New Year’s Resolutions for Home Buyers

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As the New Year approaches and goal setting begins, here are some New Year’s Resolutions to help put potential home buyers on the road to owning their dream home:

1. Make a list of your new home wants/needs.

2. Do your research on school districts and homes that are for sale in locations you like.

3. Save for a down payment, as well as closing costs, moving costs, home repairs/maintenance and other homeowner expenses.

4. Check your credit score.

5. Pay down credit card balances; avoid big credit purchases like new cars or furniture.

6. Prepare Federal Tax returns & W2s for the past 2 years.

7. Prepare bank statements for the past 6 months.

8. Prepare proof of any investment income.

9. Prequalify for a loan.

10. Start mortgage shopping to get the best rate.

Click here to go back to The W Disclosure Newsletter. 

 


Posted on December 17, 2019 at 7:45 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Uncategorized |

Agent to Watch – Joel Muniz

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In our latest edition of W Agents to Watch we are excited to feature Joel Muniz!

Compassionate, adventurous, determined, the list goes on to describe our Ukiah-based agent Joel Muniz. Joel was born and raised in Mendocino County and enjoys sharing his love of the area with his family, friends, and clients. 

We had the opportunity to catch up with Joel where he shared with us why he chose to pursue a career in real estate and what his personal life motto is. All of these answers and more are below. 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in real estate?
Real Estate is exciting! The field is ever-changing and it presents countless opportunities to learn on a personal and professional level.


How do you think your clients would describe you?

Patient, knowledgeable, hardworking, fun, and willing to go the extra mile.


What is your motto?

Dream big, stay positive, work hard, and enjoy the ride.


What is something most people would never guess about you?

The first time I got on an airplane, I jumped out of it. (Skydiving)


What is one thing people must do when they visit Mendocino County?

Spend the day at Vichy Springs Resort and make sure you hike to the waterfall.


What does a perfect day in Mendocino County look like for you?

Floating down the Eel River in Potter Valley followed by a BBQ with friends and family.


What’s your favorite way to relax?

Getting out on the golf course or winding down in the Sauna to a Joe Rogan Podcast.


What’s your favorite local happy hour?

Crush in Ukiah.

Click here to go back to The W Disclosure Newsletter. 


Posted on December 16, 2019 at 7:31 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Agent to Watch |

Agent to Watch – Ellen Crusoe

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In our latest edition of W Agents to Watch we are excited to feature Ellen Crusoe!

Ellen Crusoe is a longtime Northern California resident. Her passion for the area is evident in her interactions with her clients who say her local knowledge is unmatched. Her business strategy is entirely client-centered. She’s available on their schedule and is known to go above and beyond to accomplish their goals. 

We are so fortunate to have Ellen on our team. Continue on to get an inside look at the Santa Rosa-based agent. 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in real estate?
I simply love it! To be a part of making a dream come true and one of the biggest decisions a person or family will make is an honor.


How do you think your clients would describe you?

Honest, hard-working, available at all times, knowledgeable, thoughtful and prompt.


What is your motto?

A house is more than just a house – it’s a HOME!


What is something most people would never guess about you?

I grew up just outside Washington DC. One trip to the Bay Area and I was sold! I packed my husband and 3 small children up and moved 3000 miles. I have never looked back. This is the best place on earth!


What is one thing people must do when they visit Sonoma County?

Sonoma County has more than just one thing to do. But I would have to say a day at the coast and a day in the wine county will fill your soul with peace.


What does a perfect day in Sonoma County look like for you?

It’s a toss-up between taking in the waves and the beauty of our coastline or sitting with friends in the midst of the wonderful beauty of grapevines.


What’s your favorite way to relax?

With family and friends. A lot of my friends are also my clients.


What’s your favorite local happy hour?

My favorite happy hour is the celebration with my clients in a successful closing.

Click here to go back to The W Disclosure Newsletter. 


Posted on December 16, 2019 at 7:26 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Agent to Watch |

Agent of the Month – Drew Nicoll

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Congratulations to our newest Agent of the Month, Drew Nicoll!

