Market Conditions in 95409>Question Details

Curious, Home Buyer in Santa Rosa, CA

Hi,My wife and I are considering buying a house in the Sonoma County area. Maybe Santa Rosa or Sebastopol

Asked by Curious, Santa Rosa, CA Sat Apr 5, 2008

in the 1.5mm range. We are concerned that prices are continuing to fall and that if wait a year we may find ourselves with a house worth 20% less. Also, we are in no hurry to buy now. Waiting works fine for our plans. What do you think?

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Hi -
Prices are good right now and it is a sellers market due to many more buyers then available inventory. As inventory continues to rise, mainly because of the time of year (spring and summer being stronger sales months), there will be more inventory to satisfy the buyers needs. Prices are not predicted to fall much but level out and the crazy over bidding with multiple bidders at the lower priced properties may diminish. Please feel free to contact to me and we can talk about what your needs are. I have lived and worked in Sonoma County for 30 years and would love to help you find your next home here.
I look forward to talking with you,
Julie Sullivan
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 4, 2014
I hope you have been able to get the answers you needed to help you make an informed decision. Should you need any further information, please feel free to contact me.

Haley Skerrett
W Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2014
Hello and thank you for allowing me to comment. The 95409 area is where I live and market conditions are such that if a home is in good condition it will usually sell within 60 days if . . . it is priced right.
If you are looking at a 1.5mm range you will have more to choose from. There are some terrific smaller neighborhoods such as Wild Oak and others that I can say most assuredly that you will not experience a 20% drop in values. The question is what are your needs and are you thinking rural residential or more within the city limits of Santa Rosa?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 24, 2014
Love to help you with this go ahead and contact me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 5, 2008
Mike is right about the West County, as we call parts of Santa Rosa, and Sebastopol and elsewhere in Sonoma county. Sebastopol and Healdsburg and the other parts of the county attractive to out of area buyers are not seeing the softening of prices that we have seen in tract homes in the county. Clients of mine (formerly of Noe Valley in SF) who purchased a gorgoeus home on five acres in Sebastopol are actually looking at a slight increase in their value this year as they re-finance.

The absolute numbers of real estate sales have declined but the number of listings has not soared nor have the prices declined as steeply. The general refrain from agents working the west county market for country property, as I do, is that there is not ENOUGH inventory at the moment. I have a lot of info on my blog, including the link below.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 21, 2008
Curios, currently we have a 2.5 years supply of homes over 1,000,000 in Sonoma County. So I think you'll find some when you decide to go forward. Sebastopol however, is a different kind of animal. Their prices have not seen the dramatic shift reflected throughout the greater market here in Sonoma County. I've been selling real estate for 30+ years exclusively in Sonoma County and the "West" county (I was raised in Guerneville) is a world unto its own both in real estate and socially!! However, this market produces some bargains and that is the connudrum you must address. You could easily get a striking price but need to be ready to move on the situation when it arises.
The bigger question is how long do you intend to be in the home? How much down payment? Are you qualified/pre-appoved, etc. all need to be answered.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 12, 2008
I lived and worked in the Sonoma County area for years. I still visit often as my friends and family are still there. I keep up on their real estate market because I plan to move back someday, and I am helping a friend buy her first home in the Rincoln Valley area (great schools).
I think everyone knows it is a buyer's market right now, and you can negotiate your price speculating on a further decrease in values. Although I do not anticipate a 20% further decrease, buyer's are coming in lower on prices and getting some good deals on their new homes. Sonoma County is seeing the same thing due to their huge increase in values over the past few years. Make an offer based on what you see, and see the house more than once for second impressions. All they can say is "no", and often times will make a Counter Offer. My most important advice is this: treat this as a business investment transaction. And if you fall in love with a house that you just can't live without; make your best offer first attaching a letter to the seller's stating your love for the home, that this is your very best offer and the reason for your offer. I find that this is powerful and enlightens the seller's to your limitations (and not your desire to take advantage).
Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
There are a range of property pricing strategies in the market right now. REO properties are being reduced to levels that are good deals in any market. On the other hand, many owner occupied properties that aren't facing short sales tend to be priced as if market corrections weren't happening. I think it makes sense for you to keep a close eye on the market and watch for the occasional listing that is just what you want at a price that is reasonable. There are certainly properties being sold every day in Sonoma County that represent excellent value today and into the future.

Whether you buy now or later, a close house and price watching strategy will keep your finger on the pulse of the market . You will be able to sense when properties start to move faster and prices stabilize and even begin to rise. Many people in our office sense that we are near the bottom of the market, but others are less sure.

I did a quick check and there are three properties in the Sebastopol area over $1,000,000 that seem to be decent opportunities. There are many, many more in Santa Rosa.

I put a link to a Sebastopol map search page that you can adjust for the price you are looking for. If you keep track of the individual homes as they come on the market, you will know when to buy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 5, 2008
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