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Surging home prices
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Surging home prices

EDITOR: I’m writing about one of your June 8 headlines, “Median Sonoma Valley Home Price Surges Past $1 million.”

My wife and I are fortunate to be living in a house purchased eight years ago. Our Sonoma home is a modest 1970 ranch-style house, two bedrooms and two baths. Other houses on the street are similar in size and design – except for one home.

Six years ago a couple bought this neighboring property, cut down a dozen trees, tore down the existing house and built a “trophy” home. They recently sold the house to the Pacaso company. Pacaso paid about $4 million for the property – significantly more than it was worth, given values of surrounding homes.

The Pacaso “fractionalized ownership” model removes from the market homes that are sorely needed by local families. And Pacaso pays more than market value for properties, thus fueling even greater inflation.

After a vociferous protest in Napa, Pacaso pulled one modest-sized home from its listings. The company now says that it will only purchase houses for $2 million (or more). However, this won’t prevent speculators from buying median-priced homes, remodeling them and adding various enhancements. Voila! They are now Pacaso houses!

Carl Sherrill

Sonoma