Go out and start looking at homes in your area at around $35000-$50,000. You MIGHT be lucky and find something like that to live it. But frankly, after looking at Sioux City properties for sale, your going to fall short!! But hey, there's a reason why I was wearing shorts today, picking Camelias off of one of my cleint's trees and watching my cats lazing around in the sun! But if you are referring to the TOWN of Sonoma, getting into the interior areas is just not feasible. The NW portion of the city, once a bustling tourist area noted for it's curative mineral and hot baths (hence the names Aqua Caliente, Boyes Hot Springs, Fetters Hot Springs) now long gone, has houses in this area in hit and miss neighborhoods with construction which is old resort cabin mixed with newer construction. Smallish lots and smallish homes.
Now if you broaden out and look at the more larger cities along our main highway (Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park,Cotati) and about an hour to SF, prices and homes are readily available up to $300,000 that rival your $60-80K price points (almost!). But if you like wine, a stunningly rugged, dramatic coast, being surrounded by fanatical "foodies" have acess to "Farmer's Markets" in the dead of winter, like to visit towering redwoods, quiet valleys and hundreds of wineries PLUS be near one of the most cosmopolitan Cities in the world! Yup! This is your kinda place!! Just don't expect to get 2200sqft on a huge lot with a brick house, full basement for $300,000! Ain't gonna happen! But we've got a huge 50% off sale hanging over the county from our heydays of irrational exhuberance! Rates in the upper 4%--life is good!
When you get hear you can listen to my weekly radio real estate talk show! Or go to http://www.KSRO.com, Sundays, 9 to 10AM PST to listen in!!
If you want to be right in town, and you want a detached home (not a condo) you will likely have to be willing to put some work into the property.
There is a house a few doors down my from mine, a short sale, currently listed (and, finally, in escrow) at an asking price of $425K. If you can come up a bit more, you will find yourself in a much nicer neighborhood--and home!
To see everything that is currently available click here:
This is the only service that I know that allows you to search our local MLS, real-time, just without the confidential agent remarks. (Realtor.com is on a delay, sometimes for several days.)
Feel free to contact me for more information. You can also visit my website or blog more for detailed market information.
I have represented happy buyers in both Sonoma and Oakmont in this price range in the last few months, and agree with Mirjam that you should definitely check out Oakmont for some terrific values right now. It has lovely views, is just up the road from Sonoma, and is a very active 55 plus community with a wide variation of types and styles of homes and condominiums.
Best wishes! You are the second Iowan today that I have come across who is thinking of moving to Sonoma County. It must really be cold there this week!
Sonoma County is a great place to live, we have many micro climates, should you be interested in a retirement community I would suggest to check out the Oakmont community. It's beautiful, located in the Valley of the Moon, in between Santa Rosa and Sonoma and depending on what you are looking for there are some great homes for sale in the price range you are looking at. The town of Sonoma might not be the best option to find something in your price range but there are many alternatives that might even be closer to what you are looking for. The weblink provided will give you the opportunity to search our local MLS system.
There should be a decent selection of homes in this price range to choose from. Please take a look at my Website at http://www.mikebryant.com and you can enter your search criteria and look at homes online. If you prefer, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to send you some listings.