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    U.S. News & World Report claims Sonoma is the best small town to visit in America

    Updated 9:18 am, Tuesday, June 20, 2017

    The Bay Area is already well-versed in the food-wine-outdoor activity trifecta that Sonoma has going for it, but the city’s attributes are being recognized by others: Sonoma has earned a top spot in one of U.S. News & World Report’s newly released Best Vacation rankings for 2017-2018.

    The news site selected the Northern California city as the “Best Small Town to Visit in the USA,” suggesting Sonoma is a better wine destination than Napa. U.S. News & World Report described Sonoma in glowing terms, calling it a county known for “its bucolic charms and array of wineries” but also “Napa’s rustic, less-refined and more-relaxed sister.”

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    Bay Area Cities Rank Among the Nation’s Best for Outdoor Lovers

    The Bay Area’s thriving economy and excellent educational opportunities are perhaps the region’s biggest draws for homebuyers. But the allure of Northern California’s healthy, active lifestyle cannot be underestimated, and a lot of that has to do with the exceptional outdoor recreation spots our region offers. Read more at http://pacunion.us/1lP701G

    Remodeling Your Home? Start With the Kitchen and the Roof.

    If you’re planning interior and exterior renovations in advance of putting your home on the market, upgrading the kitchen and the roof may be the smartest calls, according to results of a new survey. And even if you intend to stay put, the right home-remodeling jobs can increase your satisfaction and quality of life. For more, go to http://pacunion.us/1Y3Fh9D

    Winter Storms Are Coming. Are You Ready?

    The heavy rains set to pummel the Bay Area are a wake-up call for homeowners to be prepared for stronger storms coming in the months ahead. For tips to stay high and dry, go to http://pacunion.us/1Y6kFxr

    Bay Area Projected to Lead U.S. for Multifamily Housing Income Growth in 2015

    Multifamily property owners in major Bay Area regions can expect to see the largest gross effective income gains in the U.S. this year, thanks in part to a robust job market and limited supply, says a new report from Freddie Mac. Read more at http://bit.ly/1Ed9Hkt

    March is a Busy Month for Buyers and Sellers. Are You Ready?

    March is one of the busiest months of the year for Northern California homebuyers and sellers. Whether you’re looking for a new home or preparing to put yours on the market, it’s important that you’re ready for busy times ahead. Here are some tips for both buyers and sellers: http://bit.ly/1BOHZc4

    Glen Ellen’s Fig Cafe reopens with new interior, new menus

    When restaurateur Sondra Bernstein decided to update her Fig Café in Glen Ellen before the holidays this winter, she planned on a mostly cosmetic freshening for the restaurant she had run for the past 18 years.

    But such is the character of an old building, that it ended up taking a month-and-a-half, including closing the eatery all that time for substantial reconstruction.

    Finally, though, the work is complete, and this weekend, Bernstein debuted brand new dinner and weekend brunch menus, too.

    “Six weeks seemed like an eternity,” said Bernstein, who also owns Girl & The Fig restaurant in downtown Sonoma. “Unfortunately we found some issues under the floor, which meant more time, which bumped us into the holidays which led us into workers not wanting to work – understandably so.”

    The top-to-bottom makeover brings a lighter, brighter mood, with pastel paints, handcrafted woodwork, bold geometric metals and minerals, refined ceramic, glass, and granite, all primarily made by local artists. The menu board is a statement, as well, presented on wood slabs dyed with juice from local Grenache grapes, while the weekly Plats du Jour three-course prix-fixe is handwritten on sheets rolled from an antique butcher paper dispenser by the front door.

    On the kitchen side, executive chef and managing partner John Toulze has preserved the Cal-Med theme, with more emphasis on organic produce from the restaurant’s “sharecropper” arrangement at the garden on Imagery Estate Winery nearby.

    Guests can expect updated dinner dishes like lightly fried olives stuffed with housemade mortadella alongside anchovy rémoulade ($5), goat cheese gnocchi with black truffle, winter onions, carrots and pine nut pesto ($18), and Mt. Lassen Trout in brown butter with sunchokes, preserved lemon and marinated ricotta ($22).

    Fig Café: 13690 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, (707) 938-2130 or thefigcafe.com. Hours: Dinner 5 to 9:30 p.m. nightly; brunch 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun.





    The Coffeehouse Effect: Follow Starbucks for Neighborhoods With Rising Home Values

    A new book by two top executives at Zillow says that the opening of a Starbucks store is an accurate predictor of rising home prices in the area. Learn more at http://bit.ly/1zWB3IT

    Pacific Union Honored for Unique China Concierge Program

    February 3, 2015 by Pacific Union • Posted in Pacific Union News


    From left to right: Pacific Union China Concierge Cathy Li, Hurun Report North American Publisher Elizabeth Harrington, Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf, and Pacific Union Vice President of Marketing Jessica Frushtick.

    Pacific Union is thrilled to announce that we’ve been honored as “Best San Francisco Bay Area Luxury Real Estate Agency” by Hurun Report, a respected and influential publication that targets high-net-worth individuals in China.

    At a Jan. 29 ceremony at the Pudong Ritz Carlton in Shanghai, Pacific Union Vice President of Marketing Jessica Frushtick personally accepted the award from Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher Rupert Hoogewerf. Also in attendance at the gala were Elizabeth Harrington, North American publisher of Hurun Report, and Pacific Union’s dedicated China Concierge Cathy Li.

    Based on the results of Hurun Report’s Chinese Luxury Survey 2015, our firm earned the honor for our China Concierge program, a white-glove initiative that helps homebuyers from China purchase properties throughout Northern California. Through two Mandarin-speaking staff members based in Beijing and Shanghai, Chinese buyers can connect with a Pacific Union real estate professional to identify luxury properties, get advice on financing, learn more about local schools, and obtain immigration assistance.

    Pacific Union officially launched its China Concierge program in early 2014, after company CEO Mark A. McLaughlin became inspired by a presentation about the growing impact of Chinese investors on the U.S. real estate market.

    McLaughlin — one of just 10 U.S. corporate executives invited to attend an exclusive meeting by former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke in December 2013 — expressed his deep appreciation for the Hurun Report honor and stressed Pacific Union’s commitment to offering Chinese homebuyers the highest level of service.

    “I am both humbled and truly grateful for this prestigious honor and our acceptance as a brand by our valued clients in China,” McLaughlin said. “Pacific Union’s entire team of real estate and marketing professionals is dedicated to providing these clients with extraordinary service as they seek to purchase a home in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area region.”

    In May of last year, Pacific Union launched both Mandarin and English websites hosted on Chinese servers to better allow clients in the country to access property listings and information. We also offer aMandarin-language version of our exclusive San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Outlook 2017, which we unveiled in a live presentation last November.

    Over the past year, Pacific Union’s China Concierge program has attracted the attention of prominent media outlets, including San Francisco Business Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, and Bay Area TV station KPIX. Most recently, the initiative was mentioned by radio show The Takeaway, which dedicated an episode to foreign investment in the San Francisco and New York City real estate markets.

    2014’s Priciest Silicon Valley Home Sales Share Common Threads

    Although every house is unique, the 10 priciest single-family home sales in the communities of Atherton, Palo Alto, and Woodside have some things in common. David Barca, vice president of Pacific Union’s Silicon Valley region, takes a look at the similarities at http://bit.ly/13RiAAc