Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Chanslor Ranch, just north of Bodega Bay is bordered by Salmon Creek on the north and overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Bodega Bay. The ranch currently offers horseback rides on the beach, camping, trail rding, vacation rentals, and is planning to offer wildlife tracking sessions. If you know anyone who may be interested in purchasing this scenic and recreational gem, please have them contact me. (7 comments)
Removing Sold Listings from the Internet - 01/30/10 12:08 PM
Help! My home still shows up "for sale" on the internet. A recent buyer called in distress that the home she now owns shows up on some websites as an active listing. It's been about a week so I thought I would compile a list of sites that are accurate and those that are slow in updating their records. There are many syndicators that have updated their sites. Others aren't as meticulous in keeping data current: Accurate Sites movoto.com estately.com realtor.com realestate.com listingvue.com almost all the real estate brokerages in Sonoma and Marin correctly display "no longer listed". Outdated Sites redfin.com (150 comments)
Wow - 5.7% GDP Growth - 01/29/10 12:05 PM
It's not quite time for "Let the Good Times Roll". The country just had our best economic quarter since 2003. Economists are debating whether it's all an inventory driven bounce since jobs and other indicators show a more modest 2% increase. Still, in an enviornment in which we just had our worst year since 1946, it's good to see some healthy growth to finish off the year. Good economic news brings its own positive effects. Investors are more likely to feel confident about putting their money to work and even the dreaded banks are going to be encouraged to put more (2 comments)
Sonoma County Auction May Get the Boot - 01/28/10 09:02 AM
I wrote about the Sonoma County foreclosure auctions in May of 2009. Since then, the pace of auctions has continued to be strong with dozens of properties potentially being sold each day. From my point of view, too many homes go back to the banks and too few get sold to third parties, but the auction at the Sonoma County Administration Building has grown in size as more people attend each day. The photo below shows a modest crowd in May. In the midst of the very rainy weather this month, the crowd was probably twice this size and they moved (2 comments)
Does Google Know You? - Part Two - 01/27/10 08:42 AM
Google is Omnivorous There isn't any content in the world that Google doesn't want to index. Web sites, books, still and video images, and more are all food for Google's appetite for indexing everything. Of course they want you included. In a post entitled Does Google Know You we went through the exercise of searching for a unique phrase from your site. It's a simple technique for finding a single page. There's a Better Way Do you remember in math class when you had to learn techniques that were slow and hard? You'd find out later in class that there was (15 comments)
Does Google Know You? - 01/26/10 09:43 AM
An AR member recently wrote a post about whether one of his web pages was indexed in Google. It's a good question lots of people probably ask themselves. In his case I was able to determine very quickly that Google had his page in their records. It's a technique any of you can use on your own site. Find a Unique Phrase Google is all about words. Every word written on most sites eventually gets indexed. The sheer volume of words makes searching for a generic term like "short sale listing agent" an impossible task. There are 1,250,000 results for that (9 comments)
Driving east on Interstate 10 towards Arizona we came across half a dozen semis loaded just like this one. I think these massive tires are for dump trucks for mining operations, but that's just a guess. Maybe someone else can tell me what kind of vehicle these would fit. I was reminded by the relative scale of the 18-wheeler and its load that our normal scale of existence is completely arbitrary. (7 comments)
Finches Loving their Thistle Sack - 01/22/10 06:51 PM
Regular readers know I like posting about my garden, but it's usually the plants that get the glory. The finches have arrived in full force this week, so I thought I'd give my bird friends a chance to show their stuff. We have a thistle sack designed just for finches and it seems to be working great. We've had almost two dozen birds hanging around the sack today, but only about half a dozen or a few more hang onto the sack at the same time. When a wren or other larger bird drops by, they'll all take off, but they (9 comments)
Closing Ends Client Chapter - 01/22/10 02:13 PM