Drew Nicoll is the Team Leader of the highly-successful Nicoll-Pallini Group. Drew’s unwavering determination to accomplish his client’s real estate goals is truly something to be admired. He pushes the envelope in his business and continues to surpass even the most unattainable goals he sets for himself. 

We value Drew’s insight on business strategy and market conditions and we think you will find it beneficial as well. Continue on to read Drew’s opinion on work/life balance and his advice to agents just starting out in the industry. 

To what do you attribute your success?
Utilizing proven systems to achieve desired results, being willing to work at a level most people don’t want to or are not willing to work at, learning from my mentors in real estate and being willing to break real estate norms to provide clients with a higher level of service and value.


What was the last book/audiobook you read/listened to?

The 5 am Club


What software/tech tools can you not live without?

Google Business Apps, My iPhone Max, Slack.


Do you believe it is possible to have a successful career while having a fulfilling personal life? Does this balance exist?

Absolutely, this is my goal; however, it does not just happen, you have to build your business to work that way. You have to write down your business goals and the plan to get there. You have to surround yourself with the right people. You have to leverage people, systems and technology to help you be in multiple places at the same time and multiply your efforts. You have to be willing to work like nobody wants to for a few years so you can live the rest of your life like everyone wishes they could. Also, you have to be willing to take calculated risks and make less money upfront to make more down the road, essentially invest in yourself!


What is a unique aspect of the Mendocino County Residential Real Estate market?

The variety of different property types we deal with varies greatly from single-family homes to large ranches and cannabis properties. Also, the amount of people moving from the bay area to Mendocino county is a very interesting observation that I have made as to what the future for property values will look like here in our county.


What is the most underrated/overlooked part of your business?

The most overlooked part of my business is the conversations I have with leads and the questions I ask to determine timing and motivation and then the offers that I make to clients over the phone in order to propel them to come and meet with me.

 

What are the main things that you should look at when investing/purchasing a new property?
Location, condition, how long you are wanting or going to own it and/or live there and the overall purpose or goal of the home financially. You get hurt in Real Estate investing when you have to sell. If you don’t have to sell you can ride out any market until the correction you’re looking for takes place. So the property would need to cash flow enough to be able to at least pay for itself and not make you go broke if you have it not rent for a period of time.


What is a quote that inspires you?

“Success is never owned, it is rented and the rent is due every day.”


If you had one piece of advice to give someone just starting out in real estate, what would it be?

Don’t do what everyone else is doing; find what your strengths are in the business and focus on making those a priority. Use systems. Write out a plan for success and execute it every day. If you don’t have a direction, then you will just drift and you may not like what you bump into.

Click here to go back to The W Disclosure Newsletter. 


Posted on December 16, 2019 at 7:09 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Agent of the Month |

2019 Holiday Gift Drive

With the holiday season underway, many of us are looking forward to exchanging gifts with our loved ones. For children, this is an especially exciting time. However, many kids do not have families who can afford to purchase gifts for them.

This is why we are excited to announce W Real Estate will be hosting a Holiday Gift Drive to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin and Ukiah. Five of our offices will serve as drop-off locations where we will be accepting donations Monday, Dec 2nd through Friday, Dec 13th. 

 

MOST NEEDED

  • Coats and Raincoats (The following sizes Youth: M, L, XL, and Adult: S & M)
  • Hats, Gloves, & Scarves, Shoes & Socks (Youth – Adult sizes)
  • Blankets (any size)
  • Gift Cards (Target, Walmart, Old Navy, Shoe & Grocery Stores)

ALWAYS NEEDED

  • Sports Equipment: Soccer Balls, Basketballs, etc.
  • Legos
  • Art Supplies
  • Headphones
  • Science Kits
  • Board Games

 

Drop-Off Locations

Please do not leave gifts outside if the office is closed.

W REAL ESTATE – SANTA ROSA
500 Bicentennial Way, Suite 310, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

W REAL ESTATE – SONOMA
539 Broadway, Suite B, Sonoma, CA 95476

W REAL ESTATE – WINDSOR
9240 Old Redwood Hwy, Suite 114, Windsor, CA 95492

W REAL ESTATE – KENWOOD
9200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, CA 95452

W REAL ESTATE – UKIAH
101 North State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482

 

A small contribution on your part can make a world of difference for a child in need.

