Today’s real estate market is undergoing a shift — inventory levels are rising slightly as the pace of sales has been seen to slow down just a little this summer.
“This doesn’t mean that buyers and sellers shouldn’t be prepared for an on-going relatively fast market,” says Timo. “It’s more of a normalization and hopefully there will be a few more choices out there as we inch towards the fall season.”
“With higher mortgage rates, high home prices and a few more homes on the market, it’s beginning to look a lot more like it did pre-pandemic,” says Timo. As conditions change it’s vital to work with a real estate professional who is on the ball with pricing to sell in the current market and finding the best deal for buyers, in turn. “I understand the local market within the national real estate dynamic,” says Timo. “It’s highly nuanced. Petaluma remains a hot market as demand still is out numbering supply.”
Buying a home is one of life’s biggest decisions. “This is true if it’s your first home or your fifth or sixth,” says Timo. “There are many reasons why buyers and sellers are still moving in this shifting market, be it upgrading, downsizing, cashing out and/or moving to be close to loved ones.” Many people are taking advantage of flexible work options today and remote home offices offer homeowners a whole new take on where they opt to live. Maybe you’re retiring and don’t need to be anchored to the same location.
“Don’t put plans on hold,” says Timo. “A correction is not a crash. Give me a call and let me help you strategize the best move taking into consideration current market factors and your real estate needs.”
Sustainability and eco-friendly design continue to reshape our homes, gardens and the way we live, this summer.
Homeowners are changing their shopping habits, buying fewer consumer goods and being more intentional in reducing their carbon footprints.
Design trends report us reducing our consumption of non-renewable resources, minimizing waste and creating happier, more natural environments.
Look for eco-friendly paints when you plan a room refresh and opt for environmentally friendly flooring, textiles and fabrics that will have little or no impact on the environment during production and eventual disposal.
From composting, cleaning solutions, reusable cleaning cloths, soy candles and bamboo storage jars to recycled or upcycled wooden furniture, design experts suggest we shop from what we already own before buying new and share more of the home items we no longer need with others. If there is a big ticket item we’re after, splurge for something that will last a lifetime, outpacing trends.
In the garden, think about a bee sanctuary by planting to attract pollinators. Outdoor furniture, plant pots and decking made with durable recycled plastic is being used in more and more green spaces.
Check out other ideas on living more sustainably...
With wild blackberries throughout many northern CA towns, here is a perfect treat for warm summer evenings and entertaining.
1.In a small bowl, muddle blackberries. Set aside.
2.Place mint leaves in bottom of glasses. Divide and spoon blackberry mixture on top.
3.Add rum, sugar, and lime juice and stir to combine. Top with crushed ice.
4.Add club soda and garnish with mint leaves and more blackberries.
Time sure flies when we’re having fun! It’s almost a quarter of a century in business for Timo since starting out pounding the pavements in Petaluma talking to neighbors for first listings and meeting clients at open homes for his first summer in real estate.
“It’s been an extraordinary chapter of my career,” says Timo. “I started out not knowing what to expect from real estate or if I was suited to it and in no time at all I had hit the ground running as Rookie of the Year for then Frank Howard Allen in Petaluma.”
Forward 24 years, a recession, a pandemic, more local and national events than any of us would’ve ever dreamed of and Timo’s still at the helm of a small team dedicated to bringing a personalized, professional and passionate service standard for generations of repeat clients and their families.
We’ve been looking back through our files at the original monthly print newsletters we produced and mailed out to our growing client list.
“It makes me nostalgic to recall those simple times,” says Timo. “Especially the property prices. Still, there’s no place like Petaluma in the Bay Area and it keeps getting better. I’m committed to finding housing solutions and dream properties.”
Next summer when we celebrate a quarter century of real estate service it’ll be time for a party for sure.
Higher mortgage rates appear to be signaling early signs of a cooling housing market this summer 2022.
“While the home price growth in the Petaluma area has slowed only marginally, experts predict the deceleration in home prices may take somewhat of a harder turn by this time next year,” says Timo.
“But as I’ve said now for a while, the Petaluma area and surrounding communities are so short on inventory and so big in appeal for residents and incoming buyers, we're not we’re not likely to see too steep a correction in this part of Sonoma County.”
