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Sonoma Real Estate Blog

Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner


Displaying blog entries 81-90 of 90

Life is Good!

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

There is a lot of talk swirling around about farm-to-table lifestyle, real food, back to basics and artisan, locally sourced products.  Living in Sonoma County, we have access to an abundance of local producers, artisans, and farms right at our back door.  We have the unique opportunity to fill our homes and lives with natural and local foods and products, virtually year-round. The only way to get closer to this abundant and natural lifestyle would be to purchase your own piece of Sonoma County farmland … and we have just the property to show you!

A mere twenty minutes down Bodega Highway, surrounded by green valleys and adjacent farms, is 80 acres of gently rolling land, with a sprawling single story main residence, guesthouse and extensive horse facilities.Once home to World Champion racehorse Sir Cool Skip, this extraordinary property boasts both historic beauty and modern amenities. With over 80 acres of premium land suitable for farming, grapes or horse facilities, and a possible knoll top building site offering privacy, spectacular expansive views of mountains, valleys, trees, vineyards and hillsides, this opportunity is a Sonoma County gem.

Multiple dwellings grace this estate, including the main residence, which consists of 3 large bedrooms, 2 full baths, private master suite, spacious country kitchen, living room/dining area, and a delightful veranda for sipping homemade lemonade on those warm summer days. Expansive decking off the kitchen makes for perfect entertaining, relaxing and taking in those magnificent views.Welcome your guests and extended family to stay in the charming farmhouse, complete with kitchen, 3 large bedrooms, 1 full bath, spacious kitchen, living room, and dining area, all with gleaming hardwood floors. An attached granny unit and office area, alongside the expansive agricultural shop-building, rounds out this impressive offering.

Lest we forget, you ranch hands and caretakers will find ample housing in 2 extensively upgraded mobile homes, which have been remodeled with newer roofing, hardwood and tile flooring. No caretaker?  These abodes can provide a tidy rental income.

An extensive working horse facility completes this outstanding and unparalleled property.  The fully equipped ranch features an expansive Ag/shop building, 3 large barns, paddocks, round pens, hay storage, tack room, breeding lab, and approximately 60 acres of beautiful fenced pastures for your animals to roam. The current owner has owned and operated a world class breeding facility, with the finest of studs and mares producing exquisite offspring.All of this, along with groves of trees and a ½-acre pond, completes this true Sonoma County style of abundant living.  Enjoying the land, animals, and fruits of your labor in a majestic setting are all here waiting for you, let us show you around! 

Home is Where the Heart Is

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

Sebastopol is full of heart. Our tree lined main streets, beloved Mimi’s Ice Cream Shoppe, the upscale Barlow Development and, of course, our founding fruit the Gravenstein apple—are all a part of what makes this town so special and why many are enticed to call it home. We feel very fortunate to live and run our business here and monitor the growing community with interest.

We are often asked if the current housing climate in Sebastopol is good. Our thoughts? Yes it is. The market is leaning more towards a seller’s market than a buyer’s market, but our quaint community is definitely trending upwards from a few years ago.

What is a seller’s market? The term “seller’s market” defines a real estate market in which home scarcity allows sellers can keep prices high. Prices are not as high as they were in 2006 (nor should they be) however the low inventory establishes Sebastopol as a Sellers market.

Currently Sebastopol is trending at a 1.1 month supply of inventory.  This means that there are only enough homes for sale in Sebastopol for one month; by the second month all those homes will be sold. The general rule of thumb for a stable market is at least 3 months inventory; anything lower than three months is considered a seller’s market. Supporting this assumption is the growing demand for single-family homes in the Sebastopol area and a noticeable (although not stark) increase in home sale prices.

Interested in capitalizing on the current seller’s market? Take into consideration your home’s value. In real estate, property values are not the same as property prices. Property value is an estimate of what a home or a piece of land is actually worth; the price may be higher or lower, depending on negotiations and/or possible amenities that come with the property. Currently people are looking for properties close to the downtown area or homes that have land they can use for organic gardening or other small agricultural uses. These types of properties will sell at a higher price point than a home eight miles from downtown or with no land around it. It is important to understand what goes into pricing a home for sale before you list your property. 

What is your home worth in today’s market? There are many factors in addition to the structure and land that we look at when determining the value of a home. You can look up an estimated value of your home on websites such as Zillow or Trulia, but they will only give you an estimate based on national averages that do not consider specific factors that are relevant only in our area. We offer a free and confidential home value reporting tool on our website. You can look up your address and immediately see the estimated value range, comparable properties and neighborhood ratings. We also dive deeper into your specific property and can help you establish a realistic value based on our knowledge and expertise of real estate and the Sebastopol area.

Sebastopol is recovering from the recession nicely. We are encouraged by the increase in home sales, prices, and general optimism about our community. We look forward to helping anyone who follows his/her heart to our special town that wishes to find a permanent home.

Back to basics: A return to the main principles of the human connection

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

We recently attended the 2014 CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) Sell-a-bration Conference in San Diego. As in years past, we left with a deeper understanding of our business, our clients, and a sense of inspiration. We again re-affirmed the value we place on building lasting personal connections with our clients.

