Amador County

A Guide to the Defensible Space Inspection in Amador County

Defensible Space Inspections: What You Need To Know During Your Real Estate Transaction

If you are considering Buying or Selling here in Amador County, chances are a Defensible Space Inspection will be a part of your transaction. This guide delves into the steps of the defensible space inspection process, offering valuable insights for homeowners and potential buyers.

  1. What is Defensible Space?: The first step in ensuring a smooth residential sale in high fire risk areas is understanding the concept of defensible space. Cal Fire has defined Defensible Space simply: “Defensible space is the buffer between your structure and the surrounding area.” Ultimately Defensile space is your homes first line of defense against a wildfire. There are many reasons the Defensible Space around your home is important. In the event of a fire not only will proper Defensible Space slow, or even halt fire progress, it also keeps firefighters safe while they defend your home.
  1. Do I have to have a Defensible Space Inspection?:  California has stringent regulations in place to mitigate fire risks, but not every home is required to have a Defensible Space Inspection during the sales process. So how do you know if you will need one or not? Homes that are in a High or Very High fire zone are required to have a Defensible Space Inspection. How do you find out if your home is in one of these zones? You can do this by either checking Cal Fires “Fire Severity Zone Map” on their website, or check your Natural Hazard Disclosure Report. This report is generally ordered by your Real Estate Agent. If your home is in a High, or Very High Fire Zone you will need a Defensible Space Inspection.
  2. ...

Momentum Is Building for New Home Construction

If you’re in the process of looking for a home today, you know the supply of homes for sale is low because you’re feeling the impact of having a limited pool of options. And, if your biggest hurdle right now is that you’re having trouble finding something you like, don’t forget that a newly built home is a great option.

As a recent article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says

Home buyers continue to be met with limited housing options during what’s typically the real estate market’s busiest season. . . . The current supply of existing homes is about half the level it was in 2019 . . . Meanwhile, the market for new construction is a bright spot.”

Here’s a look at a key metric that shows just how much new home construction is ramping up nationwide. It’s called new residential completions. Basically, completions are newly built homes that are finished and ready to move into.

The graph below uses data from the Census to show the trend of new-home...

Swingles...The Place to Meat

Ah, the 4th of July! It's a fantastic time for barbecues and outdoor gatherings and if you are close to or passing thru Jackson, CA all the locals know where to meat....

Swingles Meat Co, located at 12640 Kennedy Flat Rd in Jackson CA is favorite in Amador County specializing in marinated meats such as the house favorite "Kona" tri-tip and the "Motherlode" as a close second for me but also offers all the local butcher ammenities and a great option for high-quality meats and if you are vegetarian or fish lover they also have a large frozen section of different types of delicious dishes including pastas and fish.

Most meats are locally sourced and offer premium cuts of meat along with processing wild game and a big assest to our local FFA (Future Farmer's Of America) program and Amador County Fair.  Established in 1945 this long running butcher  has provided our community with only the finest quality and care and always supports our hometown locals and welcomes visitors from all over.  Come check them out!


What Does an Economic Slowdown Mean for the Housing Market?

What Does an Economic
Slowdown Mean for the Housing Market? | MyKCM

According to a recent survey, more and more Americans are concerned about a possible recession. Those concerns were validated when the Federal Reserve met and confirmed they were strongly committed to bringing down inflation. And, in order to do so, they'd use their tools and influence to slow down the economy.

All of this brings up many fears and questions around how it might affect our lives, our jobs, and business overall. And one concern many Americans have is: how will this affect the housing market? We know how economic slowdowns have impacted home prices in the past, but how could this next slowdown affect real estate and the cost of financing a home?

According to Mortgage Specialists:

Throughout history, during a recessionary period, interest rates go up at the beginning of the recession. But in order to come out of a recession, interest rates are lowered to stimulate the economy moving forward.


Lake Tabeaud - Amador Local Favorite Walking Spot

lake tabeaud amador county park

Halfway between Pine Grove and Jackson, CA on a gold country backroad sits a little gem of a lake that makes for a quick and easy escape from the daily grind.