“While many would-be buyers unfortunately will find themselves priced-out by rising interest rates, there appears to be plenty of buyers who are able to perform in a healthier-balanced market.”
The slight deceleration occurred as mortgage rates topped 5% for the first time during the last week of April, an early indication of how quickly the once blistering hot housing market has calmed down.
“My client base tends to have good reason to buy and sell in this current market,” says Timo. “And I relish the opportunity to get out there and find the absolute best deal for each individual client’s needs, whether it is an imminent move or something being carefully strategized for any time in the future.”
Summer is time to start planning. Give Timo a call today at 707 477 8397.
Keep these items on your summer to do list for keeping your property in tip top shape.
1. Seal Up Your Home: “Using caulk to seal cracks and openings in your home is one of the most inexpensive ways you can save money on your utilities,” says Dave Quandt, VP of field operations for American Home Shield. “It can also help improve your home’s air quality, prevent moisture problems, and prolong the life of your HVAC system.”
2. Scrub the Decks: Prime your outdoor space for backyard barbecue blowouts by decluttering and deep-cleaning. Use a broom, leaf blower, or wet-dry vacuum to remove debris from all patio surfaces. Next, tackle the furniture. Use a mixture of warm water and dish detergent to gently wipe down furniture cushions before leaving them out in the sun to dry. Open your patio umbrella, and use a vacuum or broom to remove any cobwebs. Wash the umbrella with soapy water and leave it open to dry. Finally, wash the patio furniture frames with soapy water, and rinse everything off with a hose
3. Freshen Your Pool: Test the pH level weekly with a pool water test kit to make sure chemicals are balanced and safe. Chemical level guidelines vary depending on the season and weather, but for the cleanest and safest water the pH level should remain between 7.2 and 7.8. To destroy any contaminants, you’ll want to shock the water—preferably at night so the sun doesn’t burn off the chemical cocktail. Take care to never add the shock directly on the skimmer or directly to the water (which can bleach and weaken your liner). Instead, dissolve the shock in a bucket of water before adding it to your pool.
4. Inspect Your Windows: Poorly insulated or installed windows can sap energy from your home—and let in summer’s delightful brood of insects.
5. Washer & Dryer TLC: A bit of diluted bleach or white vinegar in the washer drum will usually take care of most cleaning needs and prevent mold from growing, according to Chris Granger, vice president and general manager of Sears Home Services. If you have a front-loading washer, make sure to clean the gasket (that circular piece of rubber that seals the door). Use a diluted vinegar or bleach solution, and wipe behind the gasket to remove any detergent buildup or debris. Leave the door open when you’re done to allow the gasket to dry.
6. Drain Your Water Heater: Just like changing your car’s oil, flushing your water heater improves your unit’s efficiency and life span—and keeps your showers as scalding hot as you like them. Did you know you should drain your water heater once a year to clear out built-up sediment and minerals that could affect its performance?
When you’re ready to serve, beat together cheeses in a mixing bowl with 1 tsp of the olive oil, honey, thyme, lemon zest, black pepper and 2-3 pinches of smoked sea salt. Remove the pastry case from its tin and put on a serving plate. Spoon in the ricotta mixture and level using the back of a spoon. Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top, starting with the larger ones, then layering the smaller ones on top. Drizzle with the rest of the oil, then finish with salt and pepper and the extra thyme and basil leaves.
One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind is how are rising interest rates, inflation and supply chain issues affecting buying, selling and renting in our local real estate market this summer and fall?
If you’re a homeowner in the Petaluma area, you’re most likely sitting on a great investment. “Though there’s been a slight adjustment in soaring sales prices for some properties in the area very recently, the summer months still offer a tremendous opportunity for seller’s cashing out,” says Timo.
“Inventory is key and there’s little of it, so if you’re thinking of readying to sell, I recommend starting the process now as repairs and upgrades are taking longer to schedule and complete due to shortages of supplies and labor.” Alternatively, if you’re in the market to buy or trade up in the area then it’s a different ballgame this summer considering the low levels of inventory and affordability, paired with interest rates.
“This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to buy-in, but buyer’s need to be fully prepared with clean, competitive offers,” says Timo, who recommends knowing what you can afford and sticking to your budget. “I expect prices may stabilize somewhat in the area due to the rising interest rates and buyers being unable to keep up. Housing demand in this desirable region still isn’t likely to drop.” As of May 19th, the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 5.25%, according to Freddie Mac. “Rates are still low historically” says Timo, “though quite a bit higher than in recent memory.”
