A successful family compound is not always related to the size of the property.  For example, a beach house  or small property in the wine country can satisfy the needs of many families for a family compound or retreat.  Families frequently have multiple interests and those interests can change over time.  The attributes or activities a family wants may be reasonably close to the property rather than on the property itself.  Sonoma County in general has so many diverse activities and environmental resources that as long as a home that has sufficient accommodations for the family it can frequently be the right choice for a family compound or retreat. https://photos.google.com/u/1/photo/AF1QipOmaTQmMxMQJzvV2fkr5hJY7RCvYXwGXp6zAjPn

State or Federal Parks can be a major benefit and examples of activities in those locations can include boating, kayaking, surfing, fishing, beaches, hiking, cycling, beaches.  Wine tasting, art galleries and Art Trails, art ranches, event locations, Farm Trails, and animal preserves like Safari West also major attractions and are spread throughout Sonoma County.

And surprisingly – proximity to other overnight accommodations for visitors and family for which you don’t have sufficient room when there is a reunion or family celebration and restaurants within an easy drive with a diversity of price points and menus end up being important more than you may think.  Another category to consider – are there emergency services at hand.

Please call is we can help your search.  Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate, Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Real Estate.  (707) 494-5749/(707) 483-3192, http://www.SonomaRE.com, CSchnall@gmail.com


Posted by: TerraSaver | September 11, 2019


The Hilliard Estate at Chalk Hill Ranch, HealdsburgIf your family is looking for a family retreat that has the following: Privacy, large historic home, large lawn & entertainment areas, country kitchen, pool, lake with fishing, horseback riding, views, a managed vineyard that has a cash flow and produces fabulous merlot, and is located minutes to downtown Healdsburg please call Charlene Schnall, Broker Associate, Healdsburg Sotheby’s International Realty, (707) 483-3192, http://www.SonomaRE.comCSchnall@gmail.com – MLS# 21921588 – www.TheHilliardEstate.com


Posted by: TerraSaver | July 24, 2019



We have owned several properties with lakes and ponds and know how valuable water elements are – very difficult to add, replace or modify. They do usually require maintenance and we recently had a demonstration of aquatic equipment from the Netherlands (reported to cost $90,000) that made a major job a whole lot easier and more cost effective












If you need recommendations for pond and lake maintenance companies, or are looking to buy a Sonoma County property with a pond or lake – please call me at (707) 494-5749 or e-mail: CSchnall@gmail.com/website: www.SonomaRE.com



Posted by: TerraSaver | June 14, 2019

Very Rare Beach Front Property in Bodega Bay, CA

A former artists residence and studio, the property is just outside of Bodega Bay, CA and has a large lot with Beach access.  3 Bdrm/3.5 Bath contemporary.
Website at www.6175Hwy1.com.  Current owner has owned for 11 years and has done significant geological and erosion mitigation work.


In addition to opportunities for recreation, wildlife observation, irrigation, a stream, pond or lake can add very major value to property you own.
It is very difficult to add these features under current environmental regulations.


A Protected Oak

In Sonoma County over one hundred thousand acres are protected with conservation easements.  If you are considering purchasing a property with an easement – or thinking of putting an easement on your property – take easements very seriously.  They are in fact a partnership with you and the agency which has the easement or may place the easement on your property.  These protective easements are intended to preserve the property in its natural state or maintain its agricultural use.  These easements may have been paid for or in some cases they have been donated.  In all cases the go with the land and in most cases are monitored for compliance.  Monitoring may be performed by the agency itself, by volunteers or by neighbors being vigilant to protect the property from development or use that is not allowed under the easement.

Recently a property owner found out the consequences of not observing terms of a conservation easement.  The final result may be a $600,000 fine.


If you have interest in putting an easement on your property – use an attorney who understands the documents.  Also be aware that someone acquiring your property in the future will need to comply with the terms and this frequently affects the value of property being put on the market.  We have had considerable experience both placing easements and brokering property with easements.  Please feel free to call Chanslor Wildlife with questions at (707) 494-5749

1 SRE 3550 NORTH MEADOW 430x293


Posted by: TerraSaver | February 8, 2019


You will find a user friendly experience when visiting the PRMD offices which have various staffed stations with information on various departments such as well and septic, code enforcement, etc.  It is a good idea to call ahead and confirm hours of operation.

PRMD Offices
2550 Ventura Avenue
Santa RosaCA 95403
(707) 565-1900

As a preliminary to visiting the offices, a valuable information can be obtained on-line at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Permit-Sonoma/.
Individual properties can be located by using either the Assessor Parcel Number (AP#) or the address.  The history of permits for a property, its current zoning, ordering of aerial photographs, information on soils, flood zones, are readily available.  There are also directories of what various zoning designations entitle you to do on a property as well as what uses you may be able to obtain with a ‘conditional use permit’.  Having some information prior to meeting with a planner at PRMD will allow you to be prepared to ask specific questions related to your plans for the property.  The planners can also print out much of the information you discuss and can refer you to planning files to examine for additional information.

Fantastic properties are available as close as 1 hour north of San Francisco.  Available property ranges from 5 to 640 acres with prices from $750,000.  Whether it is for a second home or for a full time residence – life doesn’t get much better than Sonoma County with outstanding communities from Petaluma to Cloverdale and from Sonoma to Bodega Bay.  Let us know if we can help locate a property for you whether it is for agriculture, recreation, or conservation.  We have owned and managed farm property in Sonoma County for over 35 years.  http://www.SonomaRE.com.  Scott Douglas (707) 875-3490.

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