Lake Tabeaud is centrally located in Amador County and is a local favorite spot as a day use hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding and picnicing getaway.  Local fisherman frequent the small lake for a little fishing therapy and the lake is stocked with trout by fish and game occassionally in the spring.  Although there is no swimming or motorized boats on this tiny lake you can enjoy the water on a kayak or simply sit peacefully on the banks as you fish.

lake tabeaud hikingMany locals make use of the close hiking path which makes a 2.5 mile course around Lake Tabeau.  This path is wide in most places and not too difficult and many times shared with mountain bikers, horseback riders and happy dogs (on leash of course).  Scenery includes the serene lake surrounded with local foothill pines and oaks progressing to beautiful views of the Mokulumne River Canyon which glow with California poppies and local wildflowers in the spring.  As you progress to the narrower path that gently winds through the wooded area you can see the abandoned waterways which once fed into the lake and redirected for local Amador miners to use for water stamp mills and then ultimately now used for Amador County Public Water.  For more information of the water use of this lake you can contact Amador County Water District and PG&E which now use this waterway for Amador...

Gold Country Real Estate News - Spring 2022

We just finished our Spring 2022 issue of Gold Country Real Estate News which includes the latest information on the Amador County real estate market, featured listings within our community, a small business spotlight (South Main Veterinary Hospital) & more!   

Click the "READ NOW" image below to open and read the latest issue of Gold Country Real Estate News and contact the Gold Country Modern Real Estate Team if we can assist you in any way with your local real estate needs!


She’s So Charcuterie - featured Amador County Small Business

shes so charcuterie

Here in the Gold Country, we are so lucky to have incredible local businesses that help shape this growing community for the better. One face behind these businesses is deserving of spotlight: Taylor Wenske, owner and founder of She’s So Charcuterie. For the uninitiated, charcuterie is the art of preparing and assembling cured meats and other accompaniments. With festive and fresh arrangements of fruits, meats, cheeses, nuts, it’s not surprising how She’s So Charcuterie finds its mantra: “I believe that a charcuterie board can change your life.”

Funnily enough, Taylor’s interest in charcuterie arrangements arose from lackluster snack offerings at parties:

“I always grew up being a very picky eater,” Taylor said. “Whenever I would go to events such as birthday parties, hang outs, or get togethers I would be so anxious about what food options there would be, or if there would be any options that I would be willing to eat. When I started dating my now-husband (boyfriend at the time, in high school) his mom would make meat and cheese platters to snack on when I would go over to their house. These became two of my favorite things to eat.”

When she eventually got comfortable enough, Taylor would start bringing her own snacks to events so she wouldn’t have to worry if there were any options for her.

“And people loved the presentation of my little platters,” Taylor said. “Over time I became the snack girl that would always bring a charcuterie to any gathering. Any event, big or small, I would bring along a charcuterie board.”

When Taylor finally decided that this was something she could do even more with, she took on her first real event...

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row

Real Estate Voted the Best
Investment Eight Years in a Row | MyKCM

In an annual Gallup poll, Americans chose real estate as the best long-term investment. And it's not the first time it's topped the list, either. Real estate has been on a winning streak for the past eight years, consistently gaining traction as the best long-term investment (see graph below):

Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row | MyKCMIf you're thinking about purchasing a home this year, this poll should reassure you. Even when inflation is rising like it is today, Americans agree an investment like real estate truly shines.

Why Is Real Estate a Great Investment During Times of High Inflation?

With inflation reaching its highest level in ...

Are Amador County Housing Prices Cooling

The buzz is everywhere, the headlines abound: the housing market is poised to cool. But is it? And what does that mean? What trends or factors point to this? We’ll try to answer these questions, and then take a deep dive into the Amador County real estate sales data.

What do experts mean by a “cooling” market?

Simply put, it means a decline in housing demand, transactions, and ultimately, prices. And it’s certainly fair to predict cooling when the market’s been heating up for so long; real estate is cyclical after all. But it’s important to keep in mind that even the savviest expert wouldn’t place a high bet on any specific set of metrics, especially these days.

