Sonoma, CA Real Estate News

By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Neighborhoods - Sonoma's East Side Restaurants ~ Our little town of approximately 10,000 people is divided...between east side and west.  Sonoma's East Side is considered the prime location for real estate within the city limits.  Why do so many people want to live on Sonoma's East Side?  Simply put---it's a charming neighborhood of older homes on large lots shaded by mature trees. Sonoma's east side homes are within blocks of the town's historic plaza where festivals, the Sonoma Farmers Market, the duck pond and playgrounds offer a variety of choices for recreation and socialiizing.  And then there are the East Side restaurants which make it oh-so-easy and pleasurable to eat out and eat well every day and night of the week.   These are my faves:   Maya Restaurant La Salette Ca...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
  ~ Sonoma's Local Heroes Honored on July 4th ~ Sonoma's Fourth of July parade is legendary.  The parade starts at 10am and circles Sonoma's 8-acre central plaza.  It's the biggest annual event in our town of 10,000 residents---a family tradition for many who live here.  Thousands of people come to town for Sonoma's July 4th Parade every year.  Seating is set up around the plaza by early birds the night before. The parade is open to participation by anybody who applies for a spot.  Applications should be made by Friday July 1st but even late comers can take part if they get their applications in before the parade starts on the 4th.  You can download an application at the Sonoma Community Center website. After the parade, food booths draw the crowd into Sonoma Plaza and great bands provi...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Fast Cars Make News This Weekend in Sonoma Thousands of race car fans are making their way to Sonoma for the Infineon Raceway NASCAR event this weekend. It's a challenging track as you'll hear in this video...from a guy who's been around it many times.     If you are planning to drive up to Sonoma or Napa, and are not headed to the track, be prepared for heavy traffic. I would avoid Highway 121 to Sonoma and take an alternate route. It might be quickest to take Highway 101 up to the Petaluma exit and then drive west into Sonoma and/or Napa. If you are coming from the east bay, you don't have too many options so just be prepared for traffic delays.View Larger Map
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Increase in California Pending Home Sales  There's a bright spot in the latest news from the California Association of Realtors.  Not a big glowing bright spot but a glimmer just the same.  The CAR released its analysis of statewide sales activity in the report below. I think there are some interesting differences in the statistics when the statewide numbers are compared with Sonoma's using data provided by the Bay Area Real Estate Information Service (BAREIS)  While the total share of distressed properties sold statewide in May was 48%, in Sonoma distressed properties accounted for about 35% of sales. Statewide, REOs were 28% of sales while in Sonoma REOs were 15%.  Short sales statewide were 19% of properties sold in California in May while Sonoma short sales were about 20% of our May...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Home Sales Explode in Northern California  ~ Northern California wine country Realtors are thirsty for a taste of what's happening in Silicon Valley.  Recent IPOs have created a new crop of young wealthy techies who are gulping up multi-million dollar homes in communities south of San Francisco.  Sales of homes in Sonoma and wine country estates have picked up a bit but only after significant reductions in list prices.  That could change soon.  Luxury homes in Sonoma and Napa have always been desirable targets for techie buyers.   Here's a story from a Bloomberg t.v. journalist:Technology IPOs Boost Demand for Silicon Valley... by Bloomberg I'm hoping we see a gradual increase in Sonoma home sales.  Memories of the dot-com crash stuck around far too long.... like a red wine hangover.    
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By Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude
(eXp Realty of California, Inc.)
 A Cool Gift for Father's Day  I received this gift today.  It wasn't actually a gift, since we joined the Larson Family Winery Wine Club about a year ago when touring some great wineries in Napa and Sonoma. We hit some of the big guys, but also several of the smaller wineries, who produce a lot less, but offer some great wines, at great prices, and an enticing wine tasting atmosphere since you aren't shoulder to shoulder, glass to glass, with a zillion other wine fanciers.  Larson Family Winery was perhaps our favorite, for a host of reasons. I will go back next time we are in wine country. I thought this recent bottle of Best Dad Cab wine that arrived at our door today was most suitable, given my love of red wines, the Larson Winery, and the upcoming Father's Day on Sunday the 19th. T...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Whacking Weeds to Get to Closing ~ We are so close---so very close---to closing escrow on this sale.  The buyer gets her closing docs tomorrow and the sellers have an appointment to sign theirs tomorrow, too.  My clients accepted an offer on their home in April after we negotiated a long close to give them plenty of time to move everything out.  There's a lot of stuff there.  Now,  the sellers are balking at removing some things that weren't on the property when the purchase contract was made. It's been a very rainy Spring in Sonoma Valley.  The unusual wet weather has created an unusual problem.  Weeds and grasses have been growing in the fields, vineyards, and on the hillsides more vigorously than I've never seen.    So in the midst of all this lush growth, the buyer made her final ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Conflicting Trends for Sonoma Real Estate Prices ~ My friends at the Sonoma County Real Estate Market Trends Report have just released their analysis of May 2011 sales and they have reported the following highlights: The median price for single-family, re-sale homes rose 8.5% in May compared to April but year-over-year the price was off 1.4%. The price drops were largely in the entry level market on homes selling for under $500,000. The move-up market ($500,000 to $1 Million) posed a 4.6% gain in the median sale price. The luxury market ($1 Million and up) saw a 30% rise in the median sale price. Overall, and Sonoma County-wide, there was a 2% increase in home sales in May compared to April but sales were off 12.6% from May 2010.   The lower end of the Sonoma real estate market made u...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ The Future of Sonoma County State Parks ~ The Future of Sonoma County's State Parks is the subject of a hearing being held today at Spring Lake Park in Santa Rosa.  Numerous stakeholders, both public and private agencies and organization, will be participating in panel discussions on various ideas aimed at preventing the California state budget-deficit-related closure of some of the county's most popular parks, including Jack London State Historic Park, and the famous Wolf House ruins pictures above, in Glen Ellen.   It's an open meeting and the public is invited to attend. The state park closures are scheduled to begin after Labor Day of this year.  The map below shows the location of the meeting.  View Larger Map
