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A Press Democrat Blog

Real Sonoma

News and conversation about Sonoma County real estate

Stunning Sonoma County Homes Celebrate the Legacy of William Turnbull

Architect William Turnbull, Jr. liked to create buildings that expressed a sense of place. He received international attention in the 1960s while principal at Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker, the architecture firm behind the iconic Sea Ranch condominium project on the Sonoma coast. Rejecting the modernist glass and steel boxes prevalent at the time, Mr. Turnbull pioneered an iconoclastic design which incorporated simple, relaxed, ecologically sensitive wood structures. After his death in 1997, Mr. Turnbull’s wife and long time collaborator Mary… Read More »

Custom Built Sonoma County Homes for the Price of a Prefab

Architect Neal Schwartz’s Sonoma County home  — The Hydeaway House — was built to prove a point: a custom built house, done right, can give you more bang for your buck than a prefab. Mr. Schwartz, who teaches at the California College of Arts and owns San Francisco-based Schwartz and Architecture, has seen a growing number of local house hunters who are considering prefab, but at the same time want the option of more customizable and site-responsive homes. Utilizing a… Read More »

$18M Wine Country Estate Fit For A Sonoma County Gatsby

Six miles from Healdsburg Plaza, fifty-two acre Flax Vineyard Estate gracefully straddles the Russian River. The Estate’s centerpiece, a 6800 square foot contemporary wine country residence, overlooks sylvan Sonoma settings of the Russian River Valley where vineyards appear amongst emerald hillsides dotted with century-old gnarly oaks, the green hills turning the color of golden lion’s mane in the summer’s sun. The Estate’s holdings also include a restored historic Farmhouse, a separate 2 bedroom Caretaker’s Cottage and a newly constructed “Entertaining… Read More »

Hunting for Historic Homes in Sonoma County 

Photo Courtesy of Cristopher Chung, The Press Democrat

When growing up in Sweden in the 1980s, my dreamy-eyed idea of the American home — no doubt cultivated by overconsumption of Hollywood blockbusters — was a picture of modern perfection. I envisioned gently curving streets and color coded single-family houses; homes accoutered with identically expansive drive-ways, multi-car garages, freshly-painted rural mailboxes and miraculously manicured front lawns. Now living on one of those gently curving streets in Sonoma County, I sometimes find myself looking backward with yearning to the European… Read More »

10 Stunning Sonoma County Homes Below the 555K Median Home Price 

As daffodil, forsythia, crocus and camellia buds awaken from their sleepy winter rest, “for sale” signs begin to sprout from thankfully greener lawns and hibernating homebuyers return to the housing market. But the continued rise of real estate prices, while welcomed by sellers, may add an additional challenge for the prospective homebuyer during this year’s house hunting season. Only last month, the median price for a Sonoma County home hit a nine year high at $555,000. In hopes of spreading… Read More »

Prefab Evolution: Cutting Edge Modular Design Finds Home in Sonoma County

Whether fueled by a quiet revolution in contemporary lifestyles and modern design preferences or by rising real estate prices and a shortage of affordable rental units, the widespread interest in our recent stories on prefabs and tiny houses points to a growing interest in alternative housing solutions in Sonoma County. Some past readers of the Real Sonoma blog have exhibited concerns that, while both prefabs and tiny homes are continually lauded as affordable alternatives to traditional homes, factory-built structures have… Read More »

Oh Là Là! For Valentine’s Day: Three Romantic Residences Say Je T’Aime

How to say I love you? Let’s count the ways! Pen a lyrical sonnet, sing a sirenic serenade, offer a dozen red roses — okay, maybe throw in a box of Godivas. Or, as Valentine’s Day approaches, why not present your sweetheart with an everlasting architectural monument to your undying love? (or, at the very least, share an elaborate fantasy of your own “Grand Palais de L’Amour” over a glass of your favorite bubbly?) Here are three Sonoma County palatial jewels… Read More »

Living Large in Small Spaces – The Grandest Tiny Homes of Sonoma County 

There is something strangely alluring about tiny houses. If someone would have told me ten years ago that one day I would dream of living in a home the size of a monk’s cell, I would have thought it as likely as my suddenly fantasizing about being downgraded from a first class airline ticket to economy — with a mid-row seat. Yet here I am, ten years down the line, obsessively clicking on every link that contains the word “tiny”… Read More »

“Prefabulous” – 6 Stunning Sonoma County Prefab Homes

Fueled by post recession homebuyers hungry for affordable sleek and green design, “prefabs” or modular homes can offer a sustainable, customizable and competitively priced alternative to the overpriced and — let’s be honest — not overly exciting suburban dwellings of Sonoma County. As prefabs gain popularity, homebuyers can now choose from a range of local suppliers of a variety of models and layouts. By relocating the building site to factories, the prefab solution provides a more controlled construction process and… Read More »

The Post Powerball Blues: Sonoma County Properties for the Price of a Winning Ticket

If you are anything like me, you may have seen your most lavish dreams of residential splendor quickly morph to complete and utter disappointment at 7:59pm PST last Wednesday. Moments before the first Powerball spun down the long plastic tube, I was making preparations to sign a contract for my very own Sonoma County estate — complete with a waterslide from the master bedroom to the downstairs pool. Five balls later, cruel reality had punched a gaping hole in my… Read More »