I relish working with buyers to find properties they can fall in love with. We often end up far afield of where we started, both in location and in house goals. I have parked country-land lookers in condos in the middle of a city. Going in the other direction I have steered renters to country gardens they wouldn't have imagined living in before they saw it. Part of the mystery of this business is learning to understand what the clients aren't telling you; not from intentional withholding, but because even they didn't realize what they wanted. I finished my buyer's agent (2 comments)
Blogging is like Planting Radishes - 01/20/10 02:36 PM
I wrote about blogging as a gardening metaphor yesterday. I focused on the long term benefits of writing regularly about local topics to build up a deep reservoir of posts that remain relevant on a long term basis. Posts about parks or schools fit into that category. So does coverage of annual events like parades, city events, or local harvest festivals. All those might need to be updated a year or two from now is new dates or perhaps a new photograph. Blogging for the future is a sound basis for planning what you write about. It's not the only approach, (3 comments)
Round Porch in Santa Rosa - 01/19/10 01:46 PM
Round Porches I was looking for a multi-unit building for sale on Morgan Street in Santa Rosa when I came across a beautiful round porch. I'm a lover of architectural details in general and round porches in particular. Round porches represent a powerful expression of the carpenter's art. With the exception of fancy stairs, few details require as much talent and experience as the construction of round housing elements. This porch includes a wonderfully constructed curved railing pictured here. Each of the railing members is inricately cut to a pattern that looks great both up close and from a distance. Sonoma (5 comments)
Blogging is like planting Asparagus - 01/19/10 10:02 AM
Growing asparagus is not for the impatient. You have to dig a deep trench in a sunny, well-prepared location. After partially filling the bottom with rich, fertile soil you place high quality roots spaced appropriately and covered with more loam. You don't actually get to harvest until the third year after planting since you are encouraging the roots to become strong and healthy. Finally, after years of preparation and care, you can begin to enjoy the fruits of your labor. For your three years of effort you're likely to get more than 15 years of high quality asparagus. I think most (5 comments)
Real Estate vs. "Fluff" Content The battle is never over between those who want only real estate content on ActiveRain and those who want to write about recipes, gardens, family, and life. That's the way it should be. Blogging is the ultimate solo activity and there are going to be hundreds of styles and techniques that people adopt and invent. I like to think of concrete as a good metaphor for the ActiveRain blogging mix. Cement without reinforcing steel is brittle and weak. Steel without the rigidity of cement is too flexible and sensitive to moisture. Marry the two with (46 comments)
Santa Rosa Foreclosed Home Sales in 2009 - 01/16/10 11:40 AM
Santa Rosa dominates the home sales in Sonoma County. It also leads in sales of foreclosed homes. In order to show nearly 1,000 home sales the chart features a lot of detail. The bars are grouped by month from left to right. Within each group (month) the sales are broken down by Days on Market or DOM. It's not always simple to take away useful information from a chart, but there are two things that stand out for me. First, the total volume of sales diminished after April. We sold almost $14,000,000 of bank owned homes in Santa Rosa that month, (0 comments)
Sonoma Bank Owned Homes - 01/16/10 10:04 AM
Sonoma County bank owned homes in 2010 differ in one key respect from the beginning of 2009. Today, everyone in the market is aware of the value priced homes in the REO market. It seems hard to believe, but just a year ago bank owned properties in Sonoma and elsewhere would linger on the market as buyers hung back waiting for more market corrections. Sonoma County foreclosed homes today continue to sell at fast rates. The median DOM stat for the charted Sonoma REO homes shown here is just 35 days. I ran the same analysis for SOLD Sonoma County bank (0 comments)
Winter Wineland in the Russian River Valley - 01/15/10 03:49 PM