For more information, contact Laura Hart 707-295-7362.


Posted on December 3, 2019 at 1:18 am
W Real Estate | Posted in Uncategorized |

10 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season Copy

The holidays are just around the corner. It’s the time of year to gather together with family and friends and take time to reflect on the past year and the many things they have to be grateful for. Below are a few suggestions on ways you can show your gratitude by giving back to your community…

1. Volunteer at a local senior center or hospital.

Many Seniors and patients don’t have friends or family that can visit them during the holidays making them feel especially isolated and lonely at this time of year. Your visit to a local senior center or hospital would be greatly appreciated.

2. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.

There are many ways to volunteer at local animal shelters. There is always a need for a dog walker, kitten cuddler, or bunny hugger.  Crafting your hobby?  You can knit or crochet a blanket for a puppy. More money than time?  Check Amazon for your local shelter’s wish-list and have your donation delivered directly to the shelter.

3. Send holiday cards to deployed troops.

This time of year is especially hard for the troops that have been deployed abroad.  A holiday card or letter is a thoughtful way to say, “Thanks for your service” and let them know you are thinking of them at this time of year.

4. Thank your local first responders.

While baked goods are usually the go-to item during the holidays, your health-conscious first responders need to stay fit and ready for action, so consider saying “thanks” with a veggie or sandwich tray for the station, or donate to a charity that benefits first responders.

5. Collect donations for a food bank.

Canned items, as well as pasta, rice, nuts, and peanut butter, are always welcome.  Consider some holiday food items like cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing, or canned pumpkin.  Many local grocery stores offer the option to donate a bag of groceries to a family in need at check-out.

6. Serve a holiday meal at a local homeless shelter.

For those that are local to Sonoma County, the Redwood Gospel Mission will be serving up to 5,000 hot turkey meals at their annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds.  There are many volunteer opportunities available including pre-event tasks like food packing and flower arranging, as well as day-of-event tasks like coat distribution and foodservice.  

7. Donate used clothes and coats.

With winter weather fast approaching, donations of coats are especially welcome. Safeways in both Healdsburg and Petaluma are participants in the One Warm Coat drive collecting and distributing coats to those in need.  You can also donate gently worn clothing to the Redwood Gospel Mission and the Living Room. 

8. Adopt a family for the holidays.

Many nonprofit organizations in Sonoma County offer low-income families and single moms assistance during the holiday season by offering meals, gifts, small toys, and more. The Volunteer Center of Sonoma runs a yearly program called Secret Santa Now offering many ways to help out. You can adopt a heart or letter and fulfill a wish or volunteer with the Secret Santa Coordinator or donate through the KZST Secret Santa Marathon.

9. Buy toys for children in need.

Many nonprofit organizations and Sonoma County businesses collect toys during the holiday season.  One way to say Thanks to our local firefighters is to donate to their annual Toys for Kids drive, which runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.  Just look for the collection barrels at any Santa Rosa or Rincon Valley Fire station.  Santa Rosa fighters will also be at the Santa Rosa Plaza Shopping Center during the month of December collecting cash donations as well as donations of new unwrapped toys.

10. Donate blood.

Local hospitals and clinics are always in need of blood donations, especially after at times of emergencies or natural disasters. Blood drives are held in many locations throughout the County, check the Red Cross website or the Vitalant Blood Donation center for dates and locations.


Posted on November 19, 2019 at 10:57 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Community |

10 Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

The holidays are just around the corner. It’s the time of year to gather together with family and friends and take time to reflect on the past year and the many things we have to be grateful for. Below are a few suggestions on ways you can show your gratitude by giving back to your community…

1. Volunteer at a local senior center or hospital.

Many Seniors and patients don’t have friends or family that can visit them during the holidays making them feel especially isolated and lonely at this time of year. Your visit to a local senior center or hospital would be greatly appreciated.

