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The Significance of Rental Price Increases for Real Estate

Posted on July 23, 2019 by michelle_magnus

According to Inman, “Rents in the US just keep going up and up…..The average rent was up 3.2% year-over-year in June. Last month also saw the biggest average rent increase in more than a year….”

In a nutshell, it’s a perfect time to buy rather than rent. Reasons why include:

  • Very low interest rates
  • A real estate market that has “softened” over the last year more in the direction of buyers
  • Tax breaks that come with buying and owning
  • Control over the place you call home
  • Realizing the “American Dream”
  • Building equity/apprecation over time (a house can be like a big piggy bank)
Zeroing in on Sonoma County, here’s what we have:
And take note: the “doldrums” of summer is the perfect time to visit open houses, get pre-approved for a loan, and make an offer. The market is typically “slow” this time of year, with more inventory and less bidding, so you are more likely to get something you want at a price that works.
Need help finding the right place? Give us a call. We are here to help you find your dream home!
Mark Stevens & Associates, 707 322 2000
Graphs courtesy of RentCafe

Guide To Mendocino Wine Country

Posted on January 09, 2019 by michelle_magnus

Mendocino County is quickly becoming one of California’s top wine destinations. Featuring the famed Anderson Valley and highly acclaimed Pinot Noir wines, Mendocino is a beautiful mix of charming small towns and rugged nature.

Mendocino seems to have more than its share of natural beauty— the county is expansive, with many diverse regions, ranging from the expansive coast to the warm interior valleys. Defined by soaring redwoods, flowing rivers, an expansive coastline and, of course, lush vineyards, this county will not disappoint.

If you want to make a part of Mendocino County your own, check out our great listings in the area:

Take some time out in Mendocino and be sure to check out the following vineyards and resources as you plan your visit.

Balo Winery and Estate—This ultra-premium winery is located in the in the heart of Anderson Valley—far enough from the city to experience quiet country charm, yet close to the comforts and modern conveniences of town to attract plenty of wine enthusiasts.

Yorkville Highlands Vineyards—These vineyards represent approximately 30% of the entire Yorkville Highlands Viticulture Area. The property is comprised of eight parcels and offers numerous estate-building sites with spectacular views.

Talmage Vineyards—103± acres of premium vineyards in Mendocino County. This property includes 2 homes, an irrigation pond, plus barns and staging area’s developed for amazing events.

Towns and Regions

Check out this guide from VisitMendocino.com to you wrap your head around the various parts of the county. Explore the website to find a ton of useful articles and event listings as well.

“Mendocino County is not so much a place as a state of mind. Spectacular scenery, a sense of isolation, an aesthetic sensibility, and a strong sense of community are the standout highlights of a trip to Mendocino County.” READ MORE


Appellations

This article is a good overview of the various appellations in Mendocino County. In it you will find descriptions of the AVA’s and which notable producers call them home.

“The overarching “Mendocino County” appellation is home to a total of eleven American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

One of them is named, simply, “Mendocino AVA” which largely nests together six smaller AVAs that you may be familiar with (Anderson Valley, Yorkville Highlands, McDowell Valley, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, and America’s smallest AVA, Cole Ranch).

In addition, “Mendocino County” appellation also encompasses “Dos Rios” AVA, “Covelo” AVA, and “Mendocino Ridge” AVA.” READ MORE

 

This article from GuildSomm describes both the history of wine in Mendocino, as well as a detailed descriptions of the various AVA’s and their exceptional features.

Mendocino is a county with two faces. One face, the softer side, is well known. This is the coastal half that contains Anderson Valley, where delicate Pinot Noir and exceptional sparkling wines are enjoying increasing, and deserving, renown. The other face of Mendocino resides further east, in the cache of old vines that sprawl across the Redwood Valley appellation and surround the towns of Ukiah, Talmage, and Hopland. Here the vines have long labored without fanfare, their fruit blended into anonymity across county lines. But a growing number of vintners, both local and ex-county, are waking up to the remarkable quality contained within these venerable vineyards, and more attention is sure to follow. As exciting as the lacy creations of the coast may be, it’s time to turn our backs to the sea and our eyes toward the remarkably preserved historic legacy of inland Mendocino.” READ MORE

 

*map courtesy of mendowine.com

Pearl Jam & Pinot Noir

Posted on July 31, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Photo by Kevin Mazur/Wire Images/Getty Images

Well before it was considered rock ‘n’ roll to own a wine collection, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder proudly popped and partook of Pinot right there on stageduring concerts. And in the years since the band’s breakout 1991 album Ten, the Seattle area has become as famous for its winemaking scene as its grunge scene. No surprise then that the band has tuned up a new charity label with winemakers in Woodinville, Washington’s eno-punk Warehouse District to celebrate next month’s Home x Away concerts and raise money for the Vitalogy Foundation, Pearl Jam’s Seattle homelessness awareness and relief charity.

The Home x Away limited-edition box set of reds is a release from the Underground Wine Project, a collaboration between Washington winemakers Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery and Trey Busch of Slight of Hand Cellars; each bottle of the Idle Hands Syrah/Cabernet cuvée sports a label design by Pearl Jam depicting a retro-futuristic skyline silhouette of one of the four cities along the Home x Away tour kicking off next month, including Seattle, where the Aug. 8 and 10 “Home Shows” mark the band’s homecoming after five years since last playing Jet City—and, reportedly, the biggest concert series the city has seen in more than three decades.

