Thursday, May 2, 2019

2019 Blessing of the Animals at St Francis Vineyard

Bring your pet to St Francis Winery for the 19th annual blessing of the animals October 2019 (TBA)

Photo by: Jim Cheney, Broker/Owner Saint Francis Properties "Your Rincon Valley Realtor"
Clergy blessing 2 incorrigible beagles
This is such a fun event and benefits the Sonoma County Humane Society.  This year's goal: $10,000.
Enjoy a glass of wine, and food on the lawn with other pet owners.  Some of the 2018 events included:
  • Clergy available for a personal blessing of your animal
  • Food for purchase
  • Wine for purchase
  • Animal products and vendors
  • Winery dog competition ($10 entry)
  • Silent auction
  • Pet psychic
  • Kissing booth
  • Raffle prizes  ($5 per tix)


When: Sunday, October 2019  (specific date to be announced)
Cost: admission is free
Where: St Francis Winery 100 Pythian Dr (at Hwy 12) Santa Rosa


I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633



Sugarloaf State Park

Sugarloaf State Park

Just minutes east of Rincon Valley

Park entrance
Park entrance on Adobe Canyon Rd in Kenwood

Sugarloaf park is 4020 acres with over 24 miles of trails.  Located 15 east of Santa Rosa on Hwy 12, it is really close, yet feels so remote.  It is located in the Mayacama Mountain range which are the mountains that separate the Napa Valley from the Sonoma Valley.


Individual campsites border this meadow


The main campground has 45+ family campsites plus a group campground.   Handicap accessible showers are available along with a private chemical toilet for the group site.  The camping sites form a circle around a meadow in the valley.  Some of the campsites back to the Sonoma Creek headwaters, and some of the campsites back to a steep, rocky, tree-covered mountainside.  Each site has a fire ring and picnic table.






Some of the activities available at the park are:
  • Docent-led hikes
  • Plant walk
  • Waterfall hike
  • Hike to the top of Bald Mountian
  • Visit the Robert Ferguson Observatory
  • Mountain biking
  • Take the Sugar Shuttle between Sugarloaf and Hood Mt Regional Pk then hike back

I visit the park weekly, and some of my favorite things to do are:

Hike to the top of Bald Mountain.  This is a 5 mile (+/-) out and back hike that climbs from the 1600' (elevation)  valley floor to the 2400 sq ft summit.  From the summit, you can see (on a clear day) the Sierras to the Golden Gate Bridge.  You can see the Napa Valley to the north, and the Sonoma Valley to the south.






The Robert Ferguson Observatory has star parties monthly.  The non-profit observatory has a 40" telescope open to the public.  Amateur astronomers come out and set up their personal telescopes and allow others to see what the stargazer has located.

Robert Ferguson Observatory

The Planet Walk is a great way to demonstrate the empty spaces in our solar system.  The Sun is located in the parking lot of the Robert Ferguson Observatory.  The other planets in our solar system are spread out proportionally along the trail.

The Planet Walk is a great way to demonstrate the vastness of space

The Waterfall Hike is one of my annual favorites.  Most spectacular after heavy rain, it can be enjoyed winter into the spring.  It's a short 1+ mile hike from either the trailhead or from the visitor center.





Gwen hiking the Goodspeed Trail to Hood Mountain Park


Important Information:

Campsite: $35
Additional vehicle: $10
Day parking $10.
No dogs on trails (except service dogs)
Day use: 6am - 8 pm
More info:  Sugarloaf

Location:

Sugarloaf State Park
2605 Adobe Canyon
Kenwood, CA
707.833.5712





I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633




Saturday, April 13, 2019

Garagiste Festival

Garagiste

Small Production wine festival


This is an annual event I never miss.  It is an opportunity to taste small production commercial wines that can be difficult to impossible to find in stores or bottle shops.  All participants produce less than 1500 cases annually.  The pourers of the wine samples are the owners/winemakers.



Discovery!



Silent auction


When: April 13, 2019  2pm - 5pm
Cost: $75 at the door
Where: Sonoma Veterans Hall 126 First St Sonoma
Why: Meet winemakers and taste small production wines you won't find elsewhere
More info: Garariste






I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


I want to sell my house, what should I expect?



Selling your home is quite complicated. The first thing you should do is consult with a real estate broker.






If you do not already know a broker, start by asking friends and family if they have used somebody that they liked and would recommend. I'd also see if there were any agents who had successful sales in the neighborhood recently. Once you identify 2 or 3 brokers, I'd interview them and pick one. You can also check licensed real estate professionals license status through the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) website and see if an agent has been disciplined.

Are agents and brokers the same?


NO! If you are not a Broker, then you are a Sales Associate.  Most real estate agents are Sales Associates. You should always hire a broker vs. a sales associate. Brokers have proven to the State of California that they have exceptional knowledge of real estate and have a higher level of licensing. It does not cost you any more to have a broker vs. a sales associate. Ask to see your Realtor's license. It will either say "Sales Associate" or "Broker". You can also check the Dept of Real Estate website to see what license he/she has.  It is more difficult to obtain a Broker's license.  The state requires years of real estate sales experience and makes applicants take a much more difficult exam to be licensed as a broker.