Pinot lovers and other fans of the Russian River Valley will be out in force this weekend for the Winter Wineland. There's something special about a weekend in which the majority of people on the road are fellow wine enthusiasts and fans. A lot of days are for "normal" tourists who might sip an occasional wine. The special events that Sonoma County is famous for are way beyond normal. If you're in range of Sonoma County and don't have plans for this weekend, you might want to plan a wine tasting day. It's too late for tickets online, but you can (1 comments)
A Hat Tip to Hunt Conrad - 01/15/10 01:16 AM
I'm representing buyers in a complicated transaction that has been up, down, sideways, and maybe inside out. Through it all I've had the strong support and service provide by William Hunt Conrad, a Healdsburg representative for Prospect Mortgage. I don't want to play the violin too loudly, but Hunt went above and beyond the call of duty on this one, and so did his team. They worked late. They shifted direction for us when we made unexpected changes, and they delivered. The client is getting the house they wanted, and in the end, that's the only measure of how we are (3 comments)
A World Class Property in Sonoma County - 01/15/10 01:04 AM
My heart beats a little faster when the property is spectacular. I'm a sucker for water features, and this upcoming listing boasts a powerful water amenity. Our office will be listing this beautiful, waterfall-filled half mile stretch of a wild steelhead stream. There's over 3,200 feet of frontage and a vertical drop of over 110 feet along that run. The hike up the creek includes an unexpected grotto lined with ferns, columnar basalt outcroppings, and magnificent redwoods, fir, and other mature trees. The hike is spectacular, but in the winter when the creek is roaring and you can watch the steelhead jumping the (1 comments)
Healdsburg Architectural Opportunity - 01/14/10 12:05 AM
One of my fellow agents has a listing for an 1890's Queen Anne Victorian on Matheson St. in Healdsburg. It's a great old house with an interesting history and a lot of potential. What makes it an interesting property is the grandfathered zoning that keeps the 5 units on the back of the very big lot such a good business proposition. There's no chance to divide the parcel easily, so a new buyer gets a tall Victorian with plenty of room to install a complete new living space underneath. In addition, they can have the five units (two duplexes and a (3 comments)
Seasonal Santa Rosa Home Inventory - 01/13/10 09:41 AM
The seasonal sales cycle in residential real estate is well known in the industry, but not to the general public. The downturn in the market after the real estate bubble peaked several years ago has distored the normal ebb and flow of properties onto the market, but not eliminated it. The chart shows inventory in two zip codes in Santa Rosa. The left and right sides of the chart show a drop in inventory to about 150 homes in each of the areas with the low point coming in the early spring. That's our normal pattern. The "M-shaped" middle of the (3 comments)
Old Dog, New Tricks, 91 Octane as a Lesson - 01/12/10 04:25 PM
I'm an old timer as cars and gas go. Leaded gas was part of my youth and cheap gas seemed like our limitless heritage. I aged my way through VW bugs and vans, bullet nose Studebakers, Chevy trucks, Cutlass Supremes, Falcon Sprint convertibles, Datsuns to Nissans, Hondas to Acuras, and 25 cent gas to four buck gas. All those cars and all those years I figured there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between 87 octane and 91 octane, so I always bought the cheaper gas, so long as the engine didn't ping too much or the car fail at climbing (7 comments)
Desert Center Suffers Slowdown - 01/12/10 03:40 PM
Slow to Nothing My son and I were running an hour ahead of schedule early morning on a 1,000 mile road trip with a scheduled stop at Granny's for lunch in Riverside. We decided to kill the hous and grab breakfast off Interstate 10 between Blythe and Indio to investigate a diner we read about on Yelp. The reviews were mixed, but both had described a ghost town environment. The early warnings didn't prepare us for the desolation and loneliness of a town passed by time and energy. I had a long chat with the bored, restless waitress as we waited (0 comments)
People grow succulents and cacti everywhere, but there's nothing like a native habitat to bring out the best in plants. Cacti in Tucson tend to be vigorously healthy with correspondingly healthy spines. This specimen seems fully prepared to ward off attackers in any direction. Each spine is part of a cluster of six or seven other spines, all independently aimed. The "stay back" message is clear. (9 comments)
Less Grass, More Granite - 01/10/10 08:55 AM
