Sorry to say, the answer is no. Sonoma County does not reciprocate with other counties. The Replacement Residence Exclusion only works if one sells and buys within Sonoma County. Sonoma County allows a homeowner 55 years of age or older to transefer the taxable value of a principal residence to a replacement residence of equal or lesser value. The replacement residence must have been purchasedf or built after November 5, 1986. A claimfor the exclusion must bt filed with the county assessor.... more
The open house touring idea can work very well. Pam has made some excellent suggestions for initial places to visit from a climate point of view and Susan has already given you some good rental suggestions. If you make a checklist of things you think are important in a neighborhood you can keep running scorecards on each of the neighborhoods you visit. Street trees, yard and garden maintenance, house upkeep, proximity to transportation, shopping, parks, etc.
You may find an agent that you really like at an open house, and they could help understand the neighborhood they are working in. You would also do well with either Pam or Susan who have created histories on this site and are obviously both experienced and serious agents. They clearly also know how to use computers which matters a lot. Good luck.... more