Far West Sonoma | Lou Rosenberger

Lou Rosenberger, Realtor

2017 Bathroom Trends — August 21, 2017

2017 Bathroom Trends

Staying on top of the latest trends in home décor isn’t for everyone, but even for traditionalists, it can be fun to incorporate some new ideas. Here are five bathroom décor trends that are appearing in 2017.

  1. Geometric Patterns: Many homeowners are selecting bold patterns in geometric shapes, like chevrons, triangles, or hexagons. These patterns can add intrigue and continuity to your tile or shower curtain.
  2. Plants: Even the best-designed bathrooms can benefit from some small plants. If you have a windowless bathroom, there are some low-light options that can survive with little maintenance.
  3. Dark Colors: This can be tricky to achieve, but it comes with a big pay off. While traditional bathrooms are often painted with brighter whites and greys, opting for darker colors can make a bathroom seem more luxurious and relaxing. Imagine sinking into a deep bath with dim lighting—that might convey the appeal of a darker palette.
  4. Brass Hardware: Trends often come back around, and this year brass fixtures of the ‘70s are popular once again.
  5. Minimalism: The massive master bathroom is still great, but there’s also some appeal in smaller bathroom designs. Minimalism allows for smaller spaces to feel more intimate, but still airy and open.

 

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

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Avoid These Two Big Mortgage Mistakes — August 13, 2017

Avoid These Two Big Mortgage Mistakes

We all know that searching for and viewing potential homes is the fun part of the home-buying process. The not-so-fun part? The mortgage.

But if you don’t pay attention to the details, your mortgage can end up dragging down the enjoyment of your new home and cause some major regrets. Here are a few mistakes to avoid to ensure that you love your mortgage terms as much as your hew home.

Don’t find your home first: Shopping around for the best mortgage rate should be the first step in the home buying process. You may even want to talk to a mortgage broker a full year before you plan to buy. It’ll give you time to get your affairs in order to qualify for the best rate, could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and you won’t feel rushed to accept an unattractive loan because you’re worried you’ll miss out on your dream home.

Don’t forget your real budget: There’s often a big difference between what a lender says you can afford and what you can actually afford. Your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t include the money you spend on hobbies, or the cost of commuting to work, or maintenance and utility costs. Really sit down and examine your spending before committing to the loan amount the lender is offering. You won’t enjoy your home nearly as much if it’s eating into your favorite hobbies.

 

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

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What Affects Property Values? — August 7, 2017

What Affects Property Values?

Some of the features that increase property values are obvious, like a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. But here are a few features and circumstances you, may have not have realized can affect property values.

The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations or neglecting to care for their home. Homes adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.

Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.

Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.

Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in dense cities can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.

The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers-many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.

 

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

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Hidden Homeowner Costs — July 30, 2017

Hidden Homeowner Costs

Budgeting for buying a home can be difficult enough when you’re just weighing mortgage options and a purchase price. But there are many other factors that go into the cost of home ownership. Some of them are one-time expenses that you’ll pay during the home buying process, while others will be recurring costs for as long as you own the home.

Closing costs

There are several smaller fees that add up to a rather large sum when you’re going through the closing process-loan fees, attorney fees, underwriting fees, and more. They typically add up to 2-5% of the purchase price. For a $300,000 home-roughly the national median-that’s in the neighborhood of $10,000, so be sure to budget for it.

Appraisal

Your lender will require an appraisal, and the appraisal fee (a few hundred dollars) comes out of your pocket.

Inspection

The few hundred dollars you’ll pay for a home inspection is money well spent, but it’s something you have to keep in mind during the purchase process. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing the house is free from any major issues, and you’re making a smart, solid investment.

Insurance

Although homeowners insurance isn’t legally required, it’ll almost certainly be required by your lender. Further insurance, such as flood insurance, may also be required (depending on your location).

Home Owners Association

If you’re living in a property or community with shared spaces, you’ll almost certainly have an HOA fee. This pays for things like trash removal, maintenance of common areas, and for recreational facilities like gyms and swimming pools.

 

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

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Reconsider Choices for Kitchen Remodel — July 23, 2017

Reconsider Choices for Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:

Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.

Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue and can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret, plus you’ll have more room in your budget to purchase quality materials to be used elsewhere.

Cheap Flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take some abuse. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is worth the investment.