Supply chain issues in building materials has slowed new home availability. “The new homes and apartments we’re seeing pop up in Petaluma are not likely to impact the demand for homes in general,” says Timo. “Fortunately for prospective tenants, rents have finally begun to soften. I’m hoping to see a slowing down of bidding wars to settle into a market where both buyers and sellers are satisfied with sales prices,” says Timo. “Give me a call today to talk over your real estate questions and timing strategies.”
Whether it is lack of time, budget or scheduling issues, creating staycation areas of your home can be an affordable way to make summer fun and interesting for everyone. Get friends and family in on the bigger projects for an extra hand and in no time you can be enjoying outdoor and indoor staycations! Here are some ideas to get you started!
1. Keep it light with white. Summarize fresh white bed linens and cushions for a quick and easy seasonal spruce up.
2. Prep the patio as an outdoor living room and dining room.
3. Amp up a bar cart for summer cocktails.
4. Paint the porch furniture a fresh coat of white or citrus or blue.
5. Fresh flowers fill a home with seasonal cheer.
6. Install a ceiling fan.
7. Add an outdoor shower.
8. Pile on the cheerfully patterned pillows and throws on outdoor areas and porch seating.
9. Create a napping nook with a hammock or shaded lounger.
10. Spruce up outdoor pots with fresh plants.
Timo, Frances and Renee attended the RE/MAX Gold awards in Sacramento this past month. “I was delighted to receive my award for the number one RE/MAX Gold agent/broker in the North Bay for 2021 and number seven in California/West Coast,” says Timo. “
We all know that I could not have been nearly as successful without the support of my wonderful team: Realtor Associate and Executive Assistant Renee Waters, my wife Frances (newsletters and general support) and more recently, Realtor Associate Lori LaFranchi.
“Most of all we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our wonderful client family, welcome newcomers to our community and those who have remained loyal for so many years.”
To make the dill sauce, whisk together the yogurt, mustard, and dill in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cook the salmon, and then remove and discard the bones and skin. Mix the salmon, celery, onion, eggs, salt, and pepper in a good size bowl. Form the mixture into 8 patties. Slick a medium skillet with the olive oil and heat it over medium-high heat. Cook the patties until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
Put a dollop of the dill sauce on top of each patty and serve.
The statewide median home price surpassed $800k for the first time in six months and recorded a new high of $849,080 in March. California’s housing market continues to be one of the most robust the U.S. According to Realtor.com, here in the Petaluma area the median home price in March was recorded at $926.900, trending up 16% year-over-year.
With interest rates remaining on the rise, however, mortgage applications have declined since a first slow-down in early February. “Higher mortgage rates and double-digit growth in home prices have impacted the housing demand momentum and the effect on soaring home prices may become evident in a couple of months,” says Timo, "Though maybe not so much in the Petaluma area. Sellers have enjoyed the brisk winter/spring sales season, whereas a lot of buyers have been sitting it out waiting for the market to settle this summer.”
Meanwhile rents continue to surge to record-level gains. “Supply shortage in the sales and rental market in the south county have impacted rising prices,” says Timo. “Perspective home hunters are caught between a rock and a hard place currently with renting vs buying. I understand the challenges and frustration buyers experience. I’m committed to finding the right property for those in the market to secure a home that represents a good investment in the long term.”
Given that there is such competition for homes in the Petaluma area, Timo expects the market to remain heated throughout the summer months and into fall. It’s too early to say what 2023 will look like given the Fed’s move to balance the economy.
And yet: “It’s likely to remain a hot seller’s market as there just are not enough homes to satisfy the buyer pool,” says Timo. “If you are thinking of selling this year, then why wait? Most homes are selling as soon as they hit market, if not before.”
·A minimum annual income of $148,000 was needed to qualify for the purchase of a $797,470 statewide median-priced, existing single-family home in the fourth quarter of 2021.
·The monthly payment, including taxes and insurance on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan, would be $3,700, assuming a 20 percent down payment and an effective composite interest rate of 3.28 percent.
