Monthly Archives: May 2018

Real Estate Market Update for Sonoma County

Posted on May 31, 2018 by michelle_magnus

The median home value in Sonoma County is $647,900. Sonoma County home values have gone up 8.9% over the past year and it is predicted they will rise 8.1% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Sonoma County is $409, which is the same as the Santa Rosa Metro average of $409. The median price of homes currently listed in Sonoma County is $650,000. The median rent price in Sonoma County is $2,800, which is the same as the Santa Rosa Metro median of $2,800.

Community Highlight: Occidental

Posted on May 29, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Occidental is a quaint community located on the western edge of Sonoma County, fifteen minutes south of the Russian River. A short drive west through the redwood-lined hills brings you to the beautiful Pacific coast. In the small town, you will find many shops and restaurants as well as an eclectic mix of locals. Occidental was originally a logging town with its own railway, and is now home to ranchers, winemakers, artists and young families. The small town is the heart of the local community, with multiple generations calling it home.

Discover our favorite places to eat and shop as you get to know this gem in Sonoma County:


Howard’s Station is an all around favorite. Situated in the original train station, locals and tourists alike have been enjoying breakfast and lunch at Howard’s for decades. The food is hearty and creative, comforting, and will keep you coming back for more.
Barley and Hops is an eclectic tavern with rotating local beer and wine, elevated pub fare, and live music.
Negri’s has been serving family-style Italian dinners since 1943. The restaurant features delicious homemade favorites — and a full bar including classic and modern cocktails.
The Union Hotel also features family style Italian dining. They offer coffee and fresh pastries in their attached cafe in the morning.
Hazel is one of Occidental’s newest additions. The food here is quintessential California cuisine.
El Mariachi serves up delicious Mexican fare. This tiny cafe has a generous patio where you can soak up the sun while savoring the excellent fare.


Sonoma Fine Wine features the best wines of the area.
Hinterland makes sustainable adventure clothes for everyone.
Hand Goods is a gallery showcasing local artists and makers. Founded in 1970, the selection includes paintings, pottery, textiles, and jewelry.


Occidental Bohemian Farmers Market takes over the town on Friday afternoons from June through October. There is a great selection of organic produce, prepared food, and some local crafters. Not to be missed!

There are plenty of other shops to explore in Occidental, including two grocery stores, a yoga studio, a small town hardware store, and several galleries.

Check out the properties that we have listed near by:

445 Gold Ridge Road

1295 Jonive Road


*Featured image of Occidental taken from Hand Goods.

News This Week: Top Sonoma County Restaurants & Your Guide to West County

Posted on May 25, 2018 by michelle_magnus


Wine Country’s Best Eats
The dining reservation service, Open Table, just released its list of the ten best restaurants in Wine Country. We’re happy to see that one of our favorites, Terrapin Creek, is featured among the best. The incredible (local & fresh) cuisine is just one more reason why we love living in West County!

Lasers in the Vineyard
Automated lasers are now being installed to help deter avian opportunists (aka birds) from eating grapes. One grower reports that lasers have been significantly more effective than nets — plus they don’t harm the birds and use fewer resources. 

Cutting edge design for luxury homes is becoming more wild. Top designers are now installing hydroponic garden walls, bringing more natural and green space indoors. “Homeowners say the planted walls make a striking visual statement while improving indoor air quality and softening acoustics.” 

Best of the West
Looking to explore West Sonoma County? This insightful guide highlights where to eat, drink, play, and stay.

Our Top 5 Home Improvements That Increase Value Quickly Without Breaking the Bank

Posted on May 22, 2018 by michelle_magnus

If you’re thinking of selling your home or real estate investment, it can be hard to know how to invest in your home to increase its value. Many people spend up to a year prepping their home for a sale. When the economy is peaking in a seller’s market, however, keeping updates and innovations simple and directed can help minimize the time needed to prep a home and save thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) in the long run. After all, you don’t want to miss out on the ideal time for putting your home on the market. Discover our top recommendations for making your home more desirable and increasing the value quickly – without breaking the bank.

