Homes for Sale Featuring Wine Storage: California Leads the Nation

wine amenities

With all our amazing wine regions here in California, including Napa and Sonoma Valleys, it’s not surprising to learn that this state leads the nation in homes for sale with wine cellars and other wine amenities. What is surprising is that Orange County, California has the most homes for sale featuring wine storage, and Napa and Sonoma Valley didn't even make the top 10 list. According to the Wall Street Journal, a recent analysis looked at the percentage of 2014 for-sale home listings that included a wine related feature. Roughly 2.4% of the listings in Orange County included wine information, which is more than 10 times the amount as … [Read more...]

Are drones in the future for real estate?

drones and real estate

Industry experts are asking; are drones in the future for real estate? Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are currently used on a very limited basis for law enforcement, national security, and scientific purposes. The use of drones in real estate has been a hot topic in brokerage firms throughout the country. What we do know is that property owners only own 83 feet above ground. Sotheby's International Realty has advised realtors that they can no longer use drones in their real estate marketing campaigns until The Federal Aviation Administration mandates their use. But change is on the horizon. The FAA is busy drafting regulations … [Read more...]

Are you ready for a weekend in Mars?

image of a future airport

Does spending a weekend in Mars sound appealing to you? Then you will enjoy this CNN article I just read about the future of travel. Much like the business of real estate, the travel industry is changing at its most rapid pace ever. Technology has continued to evolve and consumers have transformed the way they talk about, search for, book and experience travel. The article looks at the future of travel, including exploring the dream of being able to take a weekend jaunt to Mars. According to the article, when commercial space travel happens, it'll likely start as the in-orbit kind currently being worked on by the likes of Virgin Galactic. … [Read more...]

Why Vineyard Managers are Hard at Work When Napa Valley Vines are Dormant in Winter

winter in Napa Valley

Winter is certainly a very busy season for Napa Valley Vineyards. As the winter sun hangs low in the sky, casting its dramatic rays on the breathtaking scenery, you might think that things have quieted down for the vintners, but that is far from the truth. Although the “growing season” has come to a close, vineyard managers are busy during this time of the year with post-harvest activities, crucial to the sustainability of their vineyards. Take preserving and improving the composition of the soil. In winter, you can witness the seeding of the vine rows with cover crops from legumes, grasses and mustard, helping to create the sustainable … [Read more...]

5 Ways to Think Safety First When Selling Your Property

home selling safety

Safety is one of the most important concerns when it comes to selling your property. So important, in fact, that The National Association of Realtors issues safety guidelines for its members. While many of these guidelines are geared specifically toward Realtors®, some are important for sellers to keep in mind while their property is on the market. Here are 5 ways to protect yourself and your property. 1. Schedule appointments Don't allow people to just ring your bell at any hour for a showing. Instead, have them phone your Realtor® to make an appointment. Showing your house during the daytime is not only the best strategy for safety, but … [Read more...]

Second Home Tax Benefits You Need to Know About

second home

I just read this very informative story in Kiplinger regarding the tax ramifications for owning a second home and wanted to share with you what I learned. If you are among the many homeowners looking to purchase a second home this year in Napa Valley, Sonoma or Healdsburg, you might be interested to know a few of the benefits.  Under our current tax laws, people who own second homes can take advantage of several tax breaks. Just keep in mind, different tax rules apply depending on your reasons for owning a second home, be it your primary residence, for family vacations, to use as a rental, or any other investment purpose. 1) Personal … [Read more...]

What’s in store for Napa Valley in 2015

2015 calendar graphic

There’s a lot in store in the way of Napa Valley projects in 2015, with many changes on the horizon. Let’s take a look at some of the projects in the pipeline: Napa Pipe has received approval, and construction should start this year. VieVage Napa Valley, Auberge du Soleil’s big resort at Stanly Lane, (once planned as a St. Regis), will break ground in 2015 and open in 2016. The Archer Hotel at Napa Commons is under construction and set to open in the fall 2016. The proposed hotel at Silverado and First, is seeking financing. The Century Theater complex construction has begun on its proposed hotel and health club. Lucky Penny … [Read more...]

Are you watching William Shatner’s Brown Bag Wine Tasting web series?

William Shatner’s Brown Bag Wine Tasting

The media is abuzz over William Shatner’s web series, Brown Bag Wine Tasting, on Ora TV. The series is made up of one-on-one videos that have Captain Kirk sitting down with a person (some celebs, some not) discussing their job while doing a blind wine tasting. The show was recently featured in Wine Spectator, Food and Wine and other prestigious publications. And the interesting thing they all say is that you don’t have to be a Trekkie to enjoy Shatner as he pulls out amazing sound bites from everyone he talks to. In addition to drinking some good wine, many from here in Napa, he says his goal is to explore the psyche of his guests. "I'm … [Read more...]

Is The Archer Napa the catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Napa?

The Archer Napa

Some say the catalyst for the revitalization of downtown Napa is the construction of the unique, luxury boutique property, The Archer Napa. There’s already proof to that theory. Even during construction of the 183-room property, it is attracting new business to the area. The Archer Napa hotel is being built around the former Merrill’s Building on First Street. The five-story property will anchor the new Napa Canter with its distinctive mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment in the heart of downtown. Developer LodgeWorks also plans to include much needed meeting space, a 7,000-square-foot rooftop bar that will be open to hotel guests … [Read more...]

Is a smart home for you?

smart home graphic

A recent Smart Home Survey conducted by the retail home-improvement giant, Lowes, found the majority of Americans feel that having a smart home is important. Just think about it: a smart home can provide the security you need for a good night’s sleep before waking you up in the morning, adjusting the temperature in your house, and turning on the lights in your kitchen, all from a few simple clicks of your smartphone before getting out of bed. The results show that 52% of the more than 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed feel that having a "smart" home offers major benefits to connecting features and appliances in their home to the Internet. … [Read more...]