·The effective composite interest rate was 3.07 percent in third-quarter 2021 and2.96 percent in fourth-quarter 2020.
·A minimum annual income of $148,000 was needed to make monthly payments of$3,700
·It included principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 3.28percent interest rate.
·Thirty-six percent of home buyers were able to purchase the $610,350 median-priced condo or townhome.
·A minimum annual income of $113,200 was required to make a monthly payment of $2,830.
·The Central Coast had the highest year-over-year price gain of 20.4 percent, with the median price being $1,050,000.
·The San Francisco Bay Area had a year-over-year price gain of 17.9 percent, with the median price being $1,444,720. (Petaluma’s gain was 16%)
·Southern California had a year-over-year price gain of 13.8 percent, with the median price being $802,500.
·The Central Valley had a year-over-year price gain of 19.3 percent, with the median price being $495,000.
·The Far North had a year-over-year gain of 12.9 percent, with the median price being $395,000.
·The Los Angeles Metro Area had a year-over-year price gain of 13.2 percent, with the median price being $770,000.
·Inland Empire had a year-over-year price gain of 17.2 percent, with the median price being $580,000.
Recology Waste Zero accepts all food scraps, soiled paper and plants in the green compost cart. Do not place compostable material in plastic or compostable plastic bags. Paper bags are acceptable. Petaluma Market and most local super markets are now stocking compostable paper bags for food waste.
Go below for a what goes where list if you’re still a little confused about the new guidelines and restrictions. https://www.recology.com/recology-sonoma-marin/petaluma/what-goes-where/
Cook the asparagus in a large pan of boiling water for 4-5 mins until tender. Drain well, cool under running water, then cut into finger-length pieces. Toss together the tuna, beans, onion, capers and asparagus in a large serving bowl. Mix the oil, vinegar and tarragon together, then pour over the salad. Chill until ready to serve.
Petaluma area housing market’s record, red-hot April
home prices are surpassing even the most seasoned of
real estate agent’s expectations.
“After the past couple of years of skyrocketing home
price growth in the area, I’m not alone in the local real
estate community in saying that I’ve been taken aback in
monitoring the current crazy market and what buyers
are prepared to pay,” says Timo. “Closings in the
Petaluma area are coming in at record over-asking
prices. It’s nuts if you’re a buyer, or representing buyers,
but perspective sellers are super smart to take note.”
A severe housing shortage throughout a highly desirable area and still relatively low interest rates have pushed closing prices sky-high this April.
“Affordability is a growing concern,” says Timo. “But if you’re in the seller’s seat in
Sonoma County then this is as good a time as any in regional real estate history to put your Petaluma home on the market.”
Despite inflation, increasing food and gas costs, property taxes and insurance, already elevated housing prices are not putting people off bidding top-dollar for limited supply and record demand in desirable Petaluma and surrounding area.
“California as a whole remains the most valuable housing market in the country,” says Timo. “And the statewide median price is anticipated to rise through the Spring buying season.” According to California Association of Realtors, housing prices are expected to continue to rise with market competition intensifying.
“And homes around here are flying off the sales shelf extremely fast,” says Timo. “So, the question is, where are you going to go if you do decide that now’s the golden time to sell?”
This Spring, each major region of California has seen home prices continue to rise from this time last year. “It’s a time to get creative,” says Timo. “You’re going to need help in thinking out of the box if you’re to capitalize on selling your home for record top dollar.”
This comes at a time when baby-boomers are preparing to enter retirement which will hopefully make for more properties coming on the market.
“If you’re looking at your options post-retirement, now is a good a time to start having the conversations about when to sell your property,” says Timo. “Maybe you have a rental you’d consider updating and moving into short term. There are strategies for protecting your investment with all your real estate holdings.”
Timo is happy to talk timing and potential options even if you’re not sure you are ready to list.
“I’ve had a ton of experience in the local market with sellers making all kinds of interesting moves this past couple of years,” he says. “I’ve never seen prices like these being recorded currently. If you’re ready to cash out, 2022 is the time.”
While it is great to have good income coming in from rental property that most likely has gained in significant value as an investment over the years, there’s no denying that rental property ownership is a lot of work and responsibility.
Sometimes the need to sell is a case of having undergone a major life event and you need less stress and/or need the equity.