Why? We’re dealing with unprecedented circumstances like the pandemic, federal stimulus, work-from-home, and other dynamics that don’t factor in to normal housing market prediction models. In fact, if you look back to the predictions real estate experts made in March or April of 2020, right when Covid happened, you’ll notice that almost nothing that they predicted materialized. With many market dynamics in the Freakanomics category still very much at play, it’s difficult to predict future prices with reliable accuracy.

So, to say things will cool off is ambiguous at best, and anxiety-producing at worst. It’s a loose term to describe a wide range of guesses. Instead, let’s look closer at the numbers, and try to get a sense for what they really tell us.

What would cause this to occur?
It’s true that in Amador County (and almost everywhere in the US), home prices have been rising for years, then unexpectedly surged during – of all times – a global pandemic. We know inventory shortages and rock-bottom interest rates coupled with stimulus programs and newfound work-at-home flexibility all played a role. But no one predicted so...

Hanger Management - Featured Amador County Small Business

mobile clothing boutique in Amador County

Gold Country Small Business Spotlight: Hanger Management Mobile Boutique

Here in Amador County, we are so lucky to have incredible local businesses that help shape this growing community for the better. One face behind these businesses is deserving of spotlight: Chelsea Hills, owner and founder of Hanger Management Mobile Boutique. She took a truck and turned it into a mobile boutique! Now this awesome storefront is available for parties, events, private shopping, you name it—because they come to you! Their clothing collections are carefully selected with customers in mind, so you can shop for your style privately at your own pace.

With an eye for fashion and a penchant for customer service, Chelsea had always wanted to run a boutique. Almost a year ago, she began to play with the idea more seriously but a full-time job was dashing the dream. Thinking of ways to make this idea a reality, Chelsea’s husband, Josh, offered up the idea: “Why don’t you do a mobile boutique?”

And of course, the idea was everything Chelsea had been looking for. “We ended up buying an old step truck and transformed it into a store,” Chelsea said. “Now we take it to wineries, private parties and all kinds of events.”
In a world where public shopping can seem rather stressful, the mobile boutique was able to meet people where they felt safe. Though Chelsea started the company in May 2021, Covid didn’t put a halt on business. Rather, because people were so hesitant to go out and shop publicly, Hanger Management was exactly what they needed.

Mobile Clothing Boutique in Amador County

clothing truck amador county...

Millions of Americans Have Discovered the Benefits of Multigenerational Households

Millions of Americans Have
Discovered the Benefits of Multigenerational Households | MyKCM

If your needs are changing, you may be thinking about sharing a home with additional loved ones, such as grandparents, adult children, or other extended family members. Whether it's for financial or health-related circumstances, or simply because you've reached a new phase of life, you might be wondering if living with multiple generations under the same roof is a good move for you. Many people have found themselves in a similar situation and they've already made the choice to live in a multigenerational home.

What Is a Multigenerational Home?

The Pew Research Center defines a multigenerational household as a home with two or more adult generations. They include households with grandparents and grandchildren under the age of 25. As you weigh your options and decide if multigenerational living is right for you, here’s some helpful information highlighted by other homeowners living with additional loved ones.

The Benefits of Multigenerational Living

A recent ...

Today's Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

Today's Real Estate Market
Explained Through 4 Key Trends | MyKCM

As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here's a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market.

A Shortage of Homes for Sale

Earlier this year, the number of homes available for sale fell to an all-time low. In recent months, however, inventory levels are starting to trend up. The latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from says:

In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.

This is good news for buyers who crave more options. But even though we're experiencing ...

