Sonoma, CA Real Estate News

By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ A View of Sonoma Real Estate - Protected Forever ~ Some years ago the people of Sonoma County were chanting "Cows...Not Casinos!"  Not everyone felt this way but enough did so that a plan for a proposed casino on this beautiful property bit the dust.  In the aftermath, the Sonoma Land Trust mounted an effort to purchase the property known as the Sears Point Ranch.   SLT was successful and today an ambitious baylands restoration project is underway.  The project is aimed at restoring natural habitat along this expanse of wetlands bordering the San Pablo Bay, a part of the larger San Franciso Bay.   With the donated time and work of renowned architect Olle Lundberg, a new Sonoma Baylands Center has just been built and a celebration was held there Saturday, September 17th, for the grand ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Country Properties - Beautiful and Complex ~ Many people dream of owning a Sonoma home with land.  "I want a place with a few acres."  As an agent who sells Sonoma country properties, I hear that line frequently.  I also work with many clients who don't know much about the complexities of rural homes or land parcels that have never been developed.  These are complicated properties that require knowledge that many agents simply do not have. Buying a property that isn't hooked up to public water and/or sewer systems requires many hours of due diligence.   30% of all Sonoma County homes are on septic systems and there are 40,000 wells serving properties here.  Country properties often have had many prior owners even if they've been in the same family for generations.   County reco...
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of September 14, 2011 33% of available listings are in escrow. For the month of August 2011 40 homes sold (9 of which were distress sales) for an average final selling price of $795,148. The average original asking price of these homes was $912,103. The range of final selling prices was from a low of $95,000 to a high of $4,100,000. Of the 40 homes that sold 1 sold at its original asking price and 5 sold over their original asking prices. It took these homes an average of 124 days to sell. To see everything that is currently available for sale through our MLS click here. To see some of the fun things to do in our neck of the woods click here. To learn more about this area in general visit my website, search more around this blog or contact me directly.
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Stop Wasting Energy on Sonoma Real Estate! Pretty unusal thing for a real estate agent to say, right?  Now that I've got your attention, stay with me because I think I can save you some money IF you do.  Still interested?  I thought so. I live in an old house in Glen Ellen.  It was built in 1956.  I bought if from the original owner when she decided to sell at the age of 92.  My home has never been "seriously" remodeled and I'm very happy about that because I love it just as it is.  I've got fir floors that have aged to a rich, warm, reddish-brown. My ceilings in every room are wide-plank heart redwood that slope down from a big exposed center beam. A great brick fireplace throws generous heat and and huge windows bring the beauty of my soul-satisfying country surroundings right to me w...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma and Glen Ellen Home Prices Higher ~ Sonoma County home sales were were strong last month.  Leading the way in higher sale prices were the city of Sonoma and the village of Glen Ellen.  My friends who publish the Sonoma County Real Estate Report say sales of single family resale homes rose more than 13% from July to August.  They also report that there was a 17% jump in sales year-over-year. What really caught my attention in this latest Sonoma County real estate report was the disparity in the data for different locations.  Only a handful of towns ---Sonoma, Glen Ellen, Guerneville and Healdsburg---posted gains in sale prices. I highlighted Glen Ellen and Sonoma because these are two of my primary markets.  However, the increases in sale prices in both Guerneville and Healdsbur...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Dogs Rule! ~ Sonoma is a dog-lover's town. I don't think I've ever seen so many pooches-per-person in any other place.  And the variety of breeds in mind-boggling.  There are plenty of  Labs, of course.  They are American's favorite and I have one, my chocolate girl Coco.  On any given weekend the parade of different dogs around Sonoma's streets and walking paths  includes exotic breeds.  It is a dazzling and very entertaining show.   I've seen Mastiffs, Lhasa Apsos, Komondor, Pulis, and Basenjis---just to name a few.  They belong to locals, tourists, and second home owners who bring them along for weekend stays. Our restaurants welcome dogs,  many hotels in the area advertise dog-friendly accommodations,  and our dog parks provide safe, off-leash recreation.  We've even got a ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
A Bug at Pearl's Diner in Sonoma Pearl's Diner in Sonoma is a local restaurant for those who love hearty home-style cooking.   Pearl's is known for bodacious breakfasts and crazy-good chicken fried steak.  It's not an attraction for health nuts but Pearl's has hard core fans who won't go anywhere else to nurse a hangover.    If you love French toast, pancakes, and want to hang with the townies, you've got to try it. There are some relatively nutritious menu choices in their omeletes, if you simply can't handle the other temptations.     Pearl's has recently gained notoriety as a mecca for car buffs.   Word is out that Pearl's parking lot has become a popular spot for car shows---events organized to benefit local charities or to raise money for Sonoma residents in need of financial help....