The CRS conference is a whirlwind weekend of networking, speakers, classes, and workshops for Certified Residential Specialists. We attend the conference every year for the knowledge and insight we gain, as well as Heidi holds the distinct honor of being the Northern California Chapter’s Program Chair. This year, we found a common theme among every speaker, class and session: return to the basic value of building strong personal connections. We seek to practice this every day, and view it as a basic foundation of our business relationships.

It isn't always enough to create and promote an outstanding service. A person’s sales approach matters just as much as what s/he is selling. Successfully creating a personal connection with each client is the hallmark of a successful real estate professional.  We are driven by connecting with clients in genuine and personal ways, building relationships and helping to guide their property transactions smoothly and capably. Getting our home seller clients the best possible price and managing the search for our homebuyer clients’ dream homes – these are goals we strive to achieve in every client relationship.  

You often hear that social media is replacing face-to-face connections, because we are able to relay often-personal information through these fast paced platforms. However, we see social media as more of a follow up to an existing or ongoing conversation, and an affirmation of the value we provide. Following a formula of 90% face-to-face connection/authentic conversation and 10% social media gives our clients and us the satisfaction of quality service and the reliability of a genuine relationship. The act of buying or selling real estate is often emotionally charged. The majority of people rightfully expect to experience the journey with someone they know and trust – and this suits us just fine!

For decades, real estate agents have relied on personal referrals. A friend, friends of a friend, a family member, or even someone’s dentist – clients come from established relationships built on a foundation of trust. The referral system is the entrance for new relationships, but the value placed on developing that relationship and earning someone’s trust thereafter it is what really builds strong and successful businesses. 

We will continue to attend the annual CRS conferences to be exposed to the latest technology, real estate education and effective processes; but most importantly, we will keep doing what we do best – building strong and meaningful connections with you


Authentic Sonoma

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

There is much to be said about the beauty, entertainment, and atmosphere that embody California’s esteemed Wine Country, Sonoma County.  The region’s famed vineyards and wineries may draw visitors to the area, but the county’s rich culture, history and inviting community are what encourage people to stay. 

Only thirty miles north of San Francisco awaits a place that not only offers over 200 award-winning wineries, but also a scenic coastline, beaches, stunning redwoods, over twenty golf courses, galleries, local farmer’s markets, and an impressive array of restaurants.   Thousands of visitors come to Sonoma County each year and many of these visitors come back searching for a new place to call home. 

With endless opportunities of finding a great residence right in our backyard, we were able to unite our knowledge and appreciation for Sonoma County with our passion for assisting others throughout their home-buying and selling experiences.  Some return to find a quaint, tucked-away cottage in a rural area, some are looking to move into something that grows as their lives do, and some are interested in a “Sonoma County lifestyle” property.  Whatever the situation may be, we are dedicated to showcasing a broad spectrum of inventory so that our guests find exactly what suits them.

One particular property that represents all of the wonderful qualities of Sonoma County is located in Santa Rosa, 4721 Hall Road.  A quiet country lane leads directly to this single level Craftsman-style home.  Nestled on five acres of land, a stunning view of Mount St. Helena and the Mayacamas offer this residence exceptional beauty and peace.  The property is located within one of the county’s most prestigious wine regions, the Russian River Valley Appellation.  Included in the opportunity is approximately three acres of planted premium Pinot Noir wine grapes.

The home’s 2,280± square-foot interior includes three bedrooms, two baths, rich cherry wood cabinets and floors, a spacious gourmet kitchen and an abundance of natural light to accommodate the ultimate comfort for its owners.  Nearby shops and the Santa Rosa Country Club offer an accessible lifestyle to residents, yet the privacy and tranquility of the home’s location offers something far from the ordinary. 

Providing a place in Sonoma County to call home is exactly what the Hall Road property offers.  If you are interested in taking a tour of this stunning Santa Rosa residence, please contact us; we would love to show you around!

Supporting life-giving activity, dreams, and playfulness in West County

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

“The purpose of all architecture,” writes Christopher Alexander, “is to encourage and support life-giving activity, dreams, and playfulness.  But in recent decades, while our buildings are technically better--more sturdy, more waterproof, more energy efficient-- they have also became progressively more sterile, rarely providing the kind of environment in which people are emotionally nourished, genuinely happy, and deeply contented.” Excerpt from Christopher Alexander’s book The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems (Center for Environmental Structure).

Alexander and the owners of Sunrise Gardens created such a spot that brings the playful, yet ecologically sound mind together into one enjoyable property in West County.  Bridging the gap between art, architecture, magnificent gardens and sustainability is no easy feat.  Christopher Alexander, whose talent created such a masterpiece in a West County home, is a testament to his profound talent and the appreciation for beauty that comes from what is already there.  

High on an east facing ridge in west county this unique property has sweeping views of vineyards and redwood forests that lead the eye across the Sonoma plain to the Mayacamas and Sonoma Mountains toward Napa.  Seven acres of garden sanctuary deeply rooted in a sustainable and ecological approach, called permaculture, is home to many heirloom fruit trees, berries, and lavender.  Beauty, functionality and good stewardship of the land is all part of the philosophy of these certified organic gardens.  Underlying the landscape is a carefully designed series of swales and channels that minimize erosion and maximize percolation of runoff into the groundwater.  A pond on the southeast part of the property acts as a settling pond before water runs into the headwaters of Atascadero Creek.


