First time home buyers, as well as seasoned buyers, need to be prepared when entering the real estate market. Terms can change over the years and processes adopted. Finding an agent you feel comfortable working with is essential to a successful real estate transaction. Even working with an experienced realtor can leave you with some unanswered questions, you may feel awkward asking your professional. We have compiled with over 15 helpful pages on our website to alleviate this issue. We explain the entire Buyers experience in detail from deciding to purchase a home, the neighborhood, finding a realtor, finding a home worthy of your investment, and the lending and closing processes. Click here to see them all, and feel free to come back and visit anytime, we add more all the time. We love to help people better understand and navigate through the real estate process. Give us a call if you wish to speak to one of us personally about your real estate goals.
Did you ever notice that trends have their way of circling back? One such trend is a family compound. Defined as a group of buildings in an enclosed area, having a shared or associated purpose, such as the houses of an extended family, a family compound is a trend more families are bringing back into popularity for a variety of practical reasons.
Land in California is scarce, especially property in which to build new homes on. Purchasing a piece of land suitable for multiple dwellings such as our Sweetwater Springs listing in Healdsburg resolves this issue. Breathtaking views sweep through this 480± acre parcel with spectacular panoramic view options for future building sites. Gently rolling ridge top features open sunny meadows, natural springs and incredible views of the Russian River Valley, Mt St Helena and beyond. The perfect canvas awaits to create your dream estate or family compound with vineyard potential. Russian River and Sonoma Coast AVA. Includes two separate parcels with 5 certificate of compliance. This property is currently offered at $2,995,000. Give us a call to show you around and discuss the possibilities.
Finding affordable housing is tough in California all across the state. Sonoma County is no different. The lack of space to build new homes, the recent devastating fires, and an already tight housing market have all made it even more challenging to solve one of humans’ most fundamental needs, a place to live. Creating a family compound makes sense in solving this dilemma. Building a more significant purchase together as a family and developing individual housing on the property for each member becomes a lot more affordable and helps equalize the burden of cost to each individual.
Finding the right property to create your ideal family compound can have it’s challenges too. If 480± acres is too big for you, we also have an incredible property that is ideally suited for a compound and holds multiple dwellings onsite already. Our Bodega Avenue listing is a tranquil and private 80± acres located in desirable West Petaluma. This flag lot would make a great family compound boasting main house, guest house, and caretakers’ quarters. An ideal property for raising crops with vineyard potential. Suitable for horses includes 3 large barns, outbuildings and spring fed pond. Close to wine country, fine dining, and coast. Currently offered at $2,999,999. This property is a unique spot, give us a call to walk through it and learn more about the multiple opportunities it offers.
The idea of a family compound is not a new one. In the 1900s and earlier it was commonplace to have multiple generations of families living on the same property and sometimes under one roof. The benefits vary. When the kids are small, grandparents are nearby to help; when the grandparents are too old to be alone, they have family nearby to care for them. Sharing expenses and helping each other out. Another possible advantage is the closeness the family feels by living so close together and supporting one another through the challenges and successes we all experience in life.
Contact us today if you are interested in walking through either of the above listings. Both properties offer multiple possibilities for a family compound, potential income, and a harmonious lifestyle.
1. Ethical treatment.
Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.
2. An expert guide.
Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
3. Objective information and opinions.
REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.
4. Expanded search power.
Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find
opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.
5. Negotiation knowledge.
There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.
6. Up-to-date experience.
Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
7. Your rock during emotional moments.
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com are all easily accessible platforms for the general public to look up and shop for their new home. Often times, these sites also provide a free estimation of value for a current property. Although these platforms serve a valuable purpose, by giving people an overview of their current housing market, a Realtor’s experience in the local market still cannot be replaced.
Realtors across the United States are all trying to gain their customer’s attention, whether it be through their website, blogging, social media, mailers, advertising in print or even on the above websites on a profile page. Each agent comes to you with specific expertise in the area they service and in the particular real estate on which they focus.