Here are 5 simple and easy tips for getting the most out of your investment:

1. Start Small

Make sure that you are keeping up on home maintenance. Potential buyers may be turned away by something as small as dirty grout or chipped paint. Fixing these relatively minor issues can be simple, taking just a little elbow grease or a small investment, and they can yield a large result. Some projects that we suggest are: fresh paint, updated fixtures, switching fluorescent lights to LED, removing/cleaning old carpet, and replacing old toilets.

2. Go Green

Today’s buyers value energy efficiency and green-living, so make sure your home uses energy wisely. Invest in small projects, such as installing on-demand water heating. Water heating can account for as much as 16% of the energy costs. That said, heating the rest of your home can use more than twice as much energy as heating your water, so installing a smart thermostat can also entice potential buyers as well as lead to significant savings on utility bills. And, last but not least, upgrading from single-pane to double-pane windows can make a huge difference, but may take more time or money than you want to spend.

3. Upgrade the Kitchen

According to Consumer Reports, a “modern/updated kitchen” was the #1 desirable feature in a home for millenials. Again, don’t go overboard here – for only a few thousand dollars, you can invest in new appliances, fixtures and lighting. Also, adding a fresh coat of paint to walls and cabinets will freshen the look, and make the space feel new. If your kitchen is in need of a deeper remodel, new counters can make the difference you are seeking. Our choice material is quartz with an undermount sink – it looks modern and is easy to maintain.

4. Improve the Bathroom

Bathroom improvements should follow the same principles as kitchen improvements. Replace old plumbing with new and matching fixtures. Coordinate the plumbing with any towel bars and toilet paper holders to create a cohesive look. Make sure to deeply clean tile and other hard surfaces – and consider reglazing any chipped or worn basins and tubs.

5. Curb Appeal

First impressions count! Now’s the time to repaint the house if it hasn’t been done in the last ten years, or if there is any damage to the existing paint. Consider replacing the front door – it is the focal point of a home’s exterior. Make sure that landscaping is easy to maintain. If you don’t have an irrigation system, now’s the time to install one. If you have the space for it, highlight any outdoor living space by adding some nice chairs and an outdoor rug to a deck. You can spruce up the space with a fire ring on your patio and a well-maintained yard.

News This Week: Knowing When to Buy & Residential Innovation

Posted on May 18, 2018 by michelle_magnus


Knowing When to Buy
Buying your first home is very exciting and rewarding — “a point of pride and something to celebrate.” Here are some suggestions to get the very best home you can. READ MORE

A Different Perspective On High Rent Prices
The Bay Area’s notoriously pricey real estate market affects renters in ways you may never have imagined. Rent control can make a place affordable, but ultimately leave you feeling stuck. READ MORE

San Jose’s 10,000 Tiny Homes
In an effort to increase housing for Silicon Valley, a non-profit called Soup is working to make building secondary units easier. Soup aims “to build 10,000 homes in 10 years, by erecting prefabricated granny flats in backyards or on other unused parcels.“ READ MORE

Summer Stargazing
With summer just around the corner, we love this reminder to get outside and enjoy the night sky. Find out where you can go for exquisite night views all summer long. READ MORE

Wild Iris Retreat Open House this Saturday 11-4pm

Posted on May 17, 2018 by michelle_magnus


Wild Iris Retreat in Anderson Valley 


Date: Saturday, May 19th
Time: 11Am – 5PM
20500 Tumbling MdD Road
Philo, CA 95466

Do you love Anderson Valley? Join us at our open house this Saturday, May 19th from 11am – 5pm at Wild Iris Retreat — just 11 miles away from the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival happening all weekend long! Stop by for gourmet snacks, jeep tours and an inside view into one of the most enchanting properties to hit the market this year. Wild Iris Retreat is an exquisite 300+ acre property bordering the Navarro river with plenty of sunshine and shaded groves of towering redwoods. Featuring a large main house, two guest houses, a 90K gallon pool, a beautiful stone spa, and a dance hall, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss!


Learn More About Wild Iris Retreat: CLICK HERE