3333 Mendocino Avenue Santa Rosa 95403
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I have been both a realtor and land use consultant for over 30 years in Napa, Sonoma and Lake Counties. My focus is and has been in assisting land owners and potential buyers interested in land use is to understand the Chain of Title to their property. Most owners believe the preliminary title report is the most important document concerning land ownership. This is essentially not the case. The most important document to owners and prospective buyers is the Chain of Title. Please let me tell you why!! Preceding your title report there have possibly been many landowners who have owned a property back to the original creation of the parcel of land. Typically in these three counties, the first land divisions were created prior to 1860 as Spanish and Mexican Land Grants called 'Rancho's'. After the Rancho's, the second major land divisions were listed as Homestead Grants which are also known as Land Patents. These original homestead grants were signed and granted to the U.S. Citizen (owner) by our United States Government between 1860 to the early 1900's. Additionally other types of land ownerships came from recorded subdivisions of lands in cities and counties all over the State of California as well as those that were created by mining claims and tax reclamation deeds from the government.
As we entered the 19th Century landowners did not fully understand the history of the land ownership and were most concerned with the amount of taxes they were paying on the land. This period was in the 1920's Depression era. Often, landowners requested that the local assessors show their property as one parcel thus lowering the taxes levied against the land. Many of these legal descriptions were forgotten and now today's owners can trace back (via the Chain of Title) to see if these parcels still exist on their property.
I have created hundreds of these parcels for land owners in the Napa, Sonoma and Lake County regions. My primary fascination in perfecting these old parcels was to assist landowners who otherwise were restricted by local governments from subdividing property. Once subdivided, the owner could pass down individual parcels to their heirs. Many of these types of properties are owned by ranchers who have held ownership of the property for many generations and were unable to bequeath their property to their children because the government levied significant inheritance taxes on the land once transferred.
This formal (and legal) recognition of the old parcel descriptions is a way for families to keep their ranch for the future generations without having to sell the property. As I have mentioned earlier I have created hundreds of these parcels and have assisted landowners with lot line adjustments to relocate parcels to new areas on property. I work with a hand-selected team of of the areas top professionals to determine the best overall potential for relocating a parcel of land to a new location on a given property. These decisions can be very delicate to make due to the complexities involved such as; new roads, building sites, vineyard land selection, percolation, view sheds, habitat corridors and overall desirability or potential resale when creating a new parcel. The most exciting part of this land planning process is the ability to provide the landowner the right to decide for himself where their parcels are located and not be subject to local planning department or governments' regulations.
While this is a summary of the process, it is my hope that I can discuss it further to give you a better understanding of the process and what is entailed. Please don't hesitate to call me about my land use consultant services, it is entirely possible that your land qualifies to be subdivided using this unique process that I have perfected over the last 20 years. It is my pleasure to discuss your questions and concerns regarding this subdivision process and how I might assist you.
Sonoma & Napa Wine Country Real Estate Specialist. Jeff Bounsall is a premier realtor specializing in the sale of country estates, ranches, vineyards and wineries in Healdsburg, Sebastopol, Forestville, Geyserville, Cloverdale, Alexander Valley, Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, and Yontville.