Alexander’s creation uses passive solar design, thick walls made from shot-crete, and recycled, sustainable materials are also used as much as possible.  The idea of taking these recycled materials and creating something completely unique and original with them is one that Alexander embraces.  In this home, the wood floors in the living room are constructed using recycled mahogany from crates originally used by the company Sunkist to bring tuna to California at the turn of the 20th century, and the upstairs floors are made from old-growth redwood from chicken coops in Petaluma.  The stunning kitchen cabinets in the gourmet kitchen and the stairway are made from a sustainable form of eucalyptus, and the redwood used on the outside of the office wing was recycled from an old farmhouse built in the 1880’s.  Many of the other floors are acid-etched concrete with radiant heat.  

The attention to reuse, beauty, and a love of the land is present in every detail of this extraordinary property and we would be happy to share it with you.  Bring your playful side or even your earth-conscious side, both will be in awe of Alexander’s talent, the original owners’ vision, and a little bit of heaven tucked in West County.

Sonoma County Real Estate from two wheels….

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

    My favorite pass time is touring on my Harley-Davidson Road King through Sonoma County and beyond. The abundance of back roads and diverse scenery make each ride special.  There is one route in particular through the Alexander Valley that my wife and I enjoy and we use it as an indicator for the changing seasons. There is a stretch of Highway 128 lined with ornamental flowering plum trees which have brilliant flowers and an intoxicating fragrance during Spring and covered with brilliant red leaves soaked in a waning light in Spring. What is your favorite ride Sonoma County ride? 

One of our clients who just purchased a home in Sonoma County shared a story of how their family celebrates this special event and thought you might want to add this to your family tradition. First, it has to be a big surprise. The new home owner knows it’s coming, but doesn’t know when. Their family might even delay the celebration a few months after they moved in. This just adds to the element of surprise and the anticipation mounts for everyone! The big day arrives. Relatives, friends and new neighbors meet at a nearby parking lot with their cars and trucks loaded to the brim with all party supplies.

     The food has to be great, no hot dogs, please, only great food along with drinks, tables, chairs, plates and napkins. Next, they caravan to the new home and about 1 block from the house they begin honking their horns to let everyone know the they are coming and the fun is about to begin. They continue honking up the driveway. By now the new homeowner knows they have not been forgotten and the day is finally here. The tables are set up , the food displayed and the drinks are flowing. They have a great time celebrating, showing off their new home and re-telling how they fell in love with it. The party lasts about 2 hours. All the party happenings are cleaned up, put back into the vehicles and the home is left spotless. Do you have a story to share?

Check out farmers markets in Sonoma County

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

    Come to Sonoma County and enjoy great farmers markets!
    How about owning a piece of Sonoma County! On the weekends gather up some friends and family and head to the countryside of  Sonoma, from Santa Rosa to the Russian River.  Thinking of packing a picnic and getting a bottle of wine but why bother, when you can just join the locals at a festive weekend Farmer's market, it feels more like a festival than a produce market! The real estate in Sebastopol leads to a great lifestyle.

    Find your usual fare of local artists and farmers showing off their wares.  Let the music wafting in the air mix with food carts (bbq, pizza, Indian, Mexican) under the warm Sonoma sun. Yes, farmer's markets are nothing new or special, but I loved the festive atmosphere and the luxurious abandon with which visitors seemed to be lounging and enjoying the ambiance. They're small plazas though many in variety- a small knock.

Make an appointment with us we would love to help you find a house here in Sonoma County!

Some Fresh Paint Goes A Long Way!

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

   New paint makes the entire home smell clean and neat, and can bring sellers top dollar. If your home has chipped paint, exposed wood, or surfaces that looks faded, it's time for new paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color or style, you might consider replacing it.

   Many houses do not sell because of these problems. Even in Sonoma County don't think that buyers have more money than you to freshen up a home. They typically don't. They will simply look elsewhere for a home that needs less work.
Please contact us Heidi Faulkner and Randy Mack and let us know when you are ready to sell and we can help you prepare your home for today's market.

How do you plan on living a wellness life?

by Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner

    World renowned architect Christopher Alexander has designed homes around this concept. He found that a house empowers the people who live in them, and just such a home exists in Sonoma County.   

 "The structure of life I have described in buildings - the structure which I believe to be objective - is deeply and inextricable connected with the human person, and with the innermost nature of human feeling." -Christopher Alexander

   Alexander has designed houses in Japan, Mexico and California, such as this one in Sebastopol. Sonoma County agents Heidi Faulkner and Randy Mack would be more than happy to show you this artisan made estate.

Displaying blog entries 81-90 of 90




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Contact Information

Randy Mack and Heidi Faulkner
Artisan Sotheby's International Realty
7775 Healdsburg Ave.
Sebastopol CA 95472
(707) 696-6272
(707) 480-4098
Fax: (707) 824-0587