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.



Posted by: TerraSaver | October 13, 2017

A Great Small Farm or Family Retreat Location in Petaluma, CA

L. Frank Kala commented that Petaluma is one of the most desirable communities in Northern California.  Ten minutes from downtown Petaluma and Hwy 101, is the pristine Chileno Valley where many of the farms were founded in the mid 1800’s and the land and views are gorgeous.
You can visit the website for this 40 acre property at





When we bought our land it had one house, a garage and an old shed with our well in it. It was a big shed so we decided we would store our wood inside to dry out for the winter, the riding lawn mower, some garden tools and other random items one may acquire when you buy property with acreage that insists you take care of it. It wasn’t long until my husband saw the potential the shed had. I woke one morning to find him putting a wall up and wiring electricity over. What in the world is he doing? Oh yes. Of course. He needed a space to make his art, his wave riding apparatuses as I like to say. He makes surfboards.

Sometimes you don’t see right away what a structure on your land could be. I imagine my husband saw all along what the shed would become, his very own art studio.

To find property with an art studio for you contact me at and we can begin your search!

Posted by: TerraSaver | October 6, 2017


Having raised Highland cattle, they are extremely pleasant animals to share a property with.  They are always a hit with guests because of their horns, shaggy appearance and disposition. The biggest treat for everyone are the small calves.  Nothing cuter.  Take a look at some great photos.  Please let us know if you are interested in finding a hobby farm in Sonoma County at



I work from the kitchen table amiss the half eaten lunches, school projects and unopened mail. It works, kind of. I realize I need my own space where I can zone out while brainstorming without a child trying to sit on my lap or a husband making a smoothie at full blast. I want a space to call my own, which quite honestly is foreign to me.  The meer idea of it excites me.

As I do my research on what my options are I am overwhelmed, but in a good way. I live on a piece of land with “extra space” as I like to say. And what I mean by this is there are a lot of overgrown weeds and oak trees dropping their acorns while my chickens (and children) get lost in the milkweed and dead grass. Let’s just say we have room to grown.

There seems to be a plethora of options out there for someone in my position, like maybe this concept is not a new one amongst mothers who work from home. How do we do it and do it well? I want to do it well. I want to be a good mother and wife but also a professional that succeeds and contributes to another cause. I want to use my brain to do things besides remember when back to school night is and is it my turn to bring snack to the next soccer game. It’s not easy to do my work tasks at a kitchen table. So the question at hand is should I buy and old shipping container or box car and covert it into a woman cave? Or maybe a Tuff Shed or Tiny House will do. I like the look of an airstream with homemade curtains. Then I start thinking about a treehouse in the far corner where I build a moat and 40 foot ladder with a secret password and fire-breathing dragon that doesn’t let anyone within 100 feet without notifying me. No, that’s too dramatic, or is it?

My search for the ideal situation continues. Being that I can have a 10×12 structure on my land without a permit makes this process a whole lot more doable. Having a handy husband helps as well. After talking with Tuff Shed I know now they can modify their floor plans to meet my needs. I imagine the sun shinning through a large glass front panel and landing on a prism I’ve hung oh so perfectly. Maybe a built-in desk with some shelving can be added and why not throw a Murphy bed in there for those long nights I will have working tirelessly in my own space. I can feel it all coming together and before long I will be updating you from a space nestled in the weeds far far away from my kitchen table…

To learn how you too can add a work from home space on your property contact me at



« Newer Posts - Older Posts »