2. Volunteer at your local animal shelter.

There are many ways to volunteer at local animal shelters. There is always a need for a dog walker, kitten cuddler, or bunny hugger.  Crafting your hobby?  You can knit or crochet a blanket for a puppy. More money than time?  Check Amazon for your local shelter’s wish-list and have your donation delivered directly to the shelter.

3. Send holiday cards to deployed troops.

This time of year is especially hard for the troops that have been deployed abroad.  A holiday card or letter is a thoughtful way to say, “Thanks for your service,” and let them know you are thinking of them at this time of year.

4. Thank your local first responders.

While baked goods are usually the go-to item during the holidays, your health-conscious first responders need to stay fit and ready for action, so consider saying “thanks” with a veggie or sandwich tray for the station, or donate to a charity that benefits first responders.

5. Collect donations for a food bank.

Canned items, as well as pasta, rice, nuts, and peanut butter, are always welcome.  Consider some holiday food items like cranberry sauce, boxed stuffing, or canned pumpkin.  Many local grocery stores offer the option to donate a bag of groceries to a family in need at check-out.

6. Serve a holiday meal at a local homeless shelter.

For those that are local to Sonoma County, the Redwood Gospel Mission will be serving up to 5,000 hot turkey meals at their annual Great Thanksgiving Banquet at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds.  There are many volunteer opportunities available including pre-event tasks, like food packing and flower arranging, as well as day-of-event tasks like coat distribution and foodservice.  

7. Donate used clothes and coats.

With winter weather fast approaching, donations of coats are especially welcome. Safeways in both Healdsburg and Petaluma are participants in the One Warm Coat drive collecting and distributing coats to those in need.  You can also donate gently worn clothing to the Redwood Gospel Mission and the Living Room. 

8. Adopt a family for the holidays.

Many nonprofit organizations in Sonoma County offer low-income families and single moms assistance during the holiday season by offering meals, gifts, small toys, and more. The Volunteer Center of Sonoma runs a yearly program called Secret Santa Now offering many ways to help out. You can adopt a heart or letter and fulfill a wish or volunteer with the Secret Santa Coordinator or donate through the KZST Secret Santa Marathon.

9. Buy toys for children in need.

Many nonprofit organizations and Sonoma County businesses collect toys during the holiday season.  One way to say Thanks to our local firefighters is to donate to their annual Toys for Kids drive, which runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.  Just look for the collection barrels at any Santa Rosa or Rincon Valley Fire station.  Santa Rosa fighters will also be at the Santa Rosa Plaza Shopping Center during the month of December collecting cash donations as well as donations of new unwrapped toys.

10. Donate blood.

Local hospitals and clinics are always in need of blood donations, especially after at times of emergencies or natural disasters. Blood drives are held in many locations throughout the County, check the Red Cross website or the Vitalant Blood Donation center for dates and locations.


Posted on November 15, 2019 at 9:03 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Community |

How to Remove Smoke Smell from Your Home

In the aftermath of the Kincade Fire, which ravaged the Sonoma County greenbelt burning 77,000 acres in 13 days, after the initial relief of finding your house still intact, like many of us, you may now be faced with the seemingly daunting task of removing the accumulated smoke from your home and assessing for damage.

Once the threat of fire is over and it’s safe to return to your home, even when there has been no structural damage, you still may find yourself dealing with the lingering after-effects of the smoke that can penetrate your carpets, furniture, clothing, and even the paint on your walls.  The microscopic particles in the smoke also affect the air quality in your home and can be a major health risk. 

Here are some tips for removing the smoke from your home after a fire…

Air out your entire house.

Open all of the doors and windows, use fans to improve the ventilation in your home.

Clear the air room-by-room.

Close off all but one room, direct the fresh air from outside into the room using a fan, and leave one window in the room open for the bad air to escape. 

Do this for 15 minutes per room, then close off that room.

Repeat the process for all the remaining rooms of your home.

Give all of the surfaces of your home a thorough cleaning.

Wash or dry clean all clothes, towels, bedding, curtains, cushions, etc. 

After washing, remove them from the affected area so they do not become contaminated again.

Hard surfaces such as walls, doors, baseboards, countertops, furniture, and light fixtures, need to be cleaned as well.  