Ask to see a prospective broker's advertising, and have him/her take you to a current listing. Ask if you can contact any current references. Find out if your broker is creative and thinks "outside the box". Does he/she have their own website? Do they have their own business card, or do they use the card their brokerage gives them for free? Do they create nice brochures that highlight your property or just a 1-page flyer with a few bullet points right off the copy machine? Picking the right broker is the most important decision you'll make when selling your home.

Get your home ready for sale


I recommend my clients start by getting a pest and home inspection report. The pest report identifies if any wood eating organisms are in or on your home. Things such as termites, carpenter ants, and dry rot are the big offenders here. I would not wait till a buyer comes forward to start your inspections. The last thing you want is to be surprised by deficiencies in your home during escrow.

Decorate and declutter your home


Remove valuables and personal items in your home. Let the buyer try to imagine their belongings in your home. You are better off with less furniture than too much. You may have to rent a storage unit or use a family members garage for a month. Think minimalistic.

Establish showing instructions with your broker that works for your family/life


It's important for potential buyers and agents to see your home. The easier it is to show, the more like you'll get an offer sooner than later. The best showing instructions are: "Go and Show" which means an agent can show your house without any notice such as when you are at work M- F 9 am - 4 pm. The most difficult showings are "Tenant requests 24 hr notice". Try to make your home easy to show.

Do open houses really work?


Yes! I've sold numerous homes to buyers who came into the home during an open house. Some agents use open houses as a way to meet new buyers for homes other than yours, but you never know! I try to have 2 Sunday open houses that are back to back with a broker's open in between them.

What is the point of a broker's open house midweek?


A broker's open house allows many brokers and agents to tour your home without having to make an appointment. The home is usually hosted by the listing agent, and 20 - 40 agents can see the home in a 3-4 hour period. They might not have a client at the time but in the future should a buyer materialize, the agent can say "I saw this home at the broker's tour and it sounds like just the house you are looking for".

How do I know if an offer to buy my home is "good"?


Hopefully, you trust your broker. Look at recent comps in your neighborhood. I'd be careful about just taking the first offer that comes your way. I encourage my sellers to not accept any offers for the first 10 - 14 days. That's the only way to get multiple offers. You want buyers to fight for your house.

The purchase contract is full of dates, 10 days for this, 21 days for that, 3 days to do... How do I keep track of all this, and what if the buyers do not adhere to it?


Following the contract is your broker's job. Trust your broker to keep the buyers on track and hold the buyer's agent accountable for keeping their obligations. It's your broker's job to lay awake at night worrying about the contract, not yours. That is why you want a seasoned broker, not some new sales associate.

The contract indicates disclosures and reports that I'm supposed to provide. Can I get sued over these?


Disclosures are a major source of lawsuits in real estate. A seasoned, ethical broker can help you fill out your disclosures so that you won't be sued later. Your broker will most likely be the one ordering the statutory reports such as Natural Hazard Disclosures. Your broker is there to help and guide you.

At what point can I keep the buyer's deposit?


Once the buyer releases all their contingencies, you can keep the deposit if they default (in theory). In all my years as a licensed broker I have never had a buyer lose their deposit, and I have never had a seller need to keep a deposit. Your broker's #1 job is to sell your home, not get you a deposit.




I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Friday, April 12, 2019

Dog-Friendly Wineries in Rincon Valley

Take your dogs out for a fun day in the wine country


We have some great wineries in Rincon Valley.  A number of them advertise that they are "dog-friendly".  Gwen and I took the dogs out to test just how "dog-friendly"  they were.  Here's what we found.

"Road trip" 

St. Francis Winery

100 Pythian Rd Santa Rosa
707.883.0242
StFrancisWinery.com

Great red and white wines.  We were told the dogs were welcome, but we were asked to sit outside in the garden with them.  The staff was courteous and gave them some attention.  There were bowls of water around for them to drink from.  The staff came outside to serve us wine and a cheese pairing.  There were a few other dogs present.

Bagel and Jerry posing with Saint Francis Assisi

Bottom line:
Tasting fee: $15 ea
Wine: Great
Staff: Appreciative
Dog-Friendly: Yes, would go back with or without my dogs

Landmark

101 Adobe Canyon Rd Kenwood, CA

Great red and white varietals.  Dogs were allowed anywhere on the grounds to include the tasting room.  Both tasting room staffers came out to see the dogs and pet them.  Both said that almost all Landmark tasting room staffers have dogs.  No other dogs were present.
Bagle and Jerry enjoying some tasting room attention

Bottom line:
Tasting fee: Yes
Wine: Only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. All were delicious.
Staff: Appreciative and interested in our dogs
Dog-Friendly: Yes, would definitely go back with my dogs

Loxton Cellars

11466 Dunbar Road  Glen Ellen
Loxton is a very small production winery (3000 cases) on Dunbar Road.  I've never heard of it but we saw it on a list of dog-friendly wineries.  We were served by the winemaker Chris Loxton who told us about all his wines and the history of the winery.

