Posted by: TerraSaver | August 9, 2018



Potential problem affecting access and entry gate that client had corrected.

We have regular visits each year from PG&E at our properties and properties we manage.  They check out potential tree problems before the storm season.  We also look at potential tree problems that could affect things other than the power lines.  The time to do that on your own property is before the storm season.  As with leaking roofs – once the rain comes it becomes more difficult to get emergency help.

Posted by: TerraSaver | August 8, 2018

Family or Group-Hobby Farm Compounds

AS Mill Creek FarmsOften when purchasing a property ‘for a common purpose or use’ families or groups have agriculture as a common interest. This is an activity that works well whether the property is developed or has minimum accommodations. Frequently agriculture properties have multiple structures which are a good starting point for a long term compound. Most agricultural activities require someone ‘on-site’.  That may be a family or group member, but it may also be a tenant.  For additional information on compounds in Sonoma County, CA please contact or email:


20180503_105117Less than 10 days ago, the historic chuckwagon was in storage.  Today it was a featured attraction at the Rodeo Park with 40 buses of 2,000 3rd grade students learning about the history of ranching and the cowboy in California.  As one of the 25 displays, Albert ‘Abbie’ Batteate of Albert and Allison’s Batteate Ranch in Livermore set up a wonderful presentation featuring cooking ‘old west’ style with dutch ovens, beef stew and cobbler


Allison Batteate and her assistant before the students arrive

Wagon Groupis now part of their cowboy history events.  Charlene Schnall was a teacher prior to becoming a real estate broker and was the primary supporter of the educational and history programs at


Albert ‘Abbie’ Batteate and Don Pilkington, Park Facility Manager

Chanslor Ranch in Bodega Bay, California during the 24 years Chanslor Wildlife operated the property.  Seeing young students genuinely excited by the displays at todays’s event at Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park including livestock, bee keeping and how to saddle up a horse brings back fond memories for her in the classroom and on field trips.  In selling the wagon it was important that the buyer be involved in education and the Batteate’s were a lucky find as buyers.

Checkout Rowell Ranch for the July 28-29th National Day of the Cowboy Weekend for all ages.

Posted by: TerraSaver | April 22, 2018


This past weekend, Albert ‘Abbie’ Batteate of Albert and Allison’s Batteate Ranch in Livermore, picked up our much loved Chanslor Ranch Chuckwagon to add to their event program.  Over the 25 years of operating the ranch, we found that the Chuckwagon was quite an attention ‘getter’ at Chanslor Wildlife’s Farm and Sea to Table Food Events.  Historic objects have real appeal to visitors and we found whether it was an old restored tractor, pickup truck, or Charlie Chanslor’s Chuckwagon – they all provided photo ops for hundreds of visitors to the ranch. Batteate Ranch will be using the wagon in Livermore’s May 3rd’s Ag Day and the parade on May 12th & 13th.  Couldn’t be happier that we found the right home for the wagon with real ranching family.



One of the most frequent questions from buyers of vacant land is how they may stay on country property they acquire. That can range from day trips to the property or overnight stays.  It is extremely important to understand government regulations which may apply.  There are separate regulations regarding the long term installation of trailer & modular homes to be used as a temporary residence once a construction permit has been obtained for a permanent residence on the property.

A substantial amount of the inquiries we receive are for Airstream trailers and RV’s.  Airstream has excited people for decades.  Having had Airstream units on the guest ranch which Chanslor Wildlife operated for 25 years, we found they provided stiff competition for our overnight rooms. The large range of models means considerable flexibility in size and price.  We obtain current information on new and pre-owned inventory and financing from David Lewis, Bay Area Airstream in Fairfield, CA.  David can be reached by phone (925) 550-4268 or It was surprising to learn that new and previously owned units can be financed for between 15 and 20 years.

Regulations vary from County to County.  For Sonoma County it is best to meet with the Sonoma County Planning Department at 2550 Ventura Ave, Santa Rosa 95403, (707) 565-1900 to determine what regulations and zoning applies to your property.  When meeting with a planner or zoning specialist, it is important to obtain written regulations which they are always happy to provide.

Posted by: TerraSaver | January 17, 2018


When buying country property where the water is supplied by wells or springs, the buyer frequently focuses on well volume and bacteria levels which may need treatment.  Another water test that should be seriously considered is the mineral content of the water and if the property will be used for agriculture, we would consider this type of testing mandatory.  There is a separate charge for this type of test but if the property is going to be used for agriculture, landscaping or gardens, the mineral content of the water can preclude the growing of some types of plants – for example grapes or some types of vegetables.  Additionally, high levels of iron or manganese may need to be addressed to protect equipment or the appearance of structures the water comes in contact with.

