Far West Sonoma | Lou Rosenberger

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor

Five Tips For A Better Closing Day — December 9, 2017

Five Tips For A Better Closing Day

Buying a home can be a long process. The last thing you want after all your time spent searching for homes and getting the best mortgage rate is to have everything go wrong on closing day. Here are five tips that’ll ensure it goes smoothly.

1. Schedule a date that works best for you: You have every right to request the closing take place at an ideal time for you, and the other parties in the transaction will usually work with you to make it happen. Whether it’s timing the closing around a pay date or the end of a lease, the first step is finding a date that minimizes stress or conflicts.

2. Clarify your payment: Many title companies do not accept personal checks, so give yourself a few days to get a cashier’s check or set up a wire transfer.

3. Double check insurance: You’ll need to arrange for a title insurance policy for your mortgage and purchase homeowner’s insurance (plus flood or earthquake insurance, depending on the area). Make sure your policy begins by your closing date.

4. Do a final walk-through: You’d be surprised to find that buyers skip this step! Schedule a final walkthrough to ensure that all requested repairs have been made and everything is in working order.

5. Take action based on walk-through: If any issues are identified, you may need to delay closing or negotiate a discount before the closing date to avoid delays.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Mortgage Rate Math — December 2, 2017

Mortgage Rate Math

Shopping around for the best possible mortgage terms is an important part of the home buying process. A few percentage points can make a difference of thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage. Mortgage rates can be a bit of a mystery—especially for first-time homebuyers—so here’s an overview of the most important factors.

YOUR FICO SCORE

This is the part of the mortgage equation that should come as no surprise. From a lender’s perspective, your financial history is the best indicator of whether you’ll be a stable, responsible borrower. It’s the primary factor in determining your mortgage rate, so if you’re planning on purchasing a home in the near future, concentrate first and foremost on improving your FICO score.

LOCATION AND SIZE MATTERS

“Location, location, location” is an old cliché in real estate, but it also applies to mortgage rates. The city, county, and state that you live will factor into your mortgage rate. Mortgage rates can also vary among local lenders and the size of the loan will come into play. The more money you borrow, the higher your interest rate is likely to be, unless you’re also increasing your down payment.

LOAN LENGTH AND TYPE

Lenders incentivize shorter mortgage terms with lower mortgage rates, so you’ll get a more favorable rate for a 15- or 20-year mortgage versus a 30-year mortgage. If you can afford the higher monthly payment, you’ll pay much less in interest over the course of the loan term.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Happy Thanksgiving! — November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

May the good things in life be yours in abundance not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Five Secret Weapons for DIY Hacks — November 18, 2017

Five Secret Weapons for DIY Hacks

Is there a home maintenance project that’s been lingering on your to-do list for too long because you’re dreading the trip to the hardware or craft store? There are some projects you can tackle with items that are almost certainly already in your home.

1. Vinegar: There’s probably a jug of vinegar in your pantry right now. You can soak items in vinegar to remove mineral deposits (like in a clogged showerhead), and you can boil vinegar in your microwave to remove odors and make it easier to clean.

2. Cola: A can of Coke or Pepsi can be used to clean many surfaces, including your glass windows, porcelain toilet, or chrome fixtures. Just do some research before using it on metal surfaces, as it can be corrosive.

3. Baking soda: This item may actually be more useful for applications other than baking. A baking soda-vinegar paste is great for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors.

4. Butter knife: Screwdrivers are easy to misplace. If can’t find a screwdriver when you need one, a butter knife—preferably an older one that you no longer need for table setting—is pretty effective for both Phillips- and flat-head screws.

5. Toothpaste: Is there an unsightly scratch on your car or bike? The grit in tarter-control toothpastes makes for an effective scratch remover. Clean the scratch, apply some toothpaste, let it sit for a few minutes, and then buff it out with paper towel.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Meeting Lee Aaron Ward, Architect — November 17, 2017

Meeting Lee Aaron Ward, Architect

This is Lee Ward, 93. I met him yesterday at one my listings which is a pair of homes he designed. He apprenticed under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West in 1950.