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma Dogs Raise Money for Cancer Research The residents of Sonoma Valley are known for their volunteer work and dogs in Sonoma are no exception.   A pack of people living in Sonoma and their best four-legged friends are gaining notoriety for an annual fundraiser aimed at finding cures for cancer in animals...and humans. For the third year Sonoma dogs and their owners are stepping out to raise money for the UC Davis Comparative Cancer Center.  The "Walk with the Dogs" is sponsored by Sonoma Valley Dog Owners and Guardians (SVDOG) and part of the proceeds will also benefit that organization. This year the event is scheduled for Sunday October 2nd.  Dog walkers and their pooches are to gather in the Sebastiani Winery parking lot at 4th Street East and Lovall Valley Road and all will trav...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Homes for Sale - Inventory Update ~ At the end of the first full week of September the inventory of Sonoma homes for sale sits at a total of 243 units.  I visited a few of the of the newer Sonoma listings on broker tour today and there were several that caught my eye.    In Sonoma, just outside the city limits, I fell in love with a charming 5+/-acre property featuring a 1912 farmhouse, watertower, barn and Cabernet vineyard.  It's listed at $979,000. There were also a couple of nice new listings in Glen Ellen, including a 1935 cottage on 3/4+/-acre along Sonoma Creek, listed at $649,000,  and a 3.77+/-acre hillside retreat featuring a home built in 1970 with some cool architectural elements listed at $749,000. As of September 8th, about 20 percent of our listings in Sonoma Val...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Got Sonoma Firewood? When it's 90 degrees outside, as it was today in Sonoma Valley, a crackling blaze in my living room fireplace is the last thing on my mind.  So I was surprised when a crew of woodsmen showed up at my place today equipped and ready to fill my carport with a season's supply of aged oak.  My crew?  An uncommon lot including my 90-year old stepfather, my stepbrother, and a great (camera-shy) neighbor who lives just down the road. Chopping or splitting firewood is one of the greatest activities I know.  I love the earthy aroma of freshly cut oak.  I cherish the sense of accomplishment you feel as you see the pile of wood grow.  And the workout you get tossing those hunks of organic matter into the back of a truck---well, that leaves me with a sense of physical well-being...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Foodies Can Thank Chuck Williams ~ Extraordinary food and fabulous wine.   These are the things that draw many people to Sonoma.  Food was not as big an attraction as wine until the store Williams-Sonoma became so well known.  The now-celebrated chain of stores was founded in the late 1950s right here in the town of Sonoma by a quiet guy named Chuck Williams.  Williams was born in 1915 in Ohio.  He moved to California with his family during the Depression and wound up in Sonoma where he started a home-building business.  Williams' real talents lay in the kitchen, however, and he established a small cookware shop one block off Sonoma Plaza.  The rest of his story is told in this report that aired on CBS Sunday morning.   Chuck Williams will be 96 next month.  I hope his birthday...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
  What's Happening in Sonoma on Labor Day? Saturday and Sunday were the big days for activities on this Labor Day Weekend in Sonoma but Monday, Labor Day,  still offers plenty of opportunities to sample some great wines.  The Sonoma Wine Country Weekend officially wrapped up Sunday night with the annual Sonoma Valley Wine Auction.  It's a huge event that benefits many charities here. Check out this list of wineries that are open for business on Labor Day...it's provided by Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma.  Be sure to drive and drive responsibly.  Happy Labor Day!  