I'm in lovely Tucson, Arizona for a wedding this weekend and the first thing that strikes me is the prevalence of native landscaping. Not everyone is water smart here, but by and large the residential neighborhoods acknowledge water-short Arizona by sticking with native plants and skipping the lawn. It's a very effective approach and honors the beauty of the desert. There are architectural acknowledgements of the desert climate as well. Smaller windows overall would be a key design strategy. Interior courtyards seem very abundant as well. Most homes here appear to be stucco or block walls which will resist the elements (0 comments)
Sometimes the only way to be awesome is to be old. This oak tree in Healdsburg's Dry Creek Valley has been standing sentinel over this valley for the native Miwoks, the Spaniards, the upstart Bear Flag Republic's founders and today's Hispanic farm workers and wine-filled tourists. It doesn't judge, it doesn't play favorites. It shades rich and poor alike. (3 comments)
This is the holiday bump in all it's glory. I imagine real estate everywhere is a bit seasonal, but looking at inventory and sales numbers over a multi-year span in Sonoma County looks like a classic sine wave. Starting in February, the drop off shown here will reverse itself and build back up to a spring selling season peak that will last into the summer. A quick look at the chart is bleaker than the reality. Look at the scale values on the left and you'll see that inventory is down, but by less than 15%. If the chart went (1 comments)
Sonoma County Home Sales - 01/03/10 11:09 AM
When buyers from out of the area ask about where they should look for Sonoma County homes for sale they often ask about relative prices and affordability. Like most parts of the United States, there are neighborhoods within our main cities that offer different sizes, ages, and types of homes. There's a lot of variety in lot size and amenities as well. Still, when you blend the differences across a city you get a result you can use for an overall comparison or relative value.
2009 is wrapped up, so I ran the numbers for our bigger cities. The three (1 comments)
Stocks are a winter favorite of mine. They sneer at the frost and smell as cinammony sweet when the blooms are old and tired as they do when they are fresh. I wrote about taking time to smell the flowers a while back. If you are interested in one simple action in the New Year to help you slow down and appreciate life, put a pot of Stocks where you can pass by them at nose height every day. (3 comments)
Sonoma County Residential Sales in 2009 - 01/01/10 07:21 PM
Sonoma County's major cities show a wide mix of owner sales, bank-owned home sales, and short sales in 2009. Topping the volume list for the umpteenth time is Santa Rosa, by far the largest city in Sonoma County. The accompanying chart shows that about half the market in Santa Rosa was for traditional sales (the blue portion of each column). I'm defining a traditional sale as a sale where the owner has enough equity in the property to have money left over after escrow. The rest of the sales in Santa Rosa were split between bank owned homes (in maroon) and (3 comments)
Windsor Auction Map - 2009 - 01/01/10 01:25 PM
Underlying all the REO activity I wrote about in my post about the Windsor REO market is the foreclosure process. Many homes in foreclosure are sold as "short sales" during the time between the Notice of Default and the Sonoma County courthouse steps auction. Still, houses do go on the auction block on a regular basis. Most go back to the bank when they place an opening bid that reflects the amount owed on the property. No investor will pay what the home was worth three years ago. They want to pay a discount on what the house is worth today, (0 comments)
Windsor has been a hotbed for housing turnover during the last few years. As a consequence of new construction in the early part of the last decade, entire subdivisions came on the market in the middle of the housing bubble. A large number of these homes have defaulted and gone back to the banks where they eventually get moved back into the market as REO sales. 179 Windsor bank owned homes and condos were on the market as REO properties during the course of 2009. Of these, almost all have been sold. Today, January 1, 2010, the MLS indicates there (0 comments)
Real estate and green building information for Sonoma County California with an emphasis on Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Forestville, Guerneville, Graton, and the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley. and Alexander Valley.I write a lot about REO property, fixers, luxury estate homes, and vineyard property. I love to analyze sales trends.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.