Heather Mendoza has earned the Certified Negotiation Expert  (CNE) Designation

Professional negotiation skills are a must for all real estate professionals, especially in the current market.  Agents who receive this certification are in the top 1% of all agents nationally.

Heather is Managing Broker for the Artisan Sotheby’s International offices in Healdsburg, Santa Rosa and Sebastopol.  She is a long time resident of Sonoma County with nearly a decade of professional real estate experience. 

With over 500 offices in 40 countries, Sotheby’s International Realty is all ecompassing.  Our locations may be abounding, but our uniqueness remains perfectly constant.  Contact Heather Mendoza to learn more about the experience and connections of this truly exceptional brand.

Heather Mendoza  can be reached at 707.284.1111 or email her at Heather.Mendoza@SothebysRealty.com


Lynn Bowen of the Sebastopol office has obtained her Real Estate Broker’s License.   

Having purchased, sold & remodeled various homes of her own, Lynn caught the Real Estate bug early on. With her family grown, she is able to immerse herself  in her business.  She enjoys working with buyers & sellers in all aspects and price points of residential and country property sales.  

Contact Lynn at 707.695.3814

Realogy Named Among 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies

We are pleased to share the exciting news that our parent company, Realogy, has received the prestigious designation of being named among the 2012 World’s Most Ethical Companies, awarded by the Ethisphere® Institute, a leading international business ethics think-tank.

Realogy was chosen from 5,000 nominated companies headquartered in 100 different countries and across 36 industries. Companies were evaluated using a rigorous proprietary methodology, based on their ethics and compliance program, reputation, leadership and innovation, governance, corporate citizenship and responsibility, and ethical culture.
Realogy earned its placement on this prestigious list by implementing and maintaining upright business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company’s success, benefit the community and raise the bar for ethical standards within our industry.

On behalf of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, we are proud to be part of an organization that is recognized as a role model for other companies to follow based on the ethics and integrity demonstrated in its business practices.

There is A Train A’Coming…

Just last week it became clear that the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit system (SMART) will become a reality for our community in the near future.  Since Measure Q was passed by over 70% of the voters in 2008 there have been two attempts to repeal the measure.  Both attempts failed, most recently just last month.  While the proposed scaled down project isn’t quite what the voters passed in 2008, neither is the economy as strong as when the project was first conceived.  To the credit of the SMART Board of Directors their decision to scale back  the project has kept is alive and viable.  Even though we can’t have everything we would like in our currently depressed economy it is a very good start toward providing some relief to our traffic and transportation issues through the 101 corridor.

 This scaled down initial construction of the train’s pathway will run from Coddingtown in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael.  The project will provide 1,200 good paying and much needed jobs in 2012 alone and break us out of the “we must have it all” and “don’t raise my taxes”  mind set that has stifled progress in this area for decades.   And of course, had this project been repealed, we the tax payers would still have been on the hook for the millions of dollars already committed in contracts with  construction vendors and through completed real estate acquisitions but no train to ride.   That’s something the Repeal SMART group never mentioned when gathering signatures. 

This project is good for our local real estate values and for attracting businesses to our region, which also is good for real estate values.  It is a step in the direction of  keeping economic progress moving forward in Sonoma County.  It’s about progress and it’s about time.

Congratulations Artisan Sotheby’s International Realty

Artisan Sotheby’s International Realty in Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and Sebastopol are now ranked #33 out of approximately 135 affiliates nationwide.  Vice President of Affiliate Services, Jon Meschke stopped by our sales meeting in Healdsburg on Wednesday to share the good news.  Contributing to the success of our 3 wine country offices is steady growth and an increase in production over the past year.  The number of Realtors has gone from 57 to 71 and sales have doubled since this time last year.  Congratulations to our hard working team of dedicated professionals.  These impressive statistics represent their tremendous effort and continued diligence in a changing real estate market.  We look forward to another great year with new opportunities and further success.

Healdsburg Large Country Property Listings

Big parcels of country land near Healdsburg don’t change hands very often. We are fortunate to have several large properties on the market that offer potential buyers a chance to acquire vineyard or estate land in Healdsburg’s wine country.

View of neighboring vineyards and hills

Charlene Schnall has listed 11450 Los Amigos Road, a 200 acre family-owned ranch that is surrounded by vineyards on the south and east. There are beautiful meadows with easy terrain that are very well suited to planting new vines. There are also five residential entitlements which would make this an excellent family compound or a luxury residential development. The current owners have a horse boarding and training facility adjacent to this property that they are planning to continue to operate, so equestrian buyers could easily take advantage of long term horse boarding while they are traveling or working elsewhere.

Mill Creek Vineyard Property

Mill Creek Rd. Vineyard and Estate Property

Jim Brush has a superb vineyard and estate property listed at 8679 Mill Creek Rd. This 207 acre property features 17 acres of high quality Cabernet Sauvignon and 18 acres of Merlot. There are spectacular views from almost everywhere on this property.

