General

North Bay Wildfire Clean Up Complete

Posted on June 14, 2018 by Admin

 

State and federal officials Monday declared the debris removal from the North Bay wildfires — the largest such effort since the 1906 earthquake — complete.

The government sponsored cleanup work in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties has been winding down for months as the number of sites remaining to be cleared has dwindled. The last of the 4,563 parcels that signed up for the cleanup program was cleared last week.

The North Bay wildfires were the costliest in U.S. history, with insured losses approaching $10 billion. They also killed 40 people and destroyed 6,200 homes. That work that resulted in an estimated 2.2 million tons of ash and fire-related debris being hauled off. In the case of concrete from foundations, some was recycled, while much of it was buried in the Sonoma County Central Landfill.

Michael Wolff, a contractor whose firm has cleared more than 150 sites and assisted in hundreds of others, said while initially skeptical of the timeline, he was impressed with the coordination federal and state officials brought to the monumental task.

“For the most part, I felt like the (Army Corps of Engineers) did a great job,” Wolff said. “I was blown away by how well things came together and how much work was done in such a short period of time.”

Wolff said his company worked on the final lot to receive clearance, a site off Crown Hill Drive in the devastated Fountaingrove neighborhood that needed additional concrete removed, he said.

The Army Corps said it has “deactivated” its Rohnert Park office and would complete any additional work from Sacramento.

Plenty of work remains in the city and county, however, said Paul Lowenthal, Santa Rosa assistant fire marshal.

“Even though the Army Corps is stating that this part of the mission is complete, the city and county are still here, and we know there is still a long road to recovery,” Lowenthal said. “We’re not going anywhere.”

There are still two lots that need to be cleared in the city — a residential property and an apartment complex on Hopper Lane. Neither went through the government cleanup nor the private cleanup processes. Instead, the city’s legal department has been forced to initiate abatement proceedings against the two properties. It’s not clear how many such properties remain to the cleared in Sonoma County.

Some cleared properties still have issues, such as over-excavation, Lowenthal said.

An estimated 200 properties in Sonoma County may have been over-excavated by Army Corps contractors, and the state Office of Emergency Services is working with the county to identify them and return dirt to the site at no cost to property owners.

Of the 4,563 properties cleared, the vast majority, 3,674 or 81 percent, where in Sonoma County, where the Tubbs fire ravaged entire Santa Rosa neighborhoods. The Corps cleared 439 lots in Napa, 306 in Mendocino, and 144 in Lake County.

While the Corps has completed all debris removal on the 4,563 parcels, 22 sites still need to have additional work, such as soil testing and erosion control, before rebuilding can proceed, Lowenthal said.

Source: NorthBay Business Journal & Press Democrat

Story by Kevin McCallum, June 13, 2018

Why 2018 is the Year to Sell Your Home: An Economic Overview

Posted on June 12, 2018 by Admin

Considering selling your home or real estate investment? Projected economic and job growth coupled with an anticipated rise in interest rates (toward the end of this year and into the future) means that this spring and summer is the perfect time to sell your home. High demand and low housing inventory has made the first half of 2018 a seller’s market in the majority of the top housing markets in the United States.

This is a rare opportunity for sellers— you may get more than your asking price. Buyers are eager to close before the anticipated rise in mortgage payments; and the market is competitive, leading to bidding wars that are raising sales to well above listing prices, increasing your profits.

OUR ECONOMY: According to real estate economists, the economy will continue to grow over the course of the next 3 years, with 2.8% projected growth in 2018. Although the forecast is looking good for long-term growth, the anticipated surge may slow to 2% by 2020.

INVESTMENT ACTIVITY AND HOME PRICES: An economic rise featuring continuous job growth is expected to generate a boost in investment activity, making 2018 a perfect time to sell. “It appears that the forecast for strong economic growth may lead to higher levels of investment activity. According to urbanland.uli.org, survey respondents increased their expectations for transaction volumes for 2018 and 2019 (up $23 billion in 2018 and up $11 billion in 2019).” Alongside the increased investment activity, we will likely see a continuous rise in prices of homes over the course of 2018. Home prices will continue to surge until 2020, but at a decreased pace (5% in 2018 and 2.3% in 2020).

INFLATION AND INTEREST RATES: There is some anticipation that inflation rates will be on the rise until 2020 (resulting from the GDP growth rate). As inflation progresses, interest rates also increase leading to higher mortgage payments. We have already begun to witness the widespread anxiety that stemmed from an initial increase in interest rates— the stock market swing in early 2018.

So what does this mean if you are selling your home or property?  

Buyers will likely feel a growing sense of urgency to invest now, before rates surge even higher. Lingering fear from the housing collapse a decade ago may prevent potential buyers from investing as they see interest rates continue to climb. Although the fear is understandable, the average mortgage payment (adjusted for inflation) still falls approximately 36% below what we were paying back in 2006. Nonetheless, we may see some buyers leaving the market.

There is low housing inventory and buyers are ready to find their homes… But don’t wait too long, because your perfect buyers may decide to wait out this next cycle of economic uncertainty and the advantageous bidding wars that can escalate your returns $50k-300k will disappear with them.

Contact me at 707.322.2000 for information about selling your home in Northern California.

*Economic data taken from the most recent ULI Real Estate Economic Forecast

 

Wild Iris Retreat Open House this Saturday 11-4pm

Posted on May 17, 2018 by Admin

 

Wild Iris Retreat in Anderson Valley 

OPEN HOUSE

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

 

 

 

Article in realtor.com

Posted on July 24, 2017 by Mark Stevens

I had the wonderful opportunity to be included and quoted in this recent article found on realtor.com. It was a pleasure to weigh in on the current climate of purchasing a winery for this article. My listing, Annadel Estate Winery, is showcased along with many other great listings in California and Oregon’s wine countries. Check it out!

If you are interested in taking a deeper look into Sonoma County, feel free to contact me and I would love to show you around!

 

4th of July Events | Sonoma County

Posted on June 29, 2017 by Mark Stevens

Enjoy the Independence Day festivities happening across Sonoma County this weekend and the beginning of next week. You can read more about each event by clicking on the titles. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family. Stay safe!


Saturday | July 1

All American Zin Day Dry Creek | 11am-4pm | $60 per person, $20 for Designated Drivers


Sunday | July 2

Fireworks Over Bodega Bay | 9:30pm


Monday | July 3

Windsor Kaboom! Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks | Starts at 4pm | Free-$75

Sebastopol Fireworks Extravaganza | Starts at 5:30 | Fireworks show at 9:40 | Tickets start at $5


Tuesday | July 4

Sonoma’s 4th of July on the Plaza | Parade at 10am | Fireworks at dusk | Free

Red, White, and Boom! 3:30pm – 10pm | Tickets start at $10

4th of July Fireworks Spectacular with Kathy Mattea and the Santa Rosa Symphony 

7:30pm | Tickets start at $25

Healdsburg Fireworks Celebration | 9pm | Healdsburg High School | Free

Cloverdale 4th of July Fireworks | 9pm | CHS football field | Free