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By Kelley Eling, Realtor Extraordinaire
(Fathom Realty Group)
As of June 7, 2011 33% of available listings in the beautiful Wine Country town of Sonoma are in escrow. For the month of May 2011 34 homes sold in Sonoma for an average final selling price of $686,803. The range of final selling prices was from a low of $140,000 to a high of $2,850,000.  Of the 34 homesthat sold (13 of which were distress sales) 2 sold at their original asking prices and 6 sold over their original asking prices. It took these homes an average of 145 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 around in our neck of the woods click here. To learn more about this area in general search more around this blog, visit my website, or feel free to contact me directly. Sonoma Mission Go...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ A Thousand Pounds of Beef Without a Home in Sonoma ~ The Sunday, June 5th, Sonoma Plaza Ox Roast has been canceled for the first time in 44 years because of weather.   The Sonoma weather forecast for this weekend calls for record-breaking rain, cold temperatures, and wind.  The TV meteorologists are calling it a June-uary storm unlike anything since the Great Depression.   What in the world is going on, people?  Do you think there might be something to all this talk about climate change? I'm not going there, though.  We need to deal with the big beef on the minds of so many Sonoma Valley residents. The Ox Roast organizers are asking for suggestions on what to do with it.  1000 pounds of beef --- that's 4000 McDonald's quarter pounders.  Would MacDonald's buy it?   Could they use it?  ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ No More Pain...For Now...If You Gain ~ Office meetings can be a valuable use of our time, especially when a guest speaker is on the agenda.  Some speakers are more captivating  than others and when the content is good, too, a talented presenter has the attention of everyone in the room. So it was at our Sonoma real estate office meeting this week when James Callejas of Investment Property Exchange Services, an expert on 1031 tax deferred real estate trades, announced the current status of federal tax codes.   Sound dry?  I'll bet you'll read the summary below because these taxes have an affect on us all! And to give credit where credit is due, below is information on our speaker, who provided the summary above! If you are thinking about selling your Sonoma investment property, contact...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
May 2011 Sonoma Home Sales Post Year-Over-Year Gains While the number of homes sold dipped by about 6%, the dollar volume of Sonoma home sales was up by about 28% last month compared to sales in May of 2010.  Total volume reported by the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services for May 2011 was  $27,070,000.  Total volume was $19, 125,000 for May 2010.  Comparing listing vs. sales prices and days on market for each of those months the data looks like this: The data above serves to paint a broad picture of what's happening in the Sonoma Valley real estate market.  For more detailed information about how pricing breaks down in different market segments or sales of real estate in the city of Sonoma, sales in Glen Ellen, and real estate sales in Kenwood, please contact me. The key message ...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Memorial Day Ceremonies in Sonoma at 11AM 11AM---That's when the 53rd annual Sonoma Valley Joint Memorial Day observance gets underway at Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Park.  A Grand March will start things off with a display of all the flags of the U.S. armed services.   There will be music from the Sonoma Hometown Band, and a group called Back Trax, made up of veterans.  This year the keynote speaker will be French Counsel General Romaine Cermon who will honor WWII vets who served in France.  There will be a California National "honor guard" rifle salute, a vintage aircraft flyover and a free picnic lunch for at the Veteran's Auditorium.  The address is 126 First Street West --- a couple of blocks off Sonoma Plaza.  Questions?  Call 707.996.8386.          
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
Sonoma Views, Vines, and Vintage Homes on Broker Tour Zipped around the valley today trying to see at least a majority of the 16 homes on this week's broker tour.  The plan was to spend five or ten minutes at each stop. A good plan it was...but several of the new listings were so spectacular I got off schedule early on.  There were stunning views from a number of homes.  Some of my favorites were from a gorgeous contemporary home on Sonoma Mountain in Glen Ellen. From the Glen Ellen countryside, I went into Sonoma to tour a couple of charming older homes. A new listing in Kenwood captivated me with more than an acre of glorious gardens. And up in the hills of Kenwood I found an amazing contemporary built on a knoll in perfect harmony with the environment.  Shaped like a crescent, this p...
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By Kirsten Lindquist, Realtor - Sonoma Wine Country
(Pacific Union International)
~ Sonoma Plaza Gets Painted ~ For one week every Spring in Sonoma Valley they seem to be everywhere.  Plein Air painters set up their easels along the streets, roads, and n the fields and vineyards where they create beautiful images that are sold to support arts programs in our local schools.   Sonoma's Plein Air Foundation provides a win-win venue for the artists who sell their works to eager collectors with 40% of the proceeds going to arts education and 60% to the artists themselves.  One of the most popular Sonoma Plein Air events is the "Quick Draw" on Sonoma Plaza.  It's held during the Tuesday night Farmer's Market.  The artists descend on the Plaza to paint for 90 minutes.  Two hours later their works  are put on sale.  I strolled around the Plaza tonight after leaving the offic...
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