Helping Amador County: Interfaith Food Bank

How you can help give back to those that give the most.

amador county food bankFor the Interfaith Food Bank of Amador County, the year 2020 was a year of many struggles, and thanks to support from our community, even more triumphs. Despite taking on an almost 20% increase in the number of clients they serve, they also had to persevere with a lack in staff. Normally, Interfaith logs about 20,000 volunteer hours annually. But for obvious reasons, 2020 saw only 6,400 volunteer hours logged. So, how did this local food bank manage to provide to over 14% of the population of Amador County last year? Because those are the results of people who care:

“We’re serving clients as we always have for the last twenty years, but we’re doing it a lot differently now,” said Beth Stanton, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Amador, who has been running the food bank for over four years. “We used to have our clients come in to our lobby and sit down, have coffee, maybe a cookie, and we would talk with them—in addition to giving them groceries.” Now, their only focus is making sure that food gets to the people that need it. And that’s no easy feat when you have a staff of 4, only 4-5 national guards helping out, and a handful of volunteers that have only just begun to trickle back in due to the pandemic.

During 2020, Interfaith provided over 1,450,000 pounds of food to 2,140 families (that’s 5,238 individuals), bringing them food multiple times a month. Over half of those helped were children and seniors. However, when it comes to helping the children in our county, Interfaith could always use more assistance: “We are building...




2020 will always be remembered as an incredibly challenging year in which COVID-19 seemed to shut down the world. However, you may be surprised to learn that our local residential real estate market boomed in 2020.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the Amador County housing market was a shining star in 2020 as average home prices skyrocketed 13%. While few people would have expected this (especially during the first few months of the pandemic when the real estate market and economy came to a grinding halt) the Gold Country real estate market came roaring back in late Spring and early Summer and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. 


From our perspective, the biggest driver has been the state and county’s requirement to “shelter in place” which has forced people everywhere to spend a lot more time at home. As days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months, that extended time at home caused many people to re-evaluate their living situation and priorities. During this time of self-reflection, consumers seemingly placed a significantly greater value on the importance of a home and its new meaning as a place to live, love, relax and work. Additionally, as people were going through this period of self-reflection, employers (especially those in the San Francisco Bay Area) were also adapting to the pandemic and allowing their employees to work from home — many on a permanent basis.

As a result, people felt more...

Motivate Fitness, Amador County - Gold Country Small Business Profile

motivate amador county fitness

Gold Country would be nothing without its small businesses, and we would personally like to shine the spotlight on a small business that is a big part of our community. This month, that spotlight goes to Motivate Personal Fitness Academy (“Motivate”), a Premier Affiliate TRX™ facility located in Sutter Creek. Owner Dominic Vicari’s roots run deep in the Gold Country, raised by a multi-generational Amador County family. Since he opened Motivate in 2014, his small business has stood out as one of the Gold Country’s best.

Vicari discovered his passion for the industry during his own personal fitness journey. After learning the benefits of a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle, he became inspired to help others do the same. At the age of 19 he became a personal trainer, and now maintains a “Level 3 Certification” in personal training with TRX Company, an achievement held by only 1% of fitness trainers in the nation.

After working for a private training studio locally, Vicari had garnered enough experience to set out on his own. In 2014, he opened Motivate Personal Fitness Academy. Vicari and his team just refer to the studio as “Motivate” – because that’s what it’s all about.

“I’ve made it a point to get well-connected throughout the country and further my education from the best in the industry,” Vicari said. “With that came an understanding of where our industry is moving. At the time, we [personal fitness trainers] just worked out the apparently healthy and helped them feel better. Where our industry is going, we are actually more a part of the healthcare team.” Vicari works...

Gold Country Homeowners - Prop 19 is BIG News

gold country prop 19 moving homes

Proposition 19 was approved by voters in November of last year, but it will soon take effect. Many Gold Country homeowners have expressed interest in this new proposition since they could be eligible for fairly significantly property tax savings when they move, especially if they have lived in their home for some time and the value of their home has increased substantially since it was originally purchased.


