Sonoma, CA Real Estate News

By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Time to Sell Your Sonoma Home? If you have a Sonoma Valley home to sell --- or a Sonoma County property you've been thinking about putting on the market --- the holiday season could be a great time to list it.   Most sellers take their homes off the market at this time of year with plans to re-list in the Spring.  Right now, though, with inventory so low and buyers still very active sellers are calling the shots in a surprising number of transactions. Market data provided by my company, Pacific Union, based on statistics from our Bay Area Real Estate Information Service, BAREIS MLS, shows that the percentage of Sonoma County homes under purchase contract clearly points to a seller's market in the under $1 Million price range.   Looking specifically at Sonoma Valley homes for sale, it's ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
A Home in Sonoma For $200,000? A lovely woman from Switzerland---I'll call her Hope---popped into my office today looking for a "modest" Sonoma cottage that she said she would buy with $200,000 in cash.  Hope said she was a native of Northern California.  She and her husband are living in Switzerland.  She wants to buy an investment property for rental income now and a possible getaway for them later on. Hope and I looked at the MLS listings.  I thought I knew EXACTLY what we'd see but I was suprised.  There WAS one non-distressed property for sale in Sonoma priced under $200,000.  I didn't think there would be any.   But get this:  by the time Hope had left my office that property had an accepted offer on it! At this writing, at 4PM on October 28th, 2011, we have just 13 listings under...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ How to Win in Second Place ~   As we end the first full month of Autumn, one out of three Sonoma homes for sale is under contract.  Current  available inventory is just shy of 200 homes.  This number includes single family residences, condos, farms, and vineyard estate properties.   We've got a short supply of Sonoma homes for sale. So, what about those 100 other properties under contract to buyers?    The statistics below are provided by our Bay Area Real Estate Information Service, our MLS.   Only 12 are pending sales in which conditions on the purchase have been removed and the days are being counted down to close of escrow. These are generally considered "done deals."  The remaining 88 are "contingent" sales which means close of escrow is still questionable. It's likely some of th...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ The Subtle Beauty of Autumn in Sonoma ~ Fall is a favorite time of the year for many us.  On the east coast and in the Midwest...where I've also lived at times...the panoramic blazing colors of Autumn have warmed my spirit and kept it a-glow through the first snows and even into the bitterly cold months of Winter.  Those long, seemingly never-ending, frigid months of Winter. Autumn in Sonoma brings brilliant color into our lives, too.  After harvest our vineyards put on a dazzling show.  But our seasonal foliage changes elsewhere are more subtle.  Our mountains and hills are forested with evergreen trees and shrubs that include Oaks, Bay Laurel, Toyon, Manzanita, Madrone and, of course, our mighty Redwoods, Sequoia, and Douglas Fir. Come Autumn in Sonoma,  Fall color graces the valley...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Why I Love Sonoma Apples ~ Apples have a special place in my heart.  Years ago, when my mom was working toward her master's degree,  she held a night job at an apple processing plant in Sebastopol.   She peeled Gravensteins on a production line to pay her tuition.   Those apples---later sliced and diced and cooked into apple sauce---were key ingredients in my mother's higher education.  I don't know how many of them she handled at that plant.   I would guess thousands.   It was hard work.  Her hands took a beating.  I vividly recall seeing her fingers wrapped in bandages.  When she left that job,  she finished her master's and was able to earn a better income to support her three children.   For me, apples are a symbol of a mother's love and determination.
