SANTA ROSA, CA -- The secret is out on Santa Rosa and its surrounding communities as gateway to the Russian River Valley and all Sonoma County has to offer. Santa Rosa and the surrounding Russian River Valley are just 45 minutes north of San Francisco. The region is one of California’s top food and wine destinations, home to more than 425 wineries ranging from rustic to regal. Hike among towering redwoods, cruise along the rugged Pacific coastline and get to know inviting towns.
Sonoma County is the new heart and soul of California wine country and has gone from a weekend escape for many to home for a growing number of full time residents eager to trade the crowds of San Francisco, the East Bay and Silicon Valley for the natural wonders and farm to table lifestyle of living in wine country. In October, single-family home sales in Sonoma rose 18.4% from the same time the previous year*, as supply hit record lows.
Undoubtedly the pandemic has changed perspective on how we live, especially with the growing acceptance by employers of remote workplaces. Professionals can now widen their net to include buying a home further afield, and northern Santa Rosa in the Russian River Valley is allowing many to afford owning a new home for less per month than what they were previously paying in rent.
Unlike its pricey metropolitan neighbors, the Santa Rosa area is an affordable place to live, with the median single-family home priced from the $720,000s and brand new 4 to 6 bedroom single-family homes available as low as the mid $600,000s. At communities like Round Barn by City Ventures in the Fountaingrove neighborhood of Santa Rosa, home buyers can find new farmhouse-style, solar-powered, four-bedroom townhomes with amenities like a pool, trails, great schools, and wide open views of the surrounding hills for prices as low as $599,990, making living here a very attractive alternative for young people, retirees and even those just wanting a convenient second home in the wine country.
“We have seen a surge of buyers recently coming from the core Bay Area, attracted to each of our three different new home communities: Round Barn, Fox Hollow, and Reserve,” says Natasha Zabaneh, Vice President at City Ventures. “Buyers who have always wanted the Russian River Valley lifestyle, but have been tied to their desk in the City and are now free to find more space at a better price here in wine country.”
The proximity to verdant vineyards dotting the golden rolling hills cannot be overstated. Santa Rosa is smack dab in the heart of Sonoma wine country at the southern end of the Russian River Valley. Renowned for its sterling viticulture, the region draws budding wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike to sample the grapes. These fine vintages can be found in the wonderful array of restaurants and pubs in nearby Calistoga and downtown Santa Rosa.
Santa Rosa has seen a renaissance with pedestrian-friendly Fourth Street, full of lively outdoor entertainment, art galleries, unique shops, and even wellness events such as outdoor yoga. South of A Street (SOFA) with its coffeehouses, art galleries and experimental theater has an artsy vibe while Old Town is ideal for antiquing in lovely historic buildings that date back to 1906.
Recreational pursuits are also in abundance with easy access to the Sonoma Coast and the Russian River as well as local and regional parks like Armstrong Redwoods National Preserve, Howarth Park, Spring Lake and Annadel State Park. Locally referred to as “Central Park”, Annadel is comprised of three lakes including a reservoir and includes everything from trails for horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking, to tennis and softball courts, parcourse fitness circuit, boating rental, an animal barn, pony rides, a simulated 1863 C.P. Huntington steam train, and last but certainly not least, the “Land of Imagination” play area for kids.
For those contemplating a move from the frenetic city life to a relaxed state of mind in a natural setting, Santa Rosa and the Russian River Valley are much more than the sum of their parts. Just 55 miles north of San Francisco and a world away from the challenges of urban living, Santa Rosa and its surrounding towns offer easy access to the City by car or, increasingly by SMART train and ferry, for those days when one still needs to go into the office.
So go ahead and dream of a life where you can ride through vineyards, hike the coast, or paddle down the Russian River. Go to the farmers market in the morning and to bed at night with nothing but the soft whisper of a breeze lulling you to sleep. Work from your home office, and enjoy the fact that, now for less than you were paying in city rent, you have your own home with a two-car garage and plenty of extra space to invite friends up for late harvest wine tasting. The options are endless.
For more information visit LoveLiveSantaRosa.com.
*California Association of Realtors, October Home Sales and Price Report.