Add in the potential of several home sites, unbeatable privacy, and the headwaters of Mill Creek and you have a very special Healdsburg country property.

Update – Graham Sarasy from our Healdsburg office has just added a big vineyard on Rio Lindo, just outside of town. 45 acres planted on a 63 acre site.

To find out about these listings or other Sonoma County lots and land, contact any of the agents mentioned or any of our three offices.

Healdsburg Lots and Land

Sebastopol Lots and Land

Santa Rosa Lots and Land

Polo in the Wine Country

Charm, elegance and the galloping rush of athletic equines charging across an open field!  Polo, the sport of kings and at one time available only to royalty, will be on display right here in the middle of the Sonoma County Wine Country.   On September 18 the Polo in the Wine Country benefit event for Junior Achievement of the Redwood Empire will take place.  In addition to the polo matches there will be premium beer, wine and food tasting as well the usual raffles and drawings, a ladies hat contest (simply charming and elegant) and a display of classic automobiles.  Junior Acheivement is a 100 year old non profit organization providing financial literacy courses, free of charge, to K-12 students throughout the world.  To date this year JA of Northern California has served over 5,000 Redwood Empire students and through donations and fund raising events like this the organization strives to reach 6,000 students by the end of 2012.  As a governing board member with Junior Achievement and one of the sponsors of this event I encourage your participation.  It’s just another reason why home ownership in the Wine Country makes sense for families looking for beauty, luxury and interesting entertainment choices.   For advanced tickets visit:  http://2011japolo.eventbrite.com.  For more information and sponsorship opportunities contact Lisa Cannon at lcannon@janorcal.org or call 707-888-5765.

Wings Over the Wine Country

We are so lucky to have the luxury of living in the Sonoma County Wine country.  Aside from the beautiful landscapes of green valleys, rolling hills and of course the acres and acres of vineyards, we also have a rich and diverse selection of entertainment opportunities.  Last weekend there was a cattle drive through the downtown area of Santa Rosa to help promote the Sonoma County Fair.  And in just two weeks our local airport will be crowded with a variety of airplanes on display as well as aerobatic shows, military fly-bys, food, fun and hundreds of classic aircraft to view up close and personal.  The Wings Over the Wine County Air Show is one of the largest of it’s kind on the west coast and will be happening on Saturday, August 20 through Sunday, August 21 at the Charles M. Schulz, Sonoma County Airport.  It’s fun for the whole family and well worth the price of the ticket.  Tickets are available at a discount online at https://tix.extremetix.com/Online/?siteID=1500&cartID=2b3129c8-18ac-439f-9cdd-148dbbef4b6f.

Country Property Sales in Sebastopol

The hottest Sonoma County market for residential properties with a couple of acres continues to be Sebastopol.  Santa Rosa has more sales numerically and Petaluma sales of country property are strong, but Sebastopol is the leader when you take population into consideration.  Historically, there are more small parcels near  Sebastopol, so that city is a great starting points for buyers looking for the classic “couple of acres in the wine country” property.

Sebastopol country real estate sales

(click on chart for larger view)

This chart shows a snapshot of listings and 2011 sales of Sebastopol country property in the two to five acre range. A couple of points that I highlighted on the chart are worth repeating. The first is that the market is very active. There are more sales and contingent sales than available listings.  I’ll go into more detail on that in a second chart. The other important fact to note is that the short sale and REO market are a small part of what’s going on in Sebastopol. There are only two active listings in those categories since everything else has been sold or is contingent.  If you’re bargain hunting for an REO property in Sebastopol, you better not dawdle.

Sebastopol residential sales - months on market

(click on chart for larger view)

This second chart shows how long properties have been on the market. The left column represents properties that have just been listed through the first 30 days. The second set of columns (from 30 to 60 Days on Market) features a tall light blue “Sold” column that clearly indicates the fast moving pace of Sebastopol sales. Country properties often take 45 days to close to allow for a fair “due diligence” period. In order to be sold in the second month of being listed, the property probably went into contract in the first two weeks of becoming available. The smart buyers grabbing these properties already have their financing lined up. They are already working with a broker (hopefully an Artisan Sotheby’s agent) who is helping them with showings and preparation of offering paperwork.

If you’re serious about finding a wine country property near Sebastopol, you should talk to one of our agents who can make sure you end up in the “sold” column as a happy new owner.

Dry Creek Valley Estate Winery

An elegant Spanish Mission style winery and vineyard in the heart of Dry Creek Valley.  This estate winery is located in Wine Creek Canyon, a unique geographical enclave situated in an unrivaled local with a picturesque setting. Two parcels with 60 acres of vines on over 100 acres of wine country bliss.

For further information contact Mark Stevens at 707-322-2000