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Do You Know Your Sonoma School Board Trustees? My late grandfather, Ernie Smith, served on the Sonoma Valley School Board until he was in his mid-'70s.  When I was staying with him and my grandmother at their home in Glen Ellen,  I remember late nights nervously waiting for him to get back from board meetings which he insisted on attending even as his health was failing.  As Gramp's  driving abilities diminished, during stormy winter weather, I'd drop him off and pick him up at the entrance to Altimira Middle School where the meetings were held so many years ago. This 1968 newspaper clipping shows him hard at work with other Sonoma Valley citizens who were then spearheading an effort to gain voter support for a school bond to provide more money for public education. I recall his frustra...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma Home Prices and Sales Up in August Sales of Sonoma homes increased last month and prices did too---compared to where they were a year ago.  Based on data provided by the Bay Area Real Estate Information Service, our local Multiple Listing Service, total home sales in Sonoma Valley were counted at 48 units last month, including non-distressed and distressed homes. In August 2010 there were 42 units sold and as shown in the BAREIS Quick Stats chart, the average price was considerably lower. Year-to-year the number of short sales remained the same at 5 properties, while bank-owned sales (REOs) dropped by 50%.  There were 12 Sonoma REOs in August 2010 and 6 Sonoma REOs last month. Listing inventory remains light which may account for the increase in sold prices.  We are seeing growin...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Students Showcased at Sonoma Arts Guild Gallery ~ The Sonoma Arts Guild is displaying works done by Sonoma Valley High School Students throughout the month of September.  For four years running the Sonoma Arts Guild has offered a mentoring program for students and the works now being shown are at the gallery at 140 East Napa Street, which is open Wednesday through Monday from 11a.m. to 5p.m.  Twenty five Sonoma artists are also exhibitng at the Guild gallery during September including one of my favorites, Ray Jacobson, who passed away on September 3, 2007.  Jacobson was a Sonoma Plein Air painter long before it became cool.   Artwork by the artists on dislay this month at the gallery include oil, watercolor, acrylic, and encaustic paintings, jewelery, metal sculptures and lots more.  ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Want Food with that Sonoma Wine? If you love Sonoma wine AND great food, this is the time to visit Wine Country.  Both wine and food are the focus of the fourth annual Wine Country Weekend which starts Friday September 2nd and runs through Sunday, September 4th.   More than 200 wineries and chefs are struttin' their stuff at locations all over Sonoma County's wine growing regions.   You won't possibly be able to be everywhere over the next four days but if you want to know where and when things are happening you can check out the official website right here:  2011 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend. The main events include winemaker lunches, winemaker dinners, the Taste of Sonoma (already sold out), winery BBQ's and the granddaddy of them all---the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction on Sunday ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
  Sonoma Valley High School Football Schedule It's kick off time!  The Sonoma Valley Dragons Varsity and Junior Varsity Football teams are gearing up for their 2011-2012 season games.  In fact, the the varsity and j.v. teams held their annual scrimmage against Santa Rosa High last Friday, August 28th.  The Dragon Varsity team plays the first season game on Friday September 9th at Arnold Field when they take on Marin County's Terra Linda High.  The full season foot ball schedule schedule is available online and in the calendar below provided by the Dragon's athletic department. JV Head Coach and Athletic Director: Bob Midgley (707) 933-4010 x5272Varsity Head Coach: Mick O’Meara (707) 938-4705(H) (707) 235-3121 (C) Hey Dragons----best wishes for a victory on the 9th over Terra Linda, even...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma Grocery Stores and Farm Markets The city of Sonoma is home to less than 10,000 people but we have a bounty of fresh food at our convenience in local grocery stores and farm markets.  The population of Sonoma Valley, which includes Sonoma, Kenwood, The Springs, and Glen Ellen, is roughly 40,000.  While tourists love Sonoma Valley for its vineyards and great restaurants, locals love living here for the abundance of well-stocked food stores never more than ten minutes from our front doors.   For starters---and just about anything you might be hungering for---there's Sonoma Market.   Founded and still owned by Sonoma Valley native Don Shone, Sonoma Market is actually a sister store of the Glen Ellen Village Market.   The Glen Ellen Village Market came first and when I was a kid, it w...
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