Heidi and I are experts in Sonoma County. We have lived here for over 40 years. We have hiked the trails, ridden our motorcycles up and down the roads, camped in the parks, attended the festivals, shopped in the stores, and attended community meetings. Involvement in the community is our passion. Additionally, we have worked in real estate for over 30+ years, bringing our love for this place to our craft, all to help you make a home here as we have, in Northern California. We are deeply rooted in this area and extremely proud to represent Artisan Sotheby’s International Realty here.
What all the real estate platforms don’t show you are the hidden gems in a community. You may be able to see the inside of a home on the market from the privacy of your office or home but you can’t see the people in that neighborhood, the best place to get a cup of coffee to go or stay in, the best breakfast spot or the local evening hangout. Heidi and I know these details. We not only have the knowledge that comes with being a professional realtor and are extremely adept in negotiating the best terms on behalf of our clients but we also have a keen sense of neighborhoods, homes and the people we are working with. We strive to build lasting relationships with our clients’ not just sell a property.
The other thing they can’t tell you accurately is how the market is doing within a specific smaller portion of the county. For instance, you cannot search Sebastopol, CA specifically on any platform. Closest you will get is Santa Rosa, two vastly different communities in terms of real estate and lifestyle. Likewise in Santa Rosa, there are hundreds of micro-neighborhoods that these platforms cannot single out and tell you how many homes were sold in that specific area last year, two years ago or give you an educated guess as to what the home will be worth in 5-10 years from that day. Heidi and I can.
We know Sonoma County, we know real estate. Give us a call and we can help you reach your real estate goals.
The current housing market in Sebastopol California is on par with overall California trends that we’ve seen over the last few years. This last week’s report showed that Sebastopol has an average or median list price of $1,049,000 (ranging from $519K to $12.9M), and an average of $577 per square foot. The slight increase that we saw in the days on market, has held steady throughout this time. At a hundred and forty days this trend is concurrent with what we’re seeing in homes with price decreases, landing a little above 50%. One promising figure is that we’ve had 0% relisted in the last few weeks. Meaning that although we are still seeing a higher than average days on the market number, homes are still selling. This may help since our inventory is little higher than average, and the rental market is on the upswing averaging about $4,400 per month.
We have a few examples of homes that are selling right now in Sebastopol, CA. These homes are quintessential Northern California and they fully facilitate the lifestyle that keeps people moving and living in this fabulous part of the country.
The first home we would like to showcase this month is on Green Valley Road. This particular property was inspired by all of the glorious architecture from the shores of Martha’s Vineyard and is a prime example of the luxury real estate in Sonoma County. This two-story home is the essence of privacy and tranquility, located at the end of a private lane, creating a cozy backdrop to your indoor|outdoor lifestyle. The show-stopper of this property is in the landscaping and beautiful views of adjacent mountain ranges allowing you to feel private yet inspired.
Everything about this home is created to take-in that beautiful landscape. Its open airy feel is highlighted with large windows and bright light that beckons you to grab a warm cup of tea and a book, and just be in the space. Even though this home seems to be created just for the residents’ pure enjoyment and relaxation, bringing friends and family into your curated life is easy with large french doors off the living room into a grand open entertaining space complete with fenced courtyard perfect for family gatherings. From the covered porch where you can gaze upon your own hobby Pinot Noir vineyard to plantation shutters, this Northern California modern cottage house has been fully realized.
The second home we would like to share with you is on Cherry Ridge Road. There is much to enjoy about this modern French inspired farmhouse, located minutes to downtown Sebastopol. Just like the first, this home is nestled at the end of a quiet lane offering plenty of privacy and tranquility. Enjoy the quintessential northern California lifestyle in the home’s spacious open floor plan. The light-filled master suite embraces the outdoor views and creates is a relaxing retreat. Even the bathrooms are designed in a way to add to the clean and calm feel of the space.
The fashionable indoor/outdoor living is made seamless with a deck and patio area with expansive views of the beautiful west county landscape. Enjoy the peaceful walking paths through lush landscaping and vibrant gardens on this gently rolling parcel and escape to the country and tranquility with each step.
Life is what happens between the beginning and the end. It is the actions, thoughts, feelings, and relationships that make up the minutes, days, and years, of our lives. Style is how you wave together those events and beliefs within the time that passes.