“We have been longtime fans,” McNeilly told Unfiltered of the project. “Trey and I have met [Pearl Jam] band members over the years at different things, and we have worked with them a little bit with some of their charities, but it’s just fun to be pulled in a little bit closer for a great cause. I think that if we can work with Pearl Jam and find some new arenas to talk about philanthropy and talk about people’s responsibilities toward charity, you can kind of open people’s eyes and let them know everybody has a responsibility to help everybody else.”

All the proceeds of the 450 cases sold went to the Vitalogy Foundation. That’s right, the new wine, alas, has already sold out—within 15 minutes of the band announcing the project via its email newsletter. But for the homers in the Seattle area, 10 of chef Ethan Stowell’s restaurants that snapped up some of the wine will be selling it by the glass, with further proceeds going to charity, starting Aug. 1, in the lead-up to the Seattle gigs. Pearl Jam’s partnership with the Underground Wine Project is one of many surrounding the Home Shows with a goal of raising $960,000, with each donation made to the Vitalogy Foundation to be matched by the band.

–story courtesy of Wine Spectator

New Listing! Winner’s Circle Estate & Vineyard

Posted on June 27, 2018 by michelle_magnus

Spectacular Estate Home with Winery & Hospitality Potential


Asking price:
$12,950,000
Acreage: 60± Acres
Vineyard: Organic vineyards featuring 19.1± acres of Pinot Noir and 5.5± acres of Chardonnay recently planted to highest standards.

Winner’s Circle is a premier estate in the heart of the Russian River Valley. This 7,500± sq. ft. luxury home in Sebastopol embodies California contemporary design, and features panoramic mountain and valley views from every window.  A guest house, caretaker’s unit, and barn add value and interest to the property. Featuring 24.6± acres of organic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards plus a potential rental income through Inspirato, this is an incredible opportunity for the luxury home buyer and/or vineyard investor. 

The Main Residence was designed by architects Gerald C. Taylor of San Francisco and Val Arnold of Beverly Hills for the Walter family. Constructed in 1991 and renovated in 2013, the 7500± sq. ft. home has four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, a large gourmet kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and expansive common areas. Floor to ceiling glass doors in every room open onto extensive patios. A heated pool and spa invite you outdoors to enjoy the beautiful Russian River weather. 

Winner’s Circle is located just one hour North of San Francisco in the heart of West Sonoma County Wine Country. Situated between  Healdsburg and Sebastopol,  the area offers great dining, shopping & a welcoming community. This part of the Russian River Valley has long been established as a premier region for producing exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Many award-winning wineries are minutes away from this iconic location.

People move to Sonoma County from all around the world to enjoy the beautiful, mild climate. Located just 10 miles away (as the crow flies) from the Pacific Ocean, the weather is characterized by morning fog, warm days and pleasant evenings. The warm, dry summers and temperate winters encourage outdoor pursuits and allow farmers to grow amazing produce year-round. There are endless opportunities to explore premier Sonoma and Napa wineries and restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts are blessed with 50+ regional and state parks that showcase coastal tide pools, old-growth redwoods and mountain views.

Located on Vine Hill Ridge in the Russian River American Viticultural Area (AVA), Winner’s circle located in the heart of West Sonoma County. Situated in between Healdsburg and Sebastopol, the AVA features the best known and most loved varietals. Home to the top Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and old vine Zinfandels, this cool climate grape region supplies world renowned wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, creating award winning wines that are some of the world’s best. 

The Russian River AVA has raised the standard for California grape production and winemaking.  The relatively cool summer encourages the grapes to ripen slowly, establishing balanced acidity.  This slow, prolonged ripening period creates the delicious flavors distinctive to this region. The soils offer perfect drainage and ideal conditions for growing grapes.  

Additional Property Features:

The guest house shares the entry courtyard with the main residence.  The unit is accessible from the main residence via a  short covered walkway.  The generous one bedroom boasts stunning views and an open floor plan. 

  • 900± sq. ft.
  • Located adjacent to the main house – just a short walk down a covered sidewalk connecting the two buildings.
  • 1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom
  • Living room with queen-size pullout sleeper sofa
  • Kitchen
  • Garage/Storage

Located on the smaller of the two parcels, the caretaker’s unit has two bedrooms and one bathroom.  A horse barn featuring six stables and an open interior also shares this second parcel.  The barn currently houses the irigation equipment for the vineyards. Situated adjacent to the barn is an equine aqua-tred.  This beautiful rustic building was originally built for the first-class thoroughbred ranch that was established here by the original owners, Barbara and Robert Walters.  The Walter’s best known gelding,1996 Kentucky Derby Runner-up Cavonnier, was foaled here at Winner’s Circle in1993. 

  • 35± Acres of oak woodlands 
  • Caretaker’s unit (2Bed/1Bath)
  • Barn with seven stables and irrigation pump room
  • Pump House
  • Horse Aqua Tread

Winery and Hospitality Potential

  • 2 Parcels: 55-acre parcel zoned DA D6-40; 6 acres zoned RA D6-10
  • Potential for main residence conversion to hospitality/wine-tasting/guest facility
  • Potential Winery/Tasting Room site

For more information, contact Mark at 707.322.2000 or Jeannie at 707.480.1541.

 

North Bay Wildfire Clean Up Complete

Posted on June 14, 2018 by michelle_magnus

 

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