We tried a variety of reds, whites and late harvest dessert wine.  All wonderful.  Chris and a staffer were interested in our dogs and we shared dog stories.  Water was brought out for them.  No other patrons or dogs were present.
Gwen says "Come for the whites, stay for the reds"

Bottom line:
Tasting fee: $10, refundable with wine purchase
Wine: Nice variety with small batch quality
Staff: Wonderful, friendly, talkative, liked dogs
Dog-Friendly: Yes, definitely would go back


Kunde Winery

Kunde is one of the most dog-friendly wineries I've been too.  Lots of treats, water, and attention.  Kunde offers a number of dog-friendly​ events.  Our favorite is the vineyard dog hike offered several times a year.  The hike is 3-4 miles in the beautiful hills above the winery with several stops for wine tasting. Oh, the wines are great too.

Enjoying some Red Dirt Red on a Kunde dog hike


Bottom line:
Very dog-friendly
Great wines
Tasting fee $15
Staff: Expressed interest in our dogs
Fun events

Ledson Winery

Ledson Winery was built in the 1990s.  Its advertising tag line was: "come visit the castle".  The home looks like a chateau on steroids. We were escorted to a tasting area with 4 other people.  There was no water available, none of the staff seemed to care that we had dogs with us, and paid little attention to them.

We paid $20 and $30 for our tastings.  We sampled mediocre whites, Pinot Noirs, Zinfandels, and Cab.  At best, some were okay. Since the price of the tasting was so expensive, we inquired if purchasing some of the so-so wine would cause the tasting fee to be waived.  The said "NO"  we would still have to pay the tasting fee.  We bought no wine and see no reason to go back with or without the dogs.

Bottom line:
Tasting fee: outrageously high whether you buy wine or not
Wine: not impressed
Staff: indifferent to our dogs.  No water or treats
Dog-friendly: Dogs are allowed



I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633


Sunday, April 7, 2019

5386 Gold Drive in Rincon Valley

Just listed

5386 Gold Dr Rincon Valley

5386 Gold Dr Santa Rosa

Details:

MLS #21907801
Price: $625,000
In Escrow 

Open House Dates:

  • No further dates are scheduled
House:

  • Built 1961
  • 1 story ranch
  • 1408 SqFt  ($444. Sqft)
  • 3 bedrooms
  • 2 full baths
  • 2 car garage + room for 2 in the driveway

Lot:

  • APN 153-201-034
  • 8800 SqFt
  • Flat level
  • Landscaped with patio, sprinklers, and drip
  • Large private covered patio
  • Room for pool
  • Room for an RV and Boat

Amenities:

  • Recessed lighting
  • Hardwood floors
  • Dual pane windows
  • Formal living room
  • Living room with brick fireplace (gas starter)
  • Dining area off kitchen
  • 5 burner gas stovetop
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Kitchen island with stone counter




Skybell Doorbell (link)

Entry

Kitchen / Dining combo
Granite counter tops, pendant lighting, refinished cabinets, tile floor

Stainless steel appliances, plantation shutters, 5 burner gas stove built-in microwave

Recessed and custom lighting, built-in hutch


Covered patio right outside the sliding door


Open airy living room, with recessed lighting, brick fireplace 






Master bedroom with custom colors, oversized closet, plantation shutters


Barn door leads to the master bath


Master bath with granite counters and backsplash

Master shower stall with Travertine Tile


2nd bedroom with ceiling fan, plantation shutters


Guest bath with granite counters, tile floor and a shower over tub

Bedroom #3


Washer and dryer hookups in the garage, stainless steel deep sink, built-in cabinets

G-Floor (link) universal garage floor covering


Landscaped in 2018 with drought resistant plants, stones, and dry creek bed



Side gate leads to a private sitting area

Fruit trees along fence include: Meyer Lemon, Nectarine, Orange, and Peach



RV or boat parking?

Double gate off Melita Rd leads to RV pad behind home

Large open rear yard

Private covered patio

Giant Redwoods shade the backyard on a summer day


Additional fencing for dog run or animal pen

Who's a good dog?
Newer electrical panel

Trane A/C

Recently replaced hot water heater and stainless steel deep sink


Shopping:

Saint Francis Shopping Center is an easy 2 block walk away

Local Parks:


Things to do:


Places to worship:

Rincon Valley has numerous faiths and places to worship within a short distance from this home.  Here is a link to a list of churches and places to worship in Rincon Valley: Faith

Education:

  • Austin Creek Elementary School
  • Rincon Valley Middle School
  • Maria Carillo High
  • Variety of charter schools to enroll in
For more information on Santa Rosa City Schools, and Rincon Valley Unified School District, click on this link: RV schools



I love living in Rincon Valley!  I've lived here since 1995 and can't imagine living in a better North Bay community.  Call me today if you're interested in buying a home in Rincon Valley, or if you'd like to list your Rincon Valley home for sale.  

Jim Cheney, Your Rincon Valley Realtor
  • Jim Cheney, Broker
  • Saint Francis Property
  • JimCheneyRealtor@gmail.com
  • (707) 494-1055
  • Rincon Valley - Santa Rosa
  • Your Rincon Valley Realtor
    DRE# 01368633