In California, we create an environment within our own lives that is curated in order to live each moment to the fullest. We manifest the lifestyle of which we dream. Even more so, we understand that the California lifestyle is definable. It must be a tangible way of living in order for us each to strive and eventually realize that vision for our own lives.
California has the perfect climate to realize your dreams. The winters are mild and the summers are sunny and dry. There are no limitations when it comes to being outside and enjoying your community. Walking through your local neighborhood with your pets, shopping in the town square, or hiking throughout your local natural areas can practically occur year-around. With an easy access to the mountains and forests as to coastal locals, Northern California is a paradise, no matter your idea of utopia.
The prolific farm-to-table movement and the renowned wine scene, Northern California is not only a foodie’s paradise but also a perfect place to sit back and just enjoy the tastes and smells for those of us who just like to simply enjoy the vines and vittles. Northern California is known for their agriculture, producing fresh apples, tomatoes, avocados, and many other fruits and vegetables is all local bounty we can enjoy firsthand. The boutique varieties of well-known crops are integrated into the mixed culinary style of California since it is an axiom of Asian, American and Hispanic influences.
In the home, lifestyle is as varied as individual tastes and ideals. In California, lifestyle usually incorporates a little of everything into one’s home to create that life that includes all things California. From the things we eat (and how they came to our table) to the art we hang (and the local artist that dreamt them up), and to the California landscape (and how we live and breath this outdoor paradise) which we welcome into our homes, to make this place a perfect mixture of all the beauty found and created.
When news of the Equifax hack first broke, the credit rating giant scrambled to minimize fallout from this massive personal information breach. After an initial embarrassing misstep (they tried to have affected consumers sign off on Equifax’s liability), the company moved to ameliorate the hack by offering free ID protection to consumers.
Sebastopol homeowners and potential home buyers had reason to do more than shake their heads at yet another electronic pratfall. In one way or another, most Sebastopol real estate transactions involve creditworthiness appraisals that are managed by the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax is one). That means that among the 143 million consumers it admits could be “potentially impacted” are certainly a lot of current and future Sebastopol home buyers. The stolen information includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses—and for hundreds of thousands, credit card numbers. Even some California driver license data figured in the Equifax hack.
Given the obvious potential for identity theft, the company’s Chairman went online to make an unprecedented offer: his firm will furnish a comprehensive package of credit file monitoring and identity theft protection to everyone. Literally.
To every consumer in the United States. For a year. For free.
With few exceptions, it was left to us to take the initiative to take them up on the offer. That factor might shrink the size of the undertaking, but even so, delivering on this scale was unlikely to be accomplished without a few hitches.
Hitch #1: when this many millions of people try to check in on any site, no system can handle it all at once. So contacting this Equifax Trusted ID Premier link results in varying lengths of delay before enrollment can be confirmed.
Hitch #2: because it is now obvious that sophisticated thieves are active in the credit reporting industry, it will be doubly necessary for Equifax to make certain that you are who you say you are. That makes multiple email confirmation back-and-forths unavoidable.
It’s a cinch that Sebastopol residents who decide to sign up for the free protection should also be extra vigilant in monitoring their financial transactions. An additional step is also possible: you can contact any one of the three credit agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian) to request that they place a 90-day “fraud alert” on your file. It’s free, and whichever agency you contact is required to notify the other two. Fraud alerts obligate any lender to contact you before they issue credit in your name. You can renew the alert as many times as you wish—and cancel at any point.
Your credit score is a vital ingredient when it’s time to look for favorable home loan offers, so even before the Equifax hack, it’s always been well worth protecting. Give us a call when questions about this or other Sebastopol real estate matters come up!
Last weekend’s regular California news should have been promoting all the usual upbeat feature stories about the onset of football season, the start of a brand new school year, the finals of tennis’ last grand slam tournament and the like—but Sebastopol readers would have gotten eye strain trying to find any of them. Instead, the dark clouds brought by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey cast dense shadows across the region and the nation’s news. It was certain, too, that even after the terror of their actual passages had subsided, the fallout would continue to reverberate—expensively—for a very long time.
What was covered was how the prayers of millions not directly affected were being answered by many thousands of Good Samaritan volunteers. That uplifting story was joined by another, too; a piece of hurricane-related real estate news. Too bad it was all but drowned out by the fury of the storms and their tragic aftermaths.