Use a solution of dish soap, white vinegar, and warm water. Uncarpeted/hardwood floors may require special care.

Rinse the mop in running water rather than dipping it into a bucket where the smoke particles will collect and end up back on your floor.

You may even need to repaint walls that have experienced heavy smoke damage.

Window panes should be cleaned inside and out along with window frames, sills, screens.

Wooden blinds and cabinets should be cleaned with a wood-safe soap, plastic blinds can be cleaned with a mixture of white vinegar and hot water. 

Change air conditioning and furnace filters as soon as possible.  

Have your HVAC system inspected to ensure there was no damage.

If the above methods are not effective, call a professional smoke removal specialist.

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to find out what services are covered, just keep in mind that filing an insurance claim may increase your premium. 

Talk to your insurance agent about obtaining a smoke damage assessment before attempting the DIY clean-up.

Cleaning up the area will affect how much damage is perceived. 

An air cleaner/purifier can help reduce the particle levels in your home.


Posted on November 15, 2019 at 9:01 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Uncategorized |

Agent to Watch – Tiffany Knef

 

In our new Agent to Watch series, we will be featuring W Real Estate agents who are making a splash in the real estate industry.

One of our October Agents to Watch is Tiffany Knef. Tiffany got her start in real estate twenty years ago and has the esteemed designations of Senior Real Estate Specialist and Certified Residential Specialist. She prides herself on being a knowledgable resource to her clients for all things Sonoma County – what to see, what to do, and ultimately where to live. 

We recently took some time to learn more about our Santa Rosa-based agent Tiffany. Continue on to find out what she recommends everyone must do when they visit Sonoma County and her favorite local happy hour.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in real estate?
Real estate and people are my passion. Helping others achieve their real estate goals is rewarding for all.


How do you think your clients would describe you?

Client-centered, solutions-oriented, calm, knowledgeable, accessible, excellent resource for reliable vendors, great communicator, strategic negotiator, professional, well-connected, and fun.


What is your motto?

Provide exceptional service resulting in exceptional outcomes and lifelong relationships.


What is something most people would never guess about you?

I am a credentialed elementary school teacher, lifelong volunteer, and adventurous world traveler.


What is one thing people must do when they visit Sonoma County?

Walkthrough the vineyards and meet our friendly, warm locals.


What does a perfect day in Sonoma County look like for you?

Sensational days creating beautiful memories with friends/clients/family/community. Hot air balloons rising in the morning air, great food, golf in the afternoon.


What’s your favorite way to relax?

Great dining, new adventures, golf, wine tasting, local events.


What’s your favorite local happy hour?

Hop Monk.

 


Posted on October 31, 2019 at 10:14 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Uncategorized |

Agent to Watch – Adrian Roach

 

In our new Agent to Watch series, we will be featuring W Real Estate agents who have caught the attention of their colleagues and community.

One of our Agents to Watch is none other than Adrian Roach. It’s no wonder our Windsor-based agent Adrian is having his most successful year yet. He is the epitome of calm, cool, and collected. Simply put, he makes people feel comfortable – an important thing to do in the sometimes stressful world of real estate. 

We were recently able to track down the busy agent and ask him a few questions. Continue on to learn what Adrian’s perfect day in Sonoma County looks like and why he chose to pursue a career in real estate. 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in real estate?
To be able to help people achieve their dreams of homeownership along with increasing their wealth.


How do you think your clients would describe you?

That I am easy to work with and even-tempered.


What is your motto?

Work hard, enjoy life, and stay humble.


What is something most people would never guess about you?

I like to make crazy music videos with my wife.


What is one thing people must do when they visit Sonoma County?

Wine tasting, of course, but don’t forget the Charles Schulz museum!


What does a perfect day in Sonoma County look like for you?

Being outside and watching my son’s band from School of Rock perform.


What’s your favorite way to relax?

Spending time with my family.


What’s your favorite local happy hour?

Kin on the Windsor Town Green

 


Posted on October 30, 2019 at 8:53 pm
W Real Estate | Posted in Uncategorized |