5450 and 5460 S Highway One, Elk California

Lee  was living in San Francisco when he wandered into V.C. Morris gift shop on Maiden Lane that was located in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and built in 1948. He told me that he stood in amazement until a clerk offered to show him a book that had pictures of Fallingwater, the famed house designed by Wright in 1938. Lee said that it was in that moment he decided to become an architect.

An Original Rendering from 1960 that Lee Ward calls “Day and Night”

I asked Lee if he knew Edgar Tafel whom I met on a hard-hat tour of the Guggenheim in New York during renovations in 1992. Edgar had later invited a group to his house where he talked about his years at Taliesin and how Fallingwater had been drawn in one afternoon. Lee laughed and confirmed that Edgar was still there as a senior architect when he arrived and that the story Edgar told me was absolutely true. He took a serious tone when he explained that the drawings may have been done in a few hours, but that “it had all been in Mr. Wright’s head all the while”.

Main House (l), garages and Guest House (r), Oceanside Façade.

The houses Lee designed in Elk for a lumber baron are spectacular. My involvement with the property and its marketing have been pure joy. If you’d like to experience them, visit: www.midcenturyelk.info or use the links to the virtual tours, below.

Upon departure our eyes locked during a long handshake and I understood that something special had just happened. Lee hadn’t been in the houses for nearly 60 years and acknowledged that he wouldn’t likely be back. It was a bittersweet good-bye to Elk for the old man, and I hadn’t expected to be so happy being a part of it.

Main House Virtual Tour, and Guest House Virtual Tour

 

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Homebuyer Incentives: Do’s and Don’ts for the Home Seller — October 30, 2017

Homebuyer Incentives: Do’s and Don’ts for the Home Seller

When you’re selling your home, adding some extra perks can help you find a buyer quickly. An incentive is essentially a marketing spend for your home sale. But you want to make sure your marketing dollars are being used effectively, so consider these do’s and don’ts:

DO recognize your home’s flaws, and offer an incentive that compensates. Buyers will look at extremely dated decor or appliances as a big looming expense, so you can alleviate their anxiety with a warranty or repair/renovation allowance.

DON’T use an incentive to try to get buyers to bite on an inflated sale price. If your home isn’t priced properly, it’s unlikely that an incentive—even one with significantly monetary value—will hide that fact. You’re better off revaluating your pricing, rather than spending big on an incentive.

DO consider homebuyer incentives when there’s close competition. If there are other listed homes in the area with similar features and pricing, an incentive can be a winning factor.

DON’T forget to check on the legality of your incentive offers. The laws on incentives can vary greatly between states, so work with a knowledgeable, trustworthy real estate professional to ensure that your homebuyer incentives are above board.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Lou Rosenberger on Zillow

 

Upsizing Your Home — October 25, 2017

Upsizing Your Home

Unfortunately our homes don’t always grow with us. What may have initially worked fine for a single person, a young couple’s starter home, or a family with a newborn can quickly become too small as families expand and multiple generations live under one roof.

Remodeling and adding to your home is one option for creating more space, but it can be costly, and the size of your property may be prohibitive. That’s when moving to a bigger home becomes the best solution.

WHERE DO YOU NEED MORE SPACE?

The first thought when upsizing your home is to simply consider square footage, bedrooms, and bathrooms. But it’s important to take a more critical approach to how your space will actually be used. If you have younger children (or possibly more on the way), then focusing on bedrooms and bathrooms makes sense. But if your children are closer to heading off to college or starting their own families, it may be better to prioritize group spaces like the kitchen, dining room, living room, and outdoor space—it’ll pay off during the holidays or summer vacations, when everyone is coming to visit for big gatherings.

MOVING OUTWARD

If you need more space, but don’t necessarily want a more expensive home, you can probably get a lot more house for your money if you move a little further from a city center. While the walkability and short commutes of a dense neighborhood or condo are hard to leave beyond, your lifestyle—and preferences for hosting Thanksgiving, barbecues, and birthdays—might mean that a spacious home in the suburbs makes the most sense. It’s your best option for upsizing while avoiding a heftier price tag.

