It's early November and finally time to pull the home sale statistics from our Multiple Listings Service (MLS). I first pull one years stats and then pull stats going back two years and even three years as I try to decipher the trends. This month you can see what I learned by looking back at different timeframes. Let me preface by saying that this autumn the market is VERY active, at least that is my perception, shared by other realtors I know as well as home and pest inspectors, etc. There seem to be more equity sellers and there...Continue Reading!
This is a building you or your contractor will become very familiar with if you plan to remodel or build a home in Sonoma County. You should also visit and investigate any property you are thinking of buying. Your realtor should be able to show you around. There is a lot to see and do here. But why don't you just start with looking at the county planning department's website? There is a lot of useful information here and it is a good place to start. Some of my favorite links: Online Permit History Here you can see the...Continue Reading!
Typically we think of springtime or summer as the most beautiful time of the year but for all of October and now November here in Sonoma County wine country of Northern California it feels like right now is the best time of year. We had some early rain (after six typical dry months) in September. The grass has gone from golden brown to emerald green. The vines and trees throughout the county are turning red, gold and orange. The skies have been brilliant blue and the weather has been delightfully warm but not too hot. LOVE IT. Maybe that is...Continue Reading!
My friend HolLynn D'lil is like many of my friends and clients who have moved to Sonoma County from successful lives elsewhere. She had a vision, a feeling, a sense of the possibilities that her new life could be in our pocket of country paradise a short hour north of San Francisco. She wanted room to garden and a studio for painting and a home environment that nurtured her creativity. More so than many, she did not allow a bare flat patch of dirt and a dated home deter her from realizing her vision. Now she lives in a...Continue Reading!
I am very pleased to welcome Otto Kobler of Maximum Mortgage as a guest contributor to Wine Country and Horses. There are so many things going on the in the world of lending, and so many opportunities and challenges that I welcome Otto's expertise! From jumbo loans to FHA loans for first time buyers and everything in between, Otto has years of knowledge and experience to offer. Plus he fits the wine country mold--besides being the branch manager of Maximum Mortgage in Santa Rosa and very active in the local real estate community, he and his wife grow...Continue Reading!
Since the first Monday morning after New Year's Day, the Sonoma County real estate market has been incredibly active with some of the highest rates of pending sales in the last several years. Most realtors I know have been very encouraged by all the activity, particularly after activity in late 2010 ground to a near halt for most agents. But many challenges and obstacles remain, and MANY opportunities exist in this market as well. We will continue to delve into these in more detail over the coming months but for now, here are some of the high points. The median...Continue Reading!
I thought I would kick of 2011 by looking back at the Sonoma County home sales data for 2010. I pulled the closed sales data for all residence types in all of Sonoma County for the last 13 months (December 2009 through December 2010.) This includes single family residences, farms and ranches and condominiums. It is difficult to discern any particular long term trends in the last quarter's data. There has been a slight decrease in the number of home sales and a slight increase in listings of homes for sale over the last 2 or 3 months....Continue Reading!
The Heritage Music Theatre at Cinnabar Theatre in downtown Petaluma created a great guerrilla marketing event at the local Whole Foods Market. Imagine a fruit aisle stocker spontaneously bursting in to song from behind the pineapples and a bass player emerging from the cooler. Imagine yourself minding your own business shopping away when a half dozen singers burst into Woody Guthrie's stirring "This Land is Your Land" from over by the papayas and you get the idea. Woody Guthrie's American Song opens December 31st and runs through January 23 just down the block from the fruit aisle! For a taste, the video...Continue Reading!
A winter chill seemed to come early to Sonoma County's real estate market. Sales were at their lowest level for October since 2007. Sales also dropped from September of 2010, which makes me wonder if the news of robo-signing of foreclosure documents just put a huge wet blanket on already skittish buyers. Inventory was up only slightly, and newly pending sales maintained a very good pace, belying the drop in closed sales. It is possible that all the concern about the possible risk of buying foreclosed properties put a damper on sales. In that case short sales...Continue Reading!
If you don't live in Northern California you might not be aware that we don't have rain for about six months of the year, from April to October. Plant, animal and human life has adapted to drought conditions during the hottest months. But early October everything starts to look pretty parched and dusty. The hills are golden and brown, we have some of our best warm weather, but it is time for rain. Everything feels thirsty. Then the first rains come. Everything is transformed. We have probably had about four inches in the last few weeks. Now...Continue Reading!
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