Nonetheless, for Harvey-stricken Houston area homeowners with home loans backed by FHA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the announcement came that evictions and foreclosures would be suspended immediately. Added: the same government-backed entities would forego demands for monthly payments for at least 90 days (along with hints that “in some cases” that relief might be extended for up to a year).
As for those just beginning the climb out from Hurricane Irma’s destruction, I think it would be all but inconceivable that the same relief won’t be swiftly forthcoming for those homeowners—even if the size and cost of that will eclipse the cost of defraying the Harvey-affected loans. The small print has it that interest will continue to accrue—but Sebastopol onlookers will probably agree that the immediate granting of this relief is more than welcome at this juncture.
It’s really too soon to be able to concentrate on what happens in the months and years to come—but the future of the American story is entirely predictable. This year we may have lost focus on traditional late summer sports, but in the championship ring of our real world and our real communities, we don’t suffer knockdowns easily. In U.S. history, there are no true KOs; there won’t be this time, either. The communities Americans rebuild will be better than ever!
We are very passionate about what we do. We love to help people. Typically that looks like helping you find the perfect home for your family. Yet, there are other ways our team helps our community be the best it can be: philanthropy. Bill Gates once said, “Effective philanthropy requires a lot of time and creativity – the same kind of focus and skills that building a business requires”. We have honed our skills helping to find our neighbors, old and new, homes and we then extend that expertise and additional resources to the Northern California family, at-large.
Another area of philanthropy we are passionate about is supporting our veterans. We enjoy working with the unique situations veterans face in finding properties to suit their needs. We like to honor the sacrifices they have made and continue to make, for the country we all hold so dear. This help can take many forms and we would be happy to discuss the ways in which we support our local veterans with you if you are interested in getting involved or in direct support.
Philanthropic giving, of time or resources, is one of our favorite things to do. It shows our community how much we appreciate their support and allows us to give back and show all our gratitude. This small town makes us who we are, and together we can help house the future!
If you are just about to commit to buying or selling a home in Sebastopol, the first important task before you comes with identifying the best Realtor® to assist your effort. That comes first because although you might begin by combing through the current Sebastopol listings or driving through the neighborhood to spot what’s going on, there is always a possibility that acting without delay will be important. If that happens to be the case, zeroing in on the best Sebastopol agent takes first priority.
How you ultimately select that best real estate agent for you involves a selection process that’s a lot like any business person’s procedure—except that it’s easier to identify the candidates. You won’t have to post “help wanted” ads since the candidates (us included) are all actively looking for you! We are the prominent Sebastopol brokers and agents whose names you see on the web and on our “FOR SALE” signs. They’re all over the place.
The true lion’s share of the work of identifying your best “hire” will come in the conversations you have with the leading candidates. Whether you call them up or drop in on them at their office (or run into them at an open house), it’s important to bear in mind that these conversations, whether casual or not, are actually employment interviews. You’re the boss; the agents are applicants—and the hiring decision is a very important one. During these interactions, if you can determine that the agent you’re speaking with is strong in these five qualities, you’ve found your agent:
1. Accessible. The best Sebastopol real estate agent for you is easy to talk to—the kind of person you connect with automatically; who puts you at ease. The best agent will be someone who is engaging and enjoyable to talk with.
2. Professional. At the same time (it onlyseems to conflict with the above), the best agent is a professional at all times. After all, some of the most durable friendships wind up being with people we’ve “been through the wars with” in business!
3. Sympathetic. A lot of the business at hand will consist of pinpointing your personal tastes and leanings and prioritizing them correctly. The best Sebastopol real estate agent for you will be keenly aware of your preferences—which won’t be the same as everybody else’s.
4. Authoritative. That best agent knows Sebastopol inside and out; is personally familiar with the current crop of area listings; is known and widely respected by her or his Sebastopol real estate colleagues.
5. Dedicated. Your best partner in the upcoming campaign will be committed to the real estate profession—not just for this week or for this transaction, but for the long haul. The best Sebastopol real estate agent will be there for you the next time, too!
Needless to say, when you are narrowing the field for who you want to become your own best Sebastopol agent, we hope you’ll call us for a chat!