If you are aged 59.5 or over and time is more of a premium for you than future property value, then it may be a wise move to sell, simplify life and enjoy a handsome profit while the high-priced property market is in such short supply.
“Diversifying property holdings into other ways of earning passive income is especially appealing if you’re about to or already are receiving Social Security,” says Timo. “It may be better to sell your rental property and save on property management headaches by cashing out and reinvesting the
“There comes a point in every rental owner’s life where you don’t have the energy to deal with maintenance and tenant issues,” says Timo. “The profit you earn now may outweigh the future property value growth while accessing equity.” There’s an influx of buyers in the Petaluma area looking for properties to fix up. If you don’t have the time or energy to ready a rental for market, chances are it will be snapped
up anyway in its as-is condition.
“I recommend talking to your tax and investment advisors with regards to capital gains tax on rental properties,” says Timo. “If you make a profit on the sale of an investment property after owning it for a year or more, you will owe long-term capital gains tax at a rate up to 20% depending on your income and filing status.”
And if indeed, you still decide to cash in, Timo would welcome a chance to talk strategy and timing with you.
Alternatively, if you decide to convert your rental property into your primary residence after selling your own home, you may avoid capital gains taxes but will have to live in the former rental for at least two more years before qualifying for an exclusion in profit.
Plastic eggs, cheap baskets made for one-time use, foil and plastic wrapped candy, Seasonal holiday merchandise can be terribly wasteful and bad for the environment. As we look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint throughout the year, holidays are especially good times to cut back on items that
When celebrating seasonal gatherings, start planning with more environmental conscious ideas for decorating and entertaining.
If you are hosting a brunch or gathering this April, here are six easy ways to change things up for the better:
1. Make Natural Easter Egg Dye — ditch the store-bought kits and make your own natural egg dyes in pretty hues from left over onion skins, red cabbage, Turmeric. Eggs shouldn’t be out of the fridge for over two hours if eating them.
2. Instead of hiding plastic or real eggs for a hunt, how about hiding small items and toys that will bring joy or be useful for a long time? Small, reusable bags filled with jelly beans or similar is another sweet idea.
3. Make reusable or recyclable baskets to bring out each spring or add to the recycle bin, crafting can be fun and creative ... moss, shredded paper/newspaper for filling.
4. Abandon Single-Use Plastics — disposable knives/forks, grocery bags, zip-locks bags and plastic water bottles. There are many fun re-usable options available.
5. Skip Individually Wrapped Eggs & Candy — brightly colored foil coating on chocolate eggs and bunnies creates thousands of tons of Easter Egg packaging in the US each year.
6. Create a Re-plantable Table-scape — why not purchase spring plants and herbs that you can add to your garden after your holiday table has been cleared? Decorating with planter pots that you already have in your potting shed? Moss, lichen, foraged fruits and natural items make for a lovely, natural and sustainable setting. If you are hosting a brunch or gathering this April, here are six easy ways to change things up for the better.
A lovely mix of greens, vegetables and herbs. Perfect for lunch, brunch or paired with a spring soup for dinner ...
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut crusts off bread and tear into large pieces. On rimmed baking sheet, toss bread with 1 tablespoon oil and roast until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, remaining oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper; stir in chopped scallions.
3. Add cucumber and toss to coat, then toss with toasted bread. Add peas, herbs and greens and toss gently to combine.
This year remains a seller’s market and the Spring homebuying season is expected to be a busy one. “Inventory shortages are expected to drive the market,” says Timo. “The thing people want and need most in today’s uncertain world is a solid home base.”
California housing market remained resilient in January and February despite rising interest rates and global unrest, California Association of Realtors reports. Housing demand remains strong by pre-pandemic standards and new purchase applications are still registering solid numbers.
“While statewide, January’s median home price this year was $765,580, down 3.9 percent from December and up 9.4 percent from January last year, Sonoma County’s median home price is currently listed a little over the California average, at $789,000 this January. This represents a $5,000 drop from the December 2021 median home price and a $74,000 increase from January 2021.
“The local housing market has kicked off the new year with a bounce back in sales from December’s four-month low, as housing demand by pre-pandemic standards remains extremely buoyant,” says Timo. “As always, we are in need of more supply, locally.”