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of October 12, 2011 35% of available listings in the beautiful wine country town of Sonoma are in escrow. For the month of September 2011 44 homes sold in Sonoma (21 of which were distress sales) for an average final selling price of $482,761. The average original asking price of these homes was $533,361. The range of final selling prices was from a low of $105,000 to a high of $1,306,250. Of the 44 homes that sold 3 sold at their original asking prices and 6 sold over their original asking prices. It took these homes an average of 154 days to sell. To see everything that is currently available for sale through our MLS click here. To see some of the many fun things to do in our neck of the woods click here. To learn more about this area in general search more around this blog, visit ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Bargain Hunters Drive Sonoma Home Sales Simple charts are a blessing but they are time consuming to create.  So,  I thank my friends at the Sonoma County Real Estate Trends Report for their monthly graphics.  Take a look at the columns in this chart below.  This is a fascinating big-picture perspective on sales-----by price category-----of Sonoma County homes.     The column illustrating Sonoma County home sales for 2011 is for sales year-to-date as of September 30th.  Look at the section (in purple) showing homes sold for $500K-1MM so far in 2011.  At 14.5% of all sales this year, middle market volume has hit its lowest point in eight years.  Buyers are clearly focused on the lower end of the market where most of the distressed properties are being traded.  It will be interesting to se...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma Summer Color Lingers On - Wordless Wednesday One of the most wonderful things about living in Sonoma is the year-round blooming of plants.  Even on the rainest days of winter you'll see displays of blossoming plants at the entrance to grocery stores. pharmacies, and nurseries.  This geranium was sitting under an arbor at a home that I recently saw on Sonoma broker tour.  What a bold beauty!
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ The "Local Agent" Whose Office is 3000 Miles Away ~ I'm not naming names here but I've got a story to share with other Realtors and with consumers who might be looking for local agents online.  It's a story about an agent who is advertising his services to sellers and buyers in the Sonoma real estate market---even though his office is nearly 3000 miles away.  The story starts with an email from this New York agent asking if I would be interested in a referral. He said he had clients with a home to sell in Sonoma Valley.  We discussed a referral fee and agreed, in email communications, on 25%.  Several days later, I met with "his clients" at the property, which had belonged to a deceased family member.  They said they'd never been to Sonoma Valley.  They came from out-of-state to inter...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma REOs Hit 30% of September Sales What a difference a year makes in home sales in Sonoma!  An analysis of September residential sales in Sonoma Valley, based on data provided by BAREIS---The Bay Area Real Estate Information Service---shows what I would call a dramatic increase year-over-year in sales of bank-owned Sonoma homes.  The charts below show the increase in market share that SOLD distressed properties have gained when comparing September 2011 and September 2010.  Nearly 50% of all Sonoma home sales in September 2011 were distressed and more than 30% of those were bank-owned homes. Looking at back at 2010 September, non-distressed sales were a much bigger share of the market. Prices have dropped significantly, too.  In the month of September just concluded the BAREIS data r...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma Short Sales & REOs Steady at 20% of Listings Throughout most of 2011 the number of distressed Sonoma homes for sale has hovered around 20% of our total inventory.  As of September 29th, that 20% "rule" is holding true.  Our inventory over-all has been declining.  Last July there were around 300 homes for sale in Sonoma Valley.  As of this writing there are 225 Sonoma Valley homes for sale.  Our market area includes the city of Sonoma and and its surrounding rural areas as well as Glen Ellen, Kenwood, and "The Springs."  The Springs is a series of small unincorporated communities---almost neighborhoods---known as Agua Caliente, Fetters Hot Springs, and Boyes Hot Springs. As for pricing, the least expensive listing is a 500 square foot cottage with an asking price of $109,000.  At ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Mountain Before the "Rain" - Speechless Sunday ~ Fog envelops the top of Sonoma Mountain as forecasters call for rain on Sunday September 25th.  A few drops were felt but there was so little that it was virtually zip.  Officially we received 0.01 inches of measureable precipitation.  Rain this early in Autumn would have been remarkable as we generally begin our rainy season  in mid-to-late November.  Sunny with temps in the mid-70's is the forecast for the week ahead.  I love living in Sonoma Valley!