Before Proposition 19, if Barry Buyer bought a home in 1975 for $200,000 and the property was now worth $1 million, Barry may have resisted selling even if the house was too large and climbing the stairs in his multi-story home had become too much for his knees. To sell and downsize to a smaller home worth $500,000, Barry would wind up paying more than twice the property taxes he was paying, and he’d be taxed on the $500,000 tax base rather the $200,000 base in his current home. For this costly reason, Barry stayed in his home despite really wanting to sell. Under the newly passed Prop. 19, Barry is now free to sell his home and buy another home anywhere in California that is valued at $1 million or less and have his same tax base ($200,000). This represents a tremendous savings and removes one of the major barriers that prevented Barry (and many long-time homeowners in California) from selling his home and moving.

While the final details of this proposition are still coming together, we wanted to share the latest information with you which we recently received from the California Association of Realtors.


Exploring the Back Roads of Amador County

Exploring The Back Roads Of Amador County

Looking for some recreational fun in the Gold Country that combines exercise in a beautiful setting with a little bit of California history?  Come and experience what has, until now, been a well-kept local secret – the back roads that connect the picturesque mining towns of Sutter Creek, Drytown, and Amador City.

Just the names of the roads evoke thoughts of days gone by; New Chicago Road, Mayflower Road, String Bean Alley…  As you walk, bike, or jog on these quiet roads, you’ll pass by old mines including the remnants of Bunker Hill Mine, Keystone Mine, Treasure Mine, and the headframe of the Fremont Mine where, if you look closely, you may spy an eagle’s nest.  Explore the Oak Knoll Cemetery along Bunker Hill Road or keep an eye out for the Dynan Monument, located in the midst of a pasture underneath an old twisted fig tree.

Sound interesting?  To get more information and suggestions on how you can explore Amador County’s historic byways drop by the City of Sutter Creek Visitor Center or pay them a visit on Facebook.

For information on buying or selling a home or land in Sutter Creek, Amador City, Drytown or elsewhere in Amador County, give me a call at 209 404-3707...

In Search of the Perfect Breakfast in Amador County

Ask me what my favorite breakfast / brunch place in Sutter Creek is and I’d tell you hands down that it is a hip little eatery called Element.  Give me a sunny day, good company and a little bit of time and you’ll find me on Element’s patio soaking in the ambience of Sutter Creek with my friends, clients or maybe even on my own.

 I love Element’s laid back sophistication in both décor and cuisine. On a chilly morning I like to warm up with an espresso from the coffee bar or have what I call a “breakfast salad” (in reality it is an awesome Bloody Mary).  Couple that with one of Element’s breakfasts and you can’t go wrong. Whether you choose a Fiddletown Stir-fry, Gold Country Cakes, a Motherlode omelet, the All Sutter Creek, or my son’s personal favorite - the Pan of Gold, you are guaranteed to get a thoughtfully prepared meal made with the choicest ingredients.

 If you are visiting our area for fun or, perhaps, doing a little house hunting, the Hanford House Inn, which is adjacent to Element, might make a great base of operation for you.  Get a good night’s sleep at the inn and enjoy a great breakfast at Element before beginning the day’s activities.

 Stay tuned to my blog for more suggestions of great places to eat and interesting things to do in the Gold Country.  Being a native Amador County girl I know them all!

 And, as always, if you are planning to ...

New Development in Plymouth/Shenandoah Valley

Happy New Year!  It looks like 2017 will be another great year for real estate in the Gold Country.  I’m especially excited about a new community that is being developed in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Country and would like to share a few details with you.

 Located in the hills outside of Plymouth, CA this planned neighborhood is currently in its first phase of development – offering you a great opportunity to choose your lot and have a thoughtfully designed luxury home built to your specifications. A variety of plans are available, and most have loads of options for customizing.  Properties for sale begin in the low $500s.  Included in the community are plans for three neighborhood parks, hiking trails, and 100+ acres of dedicated open space. 

 If you’d like to take a look at the homesites in this stunning Shenandoah Valley/ Plymouth subdivision and check out the house plans that have been specifically designed for the location, give me a call at 209 404-3707.   I’d welcome the chance to represent you!

 Whether you are thinking about buying or selling a home in Amador’s Shenandoah Valley or elsewhere in our lovely Gold Country I can help.  Please contact me at 209 404-3707 or drop me a line

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