I’ve been fortunate enough to live in both big towns and small ones, so I know there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Now, for this generalization (big town, small town, city, or suburb) I’m being very, very vague because the idea of a close community varies from person to person.
Here’s a look at five small towns (with populations less than 10,000 people) that I feel have the right mix of community gatherings and friendly folks to make a new homeowner feel welcome:
Cloverdale – Population: 8,796
108 North Jefferson Street, Cloverdale – $705,000
4 beds, 3 baths, Year built: 1948.
This cute teal bungalow is actually a two-house deal. Tucked behind it is another full home, same color and layout, which makes this a small-town investment opportunity. The homebuyer can live in the main house and rent the one behind it out – or use it for family members if they want to want to keep them close. For a 1948 house, it looks like it’s in great condition.
300 Kerry Lane, Cloverdale – $849,000
4 beds, 3 baths, 3,193 square feet. Year built: 2004.
On the higher end of the money spectrum is this custom home situated on 1.29 gated, private acres. It’s a reminder that just because the population is small, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any movers-and-shakers.
Cotati – Population: 7,265
434 Matteri Circle, Cotati – $779,950
Multiple Units (2-4). Year built: 2006.
Cotati threw me for a loop because the housing available here are all PUDs or condominiums. This is another investment opportunity for the entrepreneurial homebuyer. I was just a bit disappointed as I thought it was a newly constructed (bigger) home made to look like a renovated Craftsman
7618 Eickmeyer Court, Cotati – $517,000
3 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,611 square feet. Year built: 2004.
Here’s another PUD unit, but if someone was really adamant about living in Cotati, it wouldn’t be a bad find. The interior looks new, and there’s plenty of outdoor space for entertaining. On the plus side for families; there’s a kid’s play area right next door.
Guerneville – Population: 4,534
19496 Hidden Valley Road, Guerneville – $595,000
3 beds, 2 baths, 12,341 square feet. Year built: 1955.
This house is quintessential Guerneville; it’s current vacation rental whimsically called Chateau Chardonnay. While I think this house is a great find, I’m nervous about what may have transpired in it as a rental home. Seriously, my grandparents home was rented out for awhile after their passing – there were wine stains on the ceiling when we tried to sell it. We may have broken even after the repairs were done. This is hopefully not the case in this charming home.
17559 116 Highway, Guerneville – $875,000
3 beds, 1 baths, 1,502 square feet. Year built: 1947.
This is a turnkey, completely updated riverfront home. Around the Russian River, flooding is always a concern, but it looks like they’ve thought of everything. I’d go ahead and enjoy the BBQ on the deck.
Monte Rio – Population: 1,185
22664 Sylvan Way, Monte Rio – $235,000
Lot size: 0.82 acres.
Currently, there are no homes for sale in this tiny hamlet. However, there is a number of residentially zoned lots that a homebuyer could build their dream home on. I got myself caught with this one, as I think Monte Rio is a gorgeous town but…the houses are all currently spoken for.
Sebastopol – Population: 7,659
145 Bloomfield Road, Sebastopol – $749,000
3 beds, 2 baths, 1,736 square feet. Year built: 1952.
Close to downtown, this house is situated on 3 full acres of land. It looks like a 1950’s home, certainly, but the interior is well maintained and updated where it needed to be.
945 Midpine Way, Sebastopol – $$995,000
3 beds, 3 baths, 2,795 square feet. Year built: 1972.
Another higher priced home, the reason becomes clear when you look through the listing. This house includes a workshop, garage, small greenhouse, yurt, artist studio, dog run, kennel, and organic garden.
340 Lorraine Court, Sebastopol – $659,000
2 beds, 2 baths, 1,031 square feet. Year built: 1982.
I had to add just one more Sebastopol property, because there’s always something unique to be found. This home is no different just because of that very reason…it’s not at all different. There’s no yurts or workshops to be found, just a solid single-family home with hardwood floors.