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Loves The Vintage Festival ~ Sonoma is the birthplace of the California wine industry.  The annual Sonoma Vintage Festival is 114 years old this year!  Running September 23rd through the 25th, it's three days of celebrations of wine, food, art and music with a distinctly local and home-grown, almost organic, feel.  The festival was once the biggest public Sonoma Valley wine fest.  It's always been organized by local residents and sponsored by local businesses. With the growth in tourism, and since the wine business has become such a big business, other more heavily sponsored and promoted festivals have over-shadowed Sonoma's historic local party.  Still, the party goes on and I'm happy to report that the 2011 Vintage Festival is showing a new sparkle and a renewed community spi...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Buyers Grabbing Sonoma Country Property ~ It's tough to know exactly why but Sonoma country properties are moving more quickly than they have in years.  Just days ago this gorgeous country get-away between Sonoma and Glen Ellen came on the market for $1,295,000.   It's a 2100+/-square foot 3 bedroom, 2 bath home built in 1978 on 2.83+/-acres.  There'a small vineyard, a pool and fabulous views of Sonoma Mountain and surrounding larger parcels.  I hear the buyers offered cash which is fairly common in our Sonoma Wine Country market. Could it be that folks are so fed up with the roller coaster called The Stock Market that they are now cashing-out and turning to the tried-and-true, long-term investment in real estate?  Is it that more people now recognize we've likely hit bottom on proper...
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By John Rico
(Keegan & Coppin Co., Inc.)
Sonoma based Groskopf Warehouse & Logistics makes its expansion into the Napa County Region. It makes 801 Hanna Drive, American Canyon its newest address and facilities. Groskopf's future plans are to expand into the northwest region as well as to the southwest.   Groskopf Warehouse & Logistics is exclusively represented by Keegan & Coppin's John Rico & Kevin Doran. For more info call us at 707-528-1400   Visit our website for company info and services  Keegan & Coppin Co., Inc.    
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Bunny At Home ~ Wordless Wednesday I was showing a lovely historic Sonoma bungalow just doors from the Plaza when my client and I met this sweet little rabbit nibbling on the lawn.   We both thought immediately that the bunny was probably a stray.   The nearest neighbor is one of Sonoma's better restaurants where exotic menu offerings abound and, both animal lovers,  we were reluctant to call around.  So relieved were we to see this sign on the gate to the backyard.  We knew this delightful little critter was right where it belongs---safely at home!
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Country Properties in Sonoma Sell FAST  ~ These windows are in a barn on a property in Kenwood, California.  They represent windows of opportunity that countless would-be Kenwood property property owners have more than likely missed.  The barn sits on 5+/-acres on Lawndale Road.  A buyer made an accepted offer on it just one day after it hit the market.  Listed at $685,000, the price included the land, two cottages, this barn and another smaller one surrounded by a walnut grove with stunning views of the Mayacamas Mountains.   It was a rare offering in Sonoma Valley---something I haven't seen in quite awhile.  I called Seattle buyers I'm working with.  I called from the property when it was on our broker tour but they couldn't get here to see it before it went under contract.  If you ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma Rocks with the Doobies This Weekend It's hard to believe it but this weekend marks the 25th anniversary of the B.R. Cohn Fall Music Festival.  As ususal the Doobie Brothers will be the headliners.  Also performing are Lynnrd Skynnrd, Sammy Hagar, Little Feat, Leon Russell, Joe Satriani...and a host of other world renowned rock groups and musicians.   The artists perform without getting paid save expenses.    Bruce Cohn has been the Doobie Brothers' band's manager for decades.  He's also developed a successful Sonoma Valley Winery and he produces oil oil from the old groves on his property.  Cohn's charity event at the winery has raised over six million dollars in the quarter century since he launched it.  For all you old rock 'n' rollers, here's a taste of the Doobies performing ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Adult 55+ Communities - Temelec, Chantarelle, Creekside Village ~ Baby Boomers who want retirement homes or second homes in Sonoma are discovering one of Sonoma's best kept secrets.   It's really three secrets in one---three little known adjacent residential communities built for residents 55 years and older.  The area is generally known as Temelec and it lies to the southwest of the city of Sonoma, conveniently located for quick access to town.  It's also one of the best locations in Sonoma Valley for relatively easy travel in and out of Marin County, San Francisco the East Bay Area and Petaluma. Temelec and it's neighboring 55+ communities of Chantarelle and Creekside Village deserve serious consideration by anyone looking for a Sonoma home priced under $400,000 or $500,000. ...
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