Newly released industry figures show Sonoma County as more or less holding its ground with average home prices from year-end, whereas neighboring Napa and Marin counties are seeing more of a noticeable decrease from last December’s soaring median.
Napa’s median this January was recorded at $884,000, close to $40,000 over last January’s average price, but down $1,050 from in December. Marin’s January 2022 median home price was $1,450,000, down $60,000 from December, but still up $100,000 from January 2021.
“Basically, Sonoma County represents a highly competitive market for homebuyers who are also looking at neighboring counties,” says Timo. “San Francisco’s January median was $1,630,000 , San Mateo $2,000,000 and Santa Clara $1,700,000, so given the appeal of countrified-living, it doesn’t look likely that we’ll see a decline in Sonoma County home values any time soon.” According to Realtor.com In January 2022, the median listing home price in Petaluma was $872K, trending up 6.7% year-over-year. The median home sold price was $835.
“If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines hoping that prices will drop, now is a good time to reconsider the options affordable to you,” suggests Timo. “It will be better for buyers if home prices don’t creep up too high this year. Certainly, any increasing inventory should help.” Raising mortgage rates and potential prices will affect the buying power of most home hunters in the coming months. “Be sure to have your ducks in a row, whether buying or selling in this hot market,” says Timo. “Securing your comfort level is key.”
It takes time to ready a home for market with material backlogs and busy contractors. “If you’re thinking of listing your home in the coming year, let’s talk about what you should be doing and planning for now,” says Timo.
And if you or someone you know is looking at houses in the Petaluma area, don’t hesitate to get in touch for current market and coming to market information. It’s a competitive arena, Timo and the team are ready to go to work to find your ideal home.
Spring is the season not just for a good clear-out, but also for an interior refresh. From the growing importance of sustainable materials to elegant elements and a celebration of individuality and uniqueness, this year’s wallpapered and mural walls transport us to faraway lands filled with leafy palms and safari animals.
Patterns of far-flung places provide a sense of escapism and make us feel relaxed as we are reminded of holidays,’ says Johanna Bright, head of design at Osborne & Little. ‘Distant landscapes and flora and fauna add a sense of drama to the wall and offer an alternative from the outside world, which we are all craving,’ says Designers Guild’s Tricia Guild.
This year, decorators are looking backwards and forwards, by several millennia to times that are surprisingly similar to each other. In interiors this translates to rough forms, the simply handcrafted and objects that are connected to ceremony and symbolism of a slower, more mindful way of living.
Celebrated design names are lining up to put their mark on the floor as we enter what Homes and Gardens declares to be the year of the rug. Bringing warmth and comfort underfoot, how about a new statement rug to complete your decorating scheme in style? We especially love our rugs at home by Petaluma-based designer Emma Gardner. Emma’s rugs are featured in designer homes and hotels around the world. emmagardnerdesign.com
After such a long period of isolation, it’s not surprising we’re drawn to nature. Landscape-inspired tones are set to dominate. The future looks bright as a new generation of sustainable textiles gather pace.
With Pantone having recently announced ‘Very Peri’, a bold blue-violet hue, as its color of the year 2022, this vibrant, fun-loving color is cropping up everywhere. ‘As we move into a world of unprecedented change, the selection of PANTONE 17-3938 Very Peri brings a novel perspective and vision of the trusted and beloved blue color family,’ explains Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute. We’ll take her word for it!
Alternatively, the country house style never goes out of fashion. At the moment, designers are keen on the Swedish look of blending antiques with charming wallpapers and sweet illustrations. Sad to say since so many of us have navy and gray featuring large in our interiors, but according to designer trends, they’re now on their way out. Cobalt blue is predicted as the top-ranking tone for 2022. Paintbrushes at the ready?
Thank you to all our clients for helping us achieve the exclusive Diamond Club Award representing the Top 1% of 62,000+ agents in the nation in addition to being #1 in Sonoma County and the North Bay. We appreciate and are grateful for your continued loyalty and referrals.
We are always looking for properties to list, especially in a hot market like we are in. If you or anyone you know is looking to sell, please have them contact me today for a no obligation consultation. Looking to buy out of the area? We can also provide a referral agent anywhere in the U.S. for a replacement, investment, family/friend or additional personal property.
