Sonoma County’s luxury home market poised for coming tech IPOs

“Most of the IPOs are for firms based in and around San Francisco, which is likely where any additional job growth and expansion will take place,” he said.

Gilpin, the owner of the Bennett Valley home, said those with excess wealth often look to buy second homes, airplanes or other luxury items. When he bought the Bennett Valley property, he wasn’t looking for a second or vacation home.

Gilpin said he was able to connect remotely to his work and started looking for property in all the usual locations, including Healdsburg and Sonoma. Bennett Valley offered both a beautiful rural setting that was only minutes away from Santa Rosa.

The nearly 6-acre property is surrounded by vineyards such as Matanzas Creek, Frost Watch and Argot, as well as undeveloped natural spaces that are visible from nearly every vantage point on the property.

Gilpin essentially razed the home that was built on the property but kept the unique, U-shaped footprint. The 5,700-square-foot home includes an open courtyard, a long, spacious kitchen and main dining and living room area, four bedrooms and six bathrooms.

The property also has a 75-foot lap pool, outdoor hot tub, bocce court and a half-acre, deer-fenced orchard that doubles as a dog run and has two dozen fruit trees, including cherry, pear, apple, plum, persimmon, pomegranate and fig.

Gilpin said he’s lived there with his family since it was completed in 2017 and it was supposed to be their “long-term” primary home. But he said he’s moving his family to the Portland area because one of his companies there is growing rapidly. He said he also has relatives in Portland.

“We loved it here,” he said.

Gilpin had the flexibility to live in Sonoma County but work remotely. Not all tech workers and soon-to-be tech millionaires will have that luxury, and many will stay close to their jobs in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, said Kahramaner of Big Data Realtor.

Issi Romen, a chief economist at Trulia, and a fellow with the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, said the effects of the economic impact of the coming IPO wave is likely to be dispersed throughout the Bay Area.

Romen said some employees who joined tech companies during their infancy years ago have already moved out of San Francisco. For the vast majority of these workers, as well as those still living in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, commuting all the way to Santa Rosa or some other Sonoma County town or city is unlikely, he said.

The impact of the next injection of IPO wealth will be generalized, he said. “It’s not going to cause a temporary spike, but will likely feed demand in the long-run housing appreciation,” he said.

As housing prices in the SF and core Bay Area rise, people gradually move outward to “cheaper pastures,” Romen said.

“Appreciation comes in the form of IPOs and employee equity,” Romen said. “This is another pump or cycle or influx of that flow of capital into the Bay Area. It’s going to keep supporting the long-term increase in prices.”

That’s been happening for years, said Ned MacDonald, the owner of a 500-acre ranch just east of Gilpin’s property.

During a real estate broker’s tour of Gilpin’s home this week, MacDonald, 67, and his wife, Vivien, got a chance to see the inside of the new home they said “lit up” a good portion of Bennett Valley at night. The MacDonalds said they were viewing the property for a friend.

The couple said they’ve tried to maintain their property much as it was when their home was built around 1900. They could see their horse stables on the other side of Bennett Valley Road from Gilpin’s east wall windows in the living room.

“The landscape of people in Northern California has changed with the money from Silicon Valley, which is kind of the epicenter of the world,” said Ned MacDonald.

You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 707-521-5213 or martin.espinoza@pressdemocrat.com.

Article source: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/9677467-181/sonoma-countys-luxury-home-market

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