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market. If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home in Sonoma County, I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

ASIR LOGO Rosenberger Lou 178 pixels h IMG_7501

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Real Estate Market Report | Q3-2017 — October 18, 2017

Real Estate Market Report | Q3-2017

Third Quarter, 2017 vs. 2016

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 9.11.28 AMThe third quarter activity in Sonoma County saw a small increase over the previous year. 1,303 homes were sold as compared to 1,305 in the same quarter of 2016. There was an 11% increase in the number of single family homes sold over last quarter. In the third quarter, properties spent and average of 51 days on the market as opposed to 56 last quarter. The amount of inventory countywide remains flat at 1.8 months.

Sebastopol experienced a decrease in volume of home sales of 19.2% from the same period last year. And, looking back at Q2 of 2017, the current volume decreased by 11.9%. The average price dropped from $968,000 last quarter to $850,000 in the third quarter of 2017.

Our coastal market is a small sampling and numbers tend to fluctuate dramatically from one quarter to the next, and year over year. We are currently experience a high volume of transactions and selling prices are quite strong. Sellers can expect their homes to be on the market for a few months and the level of inventory indicates a balanced market. Fairly priced homes in good condition are in high demand.

Healdsburg leads the way, again, in price at an average of $1,317,000 which is a significant increase from this time last year. The volume of sales is strong, but we’re still experiencing a balanced market with 4.7 months of inventory compared to the countywide average of only 1.8 months. Homebuyers in Wine Country are willing to pay a premium price, but are still looking for value.

Predictably, the Russian River area continues to provide good value with an average home price of only $521,000. Still, that’s up 15.8% over last year … and, last quarter!

View Live Market Data

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Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market. If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home, or the acquisition of a home, I would be most grateful if you would contact me to talk about real estate.

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Lou Rosenberger, Realtor®
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Tommy Hilfiger: In Conversation — October 11, 2017

Tommy Hilfiger: In Conversation

from Art & Home, a publication of Sotheby’s International

In New York in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger established a clothing label that defined an era. At the very same time Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat began working together on collaborative paintings; works that united two of the most influential artistic voices of the second half of the 20th Century. Created between 1984 and 1985 and being offered from the Tommy Hilfiger Collection, Sweet Pungent and New Flame exude the creative spirit of New York in the mid-1980s – an exhilarating moment in cultural history that brought forth a unique cross-pollination of music, fashion, and art. Having been a part of this creative vanguard – a moment that witnessed the birth of hip-hop and the rise of graffiti-street culture – Hilfiger talks about his memories of Warhol and Basquiat and discusses the artistic potential of creative collaboration with Sotheby’s Contemporary art specialist, Emma Baker.

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TOMMY HILFIGER ALONGSIDE ANDY WARHOL AND JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT’S SWEET PUNGENT,
IN HIS MIAMI HOME. PHOTOGRAPHED BY DOUGLAS FRIEDMAN. © TOMMY HILFIGER.

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Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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Gaggenau: Serving Up Design — October 4, 2017

Gaggenau: Serving Up Design

from Art & Home, a publication of Sotheby’s International

As a domestic command centre and haven of hospitality, the contemporary kitchen should be as welcoming as it is practical – not an easy feat, considering the various appliances required to run it. Yet through its long history of pioneering household wares made largely by hand in the most durable of materials, the German firm Gaggenau has consistently achieved just that. All the elements that belong in a professional kitchen, including the most advanced technologies, are issued in clean, precise designs that always consider the appliances’ effect on a home kitchen. As Gaggenau’s global head of design since 2011, Sven Baacke ensures its products continue to be highly functional sculptural objects. Sotheby’s spoke with Baacke about the luxury brand’s pursuit of perfection, down to the smallest detail.

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Lou Rosenberger, Realtor
CalBRE# 01955420
415.518.5286 | www.FarWestSonoma.com

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