One of the few positive aspects to emerge from the current situation in Ukraine has been an increase in the world’s awareness of the Ukrainian culture — food especially. To stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, our March recipe is for classic potato pancakes, made with finely grated, raw potatoes and onion. According to thekitchencommunity.org, traditional Ukrainian dishes are derived from ancient peasant meals that made use of plentiful grain resources such as rye, as well as essential vegetables such as potatoes, cabbages, mushrooms, and beetroot.
Prep all the ingredients. Peel potatoes and onion. Grate potatoes and onion into a big bowl. Onion juice will keep potatoes from browning. Add flour, egg, sour cream and mix well before adding 1tsp of salt and black pepper. Batter should be liquid enough to easily ladle. Warm up skillet with 2-3 Tbsp. of oil over medium/high heat. Add 1 heaping Tbsp. of mixture at a time and fry on one side until golden brown in color, then flip to other side and fry for the same amount of time. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the batter. Serve warm with sour cream.
Interest rates are expected to resume their upward trend in the coming weeks, which is fueling additional urgency amongst would- be homebuyers over the near term.
Meanwhile, the number of homes being added to the MLS in the Petaluma area each week remains relatively low.
“Buyers are watching mortgage rates closely,” says Timo. “Some are arranging rate locks for 30 to 45 days to ensure the stability of their mortgage rate as they shop for the right home.” This way, if interest rates do continue to rise, buyers may shop at a slightly less frantic pace, knowing they have a set rate in place.
For some, the peace of mind of a long rate lock may be worth the extra cost to hold that interest rate. The longer the rate lock hold, the more it costs. According to a report in the National Association of Realtors Magazine this month, many buyers, nationwide are also looking at buying down their interest rate by paying points to get a more attractive rate.
“Lenders may offer an option to pay a lump sum up front to lower the interest rate over the life of a loan. One discount point, in general, costs 1% of the total mortgage and could lower the interest rate by around 0.25%. Purchasing points could save tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the life of a loan, lenders say, for buyers nervous about rising rates.”
And yet, Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting at the National Association of REALTORS®, tells buyers not to panic about rates. Although The Federal Reserve last week announced it would raise its interest rates in March to help mitigate inflation, mortgage rates typically follow the trend of the 10-year Treasury yield and not the Fed’s key benchmark short- term rates, although the latter can influence mortgage rates.
NAR predicts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will rise this year and average 3.9% by the end of the year. Thirty-year rates currently average 3.55%. “Even with this increase, mortgage rates remain near historic lows,” says Timo. “And it is homeowners who are seeing the soaring profits when they sell.” According to recent reports, home sellers nationwide saw a profit of $94,092 on a typical home sale in 2021. “Seller profits have surged at considerably higher rates in most California markets, including Sonoma County,” says Timo. “2022 continues to be a great time to sell.”
Don’t miss out on the market this Spring ... Call Timo today on 707.477.8396
Come check out our fabulous listing!
This updated Mid Century - Eichler style single level home is
on the West side with a private courtyard/ inground pool, gorgeous new master suite addition, updated kitchen and more! A wonderful 3 bedroom, 3 bath 2000 sq. ft. property with many updates and added features for your buyers. Situated on a lovely 8053 sq. ft. lot with a private patio that
backs up to Thompson Creek, is walk-able to downtown shops and restaurants and close to schools/parks. The property also includes plans for garage ADU conversion, while still providing plenty of front parking.
Contact Timo today for a private showing at 707.477.8396
Classic white remains the most popular color choice in kitchens, but homeowners are expected to experiment with wider palettes for the rest of the house, this year.
A white kitchen benefits from the illusion of more space, as with pantries, home offices and laundry rooms, design experts say, although shades of sage, olive and jade are trending as the second most popular choice of kitchen interiors.
Blue is predicted to be the third most popular kitchen color of 2022, including shades of teal, turquoise and light blue.
An unexpected color is making more headway in bedroom design: black, according to the Living Cozy study that tracked Google searches. 2022 is seeing a rise in popularity in black-painted bedrooms, including shades of charcoal and dark gray.
In the bathroom, black colors also reign. In more than 2.2 million worldwide Google searches for bathroom colors in 2021, black was the clear winner, according to Living Cozy. “Black bathroom ideas are stylish, modern, and chic, and are taking over the traditional chrome and gold colors that have dominated bathroom design for years,” the researchers note. “Bathrooms in 2022 incorporate dark black design elements through fixtures, feature walls, and flooring.
