to Sonoma County from the Bay Area and my high tech career in the late 90's...Continue Reading!
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...Continue Reading!
You know how there are people in your life that are always seeking, always learning and discovering? You connect on a variety of levels and share your enthusiasm over new discoveries? Together and separately you seem to travel some of the same paths and love comparing notes? One such person in my life has been Andrew Fluegelman. We first met in the late seventies through Stewart Brand (of Whole Earth Catalog fame) at the Coevolution Quarterly in Sausalito. Andrew shared many of the same interests, from environmental awareness and sustainability to sailing. We met again in the early 80's in Marin...Continue Reading!
So far in our Wine Country and Horses country property series we have discussed well testing, county regulations for new home construction in water scarce areas, and how much water is enough when it comes to the production of your well. Last but not least is the quality of the water being pumped out of the ground. Most newer wells pump from pretty deep under the ground--some old wells are only 80-100 feet deep abut I have heard of wells in Bennett Valley vineyards for example that are 700 feet deep. Contrast that with old hand-dug wells that still exist...Continue Reading!
The Russian River area of Sonoma County extends from Forestville, which lies between Sebastopol and Healdsburg, through Guerneville and Monte Rio to Duncan's Mills near the coast in Jenner. It also includes tiny Rio Nido, Camp Meeker and the rustic hills and forests of Cazadero. It is a very diverse area with more than its share of towering redwoods and river beaches. Historically a summer playground for San Francisco, the river also is a full time home to many. Homes can be more affordable here. Recently the river market was slower to react to the housing crisis, but saw its...Continue Reading!
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