The well testing company usually arranges water samples to be provided to the laboratory for both types of tests.  The results of the tests usually come with the levels of minerals found and an explanation of tolerance levels and the effects of various components.  A partial example of such a report for a 40 acre parcel in Sonoma County with 5 acres of vineyard planned and a vegetable garden.  While this may look complex, the explanations below will greatly simplify these figures.  In addition, there are treatment options for many of these minerals as there are for elevated levels of bacteria.


A more complete analysis of both water and soil analysis can be found at:

Posted by: TerraSaver | October 19, 2017


Are you a stylist, esthetician or masseuse? Do you want to have an in home day care or preschool? Do you need a space to run your construction business out of your home?

Many people today use a room in their house or a structure on their property for their lively hoods. There is a fine balance to maintain to be successful at managing home life and work life in the same vicinity. Also, finding the right piece of property that provides this opportunity can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

Maybe you need an unattached studio or maybe you need a room in the house with a separate entrance. You may want access to a kitchen and a bathroom or a space with ample lighting and windows. All of these are possibilities and exist.

If you want help finding something to meet your needs to create a positive “work from home” environment, contact me at

Posted by: TerraSaver | October 19, 2017

Local artist makes her home her gallery

Local talent at it again. Healdsburg painter Sargam Griffen built her own gallery on her property where her abstract paintings adorn the walls and incorporate many colors and layers while invoking a whimsical feeling. Griffen decided people can find her to see her amazing work, which they do. She built a 650-square-foot guest house and home work space that she calls her Art Shed where vacationers can spend a weekend immersed in her inspiring space. She also participates in ArtTrails and has been one of 173 artists and studios participating in the event, which is a chance for the public to visit and talk with artists in their work spaces.

“Art for me is really an expression of what I feel,” she explained. “It’s really about going from darkness to light. Every painting has a story, and it is always unpredictable for me because I have to be empty when I work. I don’t have a preconceived idea when I work. I work from a feeling.”


Posted by: TerraSaver | October 19, 2017

A hobby with sweet rewards, bee keeping on your land.

If you’re entertaining the idea of beekeeping you might be confused as to where to start. This is a quick and simple 5 step suggestion guide to get you acquainted to what it takes to begin your beekeeping journey.

Step One: Select a suitable place to start your hive. At least 1/10 of an acre is desired and away from electrical overhead lines and grocery stores.  It is a great idea to find a local beekeeping association near you to start asking questions and assist you as you start your new hobby.

Step Two: Order your bees. It helps to order in January to receive your shipment in April or May. Once spring is underway most places don’t have bees for sale.

Step Three: Choose your hive system. There are two main systems that are used in beekeeping. While most beekeepers use a Langstroth hive system which is composed of boxes stacked on top of each other there is also the top-bar hive system, where the frames are arranged horizontally. It is a matter of preference.

Step Four: Gather your supplies. From a veil and suit to a bee brush and smoker, the list can be endless but not all tools are must haves. I suggest getting a beekeeping book to assist you in getting you started with the essentials that will meet your beekeeping needs.

Step Five: Introduce your bees to your hive and maintain their health. This require constant observation of your hive and your queen. When time comes to harvest the honey you will have read enough books and talked to enough people that you will be ready for the sweet reward!

If you want to find a place to have a hive of your own contact me at and we can start the search together!

Posted by: TerraSaver | October 18, 2017


POST FROM HEALDSBURG INTERIM HOUSING:  The recent fires in the Bay Area which have affected many of us, bring to the forefront the crisis many people experience on a daily basis to keep a roof over their heads.  For the past 10 days we have seen incredible generosity from people we know trying to help the many from all walks of life who have lost everything and need temporary and long term shelter.  The need created by the fire will not be a short term problem.

This has been an extraordinary occurrence on an colossal scale, but even in ‘normal’ times there remains a critical shortage of affordable housing in our communities.  Many people daily are affected by rising prices, loss of employment, marital changes, health problems, family deaths and other situations beyond their control that eliminate their ability to afford housing.  Those of us who have dealt with housing for many years, know that the shortage of affordable or interim housing is always with us.

There are government programs that can provide assistance.  Unfortunately, as with this fire, the emergency need often comes at us without notice and hits people when they are least able to think clearly in terms of what to do.

One type of program we have been involved with has been to lease housing accommodations to established non-profits.  The non-profit organization becomes the tenant and the organization is able to use the housing resource to satisfy emergency needs with tenants they place and supervise.

If you would like to participate in acquiring property in Sonoma County to lease to qualified non-profits organizations for interim or longer term housing, please let us know.



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