Layering different shades of green is trending in the living room, bringing an essence of nature indoors.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add egg and mix until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon red food coloring (up to 1 1/2 tbsp. for really red cookies) and vanilla extract; mix on medium speed to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt to combine. Add to the butter, sugar, egg mixture and mix on low speed until fully incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the buttermilk (or whole milk) and mix on low speed to combine, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add about 3/4 of the chocolate chips and mix on low speed to combine. Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between each piece. Use your palm to flatten the balls slightly.
Press the remaining chocolate into the surface of each piece of dough. Bake for 12 minutes, until the cookies appear set on the outside and puffed in the center, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Cool completely on baking sheet.
The Rivetti Team wishes you and your families a wonderful, safe and successful 2022!
New Year 2022 brings a raft of new laws for Californians.
They’re likely to affect what our neighborhoods look like
and how we take out our trash. California has a critical
housing shortage: The state median home price broke
$800,000 in 2021, and some experts say California needs
about 3 million new homes for the growing population.
For decades, strict zoning laws have allowed developers
to build mostly single-family homes. That’s about to
change. With two new laws, housing construction is going
to look different.
In Senate Bill 9, lawmakers essentially have done away with single family zoning in an effort to deal with the housing shortage, a political goal years in the making. “The new law says the owners of qualifying parcels designated for a stand-alone house may now be able to build two separate houses or a duplex. The exceptions are properties in historic or environmentally sensitive areas, such as flood zones,” explains Timo. “If the lot is big enough, it may potentially be split in two, making room for up to four houses.” Local planning departments are scrambling to
complete an urgency ordinance to ensure that Sonoma County cities are in compliance with the new law. The law is intended to encourage affordable housing and, therefore, prohibits the demolition or alteration of current affordable housing, nor can it displace established renters or rent-controlled units. Under the bill, cities and counties are required to approve such split-lot proposals as long as they
meet size and design standards – effectively removing oversight by city and county planning commissions.
Another new law, Senate Bill 10 now makes it easier for cities to build small apartment buildings near transit, skipping environmental reviews. Supporters are
all for building new housing, whereas critics warn new homes may mostly benefit developers and displace lower income people from their neighborhoods.
California’s two new recycling laws aim to stop us from throwing food away in our regular garbage and to stop products from carrying the chasing arrow recycling symbol when they aren’t actually recyclable items.
Let’s talk trash. You know those leftovers you’ve been tossing away? As it decays in mass landfill, without oxygen, it creates greenhouse gasses. Under the new law, we now must put all food left overs and organic waste into our organic/green waste bins. That way, cities and counties can turn them into compost and even make energy from them.
Helpful tips when recycling your food scraps.
1. Compost bins/container with lid help keep scraps until
2. Line your food scraps kitchen container with paper
towels, a paper bag or newspaper, which will help keep
your container clean ...
3. Or use compostable (not biodegradable) bags with your
4. You can also freeze food scraps before emptying into
your green cart
What food scraps should and should not be composted at home?
Food items that should be composted at home:
Food Items that should NOT be composted at home:
According to Realtor.com Americans will have a better chance to find a home in 2022, but will face a competitive seller’s market as first-time buyer demand outmatches the inventory recovery.
Additionally, with listing prices, rents and mortgage rates all expected to climb while incomes rise, 2022 will present a mixed bag of housing affordability challenges and opportunities.
"Whether the pandemic delayed plans or created new opportunities to make a move, it’s predicted that Americans are poised for a whirlwind year of home buying in 2022.” says Timo.
"With more sellers expected to enter the market as buyer competition remains fierce, we anticipate strong home sales growth in the Petaluma area.”
Affordability will increasingly continue to be a challenge as interest rates and prices rise, but remote work may expand search areas and enable younger buyers to find their first homes sooner than they might have otherwise. Suburban areas such as Sonoma County are expected to continue to draw new homebuyers into the area as work-at-home opportunities continue.
Call Timo today at 707.477.8396 to discuss your next move.
Stir oats, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt together in a large bowl. Divide among five 8-ounce jars. Screw on lids and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days. Top with blueberries, Pomegranate seeds, walnuts or almonds.