When it comes to housing in Sonoma County, the one thing that always strikes me is that the ‘median home price’ consistently skews higher than I’d expect. If I were to judge solely on what my neighbors have remarked on about the housing in Santa Rosa, along with how many of them that have had to take on additional work just to afford it, I’d venture to say I’m right to think these ‘median’ prices are steep.
One way to find out was to sit down with the latest statistics from Paragon Real Estate Group. Sidenote: I avoid math as much as possible, but I hate being wrong so I went through all the charts so you won’t have to.
Here’s the rundown:
- Only 26% of the households in Sonoma County can afford a house at the median price of $585,000.
- The minimum income needed to qualify for a home in the median price range is $114,000/year.
- The median household income in Sonoma County is $66,640/year.
- If you make the median income of $66,640, you can afford a home that costs as much as $394,066. This number is based on zero down payment.
- If you make the median income of $66,640 and put a 20% down payment of $78,813.20 towards the purchase price, you can afford a home that costs $472,879.
Here are some of the homes currently listed at the more realistic median price range of $350,000 – $470,000:
752 Mill St, Santa Rosa – $374,900
2 beds, 1 bath, 1,042 square feet.
Built in 1915, this home is located in the historic Luther Burbank area of Santa Rosa.
Older homes in Santa Rosa tend to be smaller, but they generally make up for it with sizable yards.
38 Temelec Cir, Sonoma – $395,000 **55+ Housing Community*
2 beds, 1 bath, 1,008 square feet.
This house is located in the Temelec Community of 325 low-maintenance single-family homes. It consists of single-family homes built between 1964 and 1974.
Though a great deal for this part of Sonoma, the individual who invests in this home should have money saved up for upgrades. The backyard is a good addition for a retired individual who loves to garden, or just wants an outdoor area to relax in.
14290 Old Cazadero Rd, Guerneville – $425,000
2 beds, 2 baths, 1,265 square feet.
Though built in 1930, this home has been extensively upgraded and remodeled.
The interior looks like a new home. Knowing what I do about Guerneville, and that this house is within walking distance to the Russian River, flooding is always a concern. They’re careful to note that it’s been lifted to FEMA standards.
2070 Cazadero Hwy, Cazadero – $369,000
2 beds, 2 baths, 1,630 square feet.
For a homebuyer interested in the outdoors and a more rustic setting, this home has direct access to Austin creek.
The setting is beautiful, but the condition of the home may be something for the homebuyer to carefully consider. Built in 1954, I would be most concerned about the electrical. (Believe me, I’m still paying for a new system installed in my older home – 8 years later…) If the cost of upgrades is considered in the budget, it may be a good deal, but otherwise, I’d expect some sticker shock.
87 Clark Ave, Cloverdale – $350,000
3 beds, 1 bath, 1,003 square feet.
Another 1950’s house, and one that admits to needing a little TLC. Strangely, I truly like the boxy, suburban feel of this house. Part of the appeal is the fireplace in the living room, though the maintenance and repair of one that’s been left unused can be costly.
For a homebuyer who’s looking to start an edible garden, the backyard is almost a blank slate.
11060 Terrace Dr, Forestville – $449,500
2 beds, 2 baths, 972 square feet.
Were it at all economically feasible for me to live in Forestville, I would buy this home. It looks like a cabin from the outside, but every single thing in the interior is new, updated, and well designed. The house is a candidate for a community solar program, and the school system isn’t bad at all. This is on the higher end of the price range, but it’s a turn key.
I vacillated between showing the brand new kitchen or the skylights in this room. I had to show the skylights – it’s a good addition to any home when more natural lighting is a wanted perk.