Buying a home is a big deal; the homebuyer has a budget they need to work within, but they also have a list of things they would like, which may include: safe neighborhood, good schools, very little – or no – renovations needed, and a sought-after zip code.

Though anything over a million dollars is a stretch for many, that doesn’t stop homebuyers from looking at some of the more expensive neighborhoods in the hope that something relatively affordable will pop up in one of the ‘desirable’ neighborhoods. Currently, after looking through the most recent sales in Sonoma County, the three places with sales in the high millions were Kenwood, Penngrove, and Healdsburg.

They all share a few commonalities, too: highly rated schools, well-maintained neighborhoods, and a very low (or non-existent) crime rate. If you’ve been to any of these small towns, you’ll also notice that they’re surrounded by stunning natural views and close access to recreational areas like the Russian river and hiking areas in State parks.

There aren’t a lot of listings in these areas, and there are even less that are less than a million-plus, but I was able to find these 8 houses that may be a stretch on the budget but are under the million dollar mark. Scroll through the gallery to check them out…