 

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

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Real Estate Market Report — July 13, 2017

Real Estate Market Report

Second Quarter, 2017

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The second quarter activity in Sonoma County saw a small decrease in volume from 1,229 single family homes sold in 2016 to 1,173 in the same quarter of 2017. The average price has increased to $742,000 from $722,000 in the first quarter of 2017. Average days on the market and months of inventory remained somewhat predictable. With only 1.8 months of inventory, we’re still experiencing a countywide seller’s market.

The number of units sold in the Sebastopol area is flat, year-over-year, but the average price paid for a single family home jumped 9.9% to $968,000. With only 2.1 months of inventory, desirable homes sell quickly and often with multiple offers at over asking price. Seller’s can expect a brief listing period considering the average number of days on the market is down to just 35.

The Coastal Sonoma market has experienced a predictable volume of sales for the second quarter of 2017. Of note, the coast now has 4.7 months of inventory. This indicates a balanced market favoring neither buyers nor sellers. On average, homes are spending four months on the market to find a buyer. And yet, in the community of Bodega Harbor, the lack of inventory for homes under $1 million ensures that sellers of lesser-priced homes will get strong attention. More than ever, luxury homes need to be priced right to attract buyers who are increasingly weary of escalating prices.

The Healdsburg Area is in the spotlight for buyers. The number of units sold in the second quarter has decreased 35.6% from last year while the average price has plummeted 26.7%. Inventory has swelled to 5.9 months, close to indicating a buyer’s market. If you’ve been thinking of acquiring a home in Healdsburg wine country, now may be a great time to take a look.

The Russian River Area continues to provide very good value. With an average price for a single family home at $440,000, it’s over 40% lower than the countywide average. There’s limited inventory and homes sell fast. Buyers need to be prepared to act quickly and strategize for bidding wars.

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.
Referrals are extremely important to my business.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

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

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Sophisticated and Historic Greenwich Farm — June 3, 2017

Sophisticated and Historic Greenwich Farm

— from Art & Home Magazine, a publication of Sotheby’s International Realty.

Designed in the early 20th century by New York architects Hunt & Hunt for then publishing magnate H J Fisher, Sabine Farm is a regal fieldstone manor on Round Hill in Greenwich, Connecticut. Described and illustrated in detail in the November 1916 issue of The Architectural Record, the estate spans more than nineteen acres of rolling lawns, allées of trees and formal gardens. An idyllic country residence …

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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.

Referrals are extremely important to my business.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

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

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The Leiden Collection of Dutch Golden Age Paintings — May 31, 2017

The Leiden Collection of Dutch Golden Age Paintings

— from Art & Home Magazine, a publication of Sotheby’s International Realty.

“When I’m in, I’m all-in,” says Dr Thomas Kaplan during a recent conversation in his Manhattan office, as he describes his philosophy of life. Such innate fervour surely accounts for the success he has enjoyed as an investor and asset manager focusing on the natural resources sector. It also explains how he has been able to amass one of the greatest art collections of our time at warp speed. In less than a decade …

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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.

Referrals are extremely important to my business.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

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

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Urban Grandeur — May 25, 2017

Urban Grandeur

— from Art & Home Magazine, a publication of Sotheby’s International Realty.

The crowning jewel in an unparalleled urban estate, this 25,000-square-foot residence, sited on more than 8 city lots, is thoroughly grand but not overwhelming. Inspired by the prestigious architectural innovations of the Renaissance, including France’s Chateau de Versailles …

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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.

Referrals are extremely important to my business.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

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

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Owning a Castle is a Passion Project — May 15, 2017

Owning a Castle is a Passion Project

— from Art & Home Magazine, a publication of Sotheby’s International Realty.

In the world of luxury real estate, perhaps no category of residence invites as much fantasy as the castle. Germany, England, Spain and, most notably, France, offer high concentrations of these historic buildings, where bedrooms number in the dozens and amenities include moats, towers and turrets.

The US has its share of palatial counterparts, even if they lack 900-year-old masonry …

Read Full Article>>>

Living in Bodega Bay and having owned a small business in the region I call
Far West Sonoma, I understand our local market.

Referrals are extremely important to my business.
If you, or someone you know, would like assistance in marketing a home,
I would be most grateful if you would please contact me.

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

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