45 years ago Michael Shapiro came to Anderson Valley with little but an idea that he wanted to live in this beautiful place and make a living and raise a family. He began this journey with a few fits and starts, some may remember “Boonville Burl and Board” or the “Sundown Café and Cabaret” at the Boonville Hotel, but he ultimately settled on real estate, creating the brokerage known as North Country Real Estate. Most everyone in these parts is familiar with the red and white signs bearing his and the brokerage name NORTH COUNTRY, as well as the iconic red caboose.
After having some issues when he purchased his parcel south of town and hearing other stories about problems people had with their real estate activities, Mike said when he got into real estate: “There must be a better way.” He was committed to what he called “surprise free” real estate and embarked on helping people who were interested in moving to our valley. Now we call surprise free real estate… “full disclosure.” It was our objective in the early years and it is our commitment still and will remain our objective to all who we work with.
Michael has seen the ebbs and flows of real estate over all of those years — from the crazy-high interest rates of the 1980s to the devastation of the Great Recession in the mid-2000’s. Things appear to be in a more settled period now and Michael has decided this is the time to reflect on all that has occurred and to take some time for himself, his health and his ever-growing family.
Michael married Sharon Shapiro in 1975 on their mountaintop south of Boonville. They had their first son, Ben in 1977; they had Dave in 1980 and in 1984 they had their youngest, Gabe. Michael and Sharon raised the three boys in the Valley and all attended the local schools before graduating and moving on. Now David, Gabe and Ben are all married and all have families of their own; Michael and Sharon’s grandchildren number 5 — two girls and three boys, and now number six is on the way. Michael and Sharon want to take some time to enjoy these grandkids before they too grow up and start families of their own.
Anne Fashauer came to work for Michael at North Country Real Estate in the fall of 2010. At that time she had just a couple of years’ experience working on the coast and was ready for a change and to “come home” to Anderson Valley, at least in the working sense. From the start it has been a great fit. Anne’s prior experience includes eight years at Taylor Roberts, the model home design business (since closed) in Philo, as well as a variety of jobs in the Bay Area, including working for the Department of Defense, a union painting contractor and a small pop & pop market in Noe Valley. Anne was born in Mendocino County and her family has been in these parts for over 100 years. Anne’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree from the University of San Francisco and a Master’s degree from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. During her time at USF she also did a semester at Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. She maintains a home on Greenwood Ridge, close to where her family settled in 1905.
In the spring of 2014 Anne took the required classes to obtain her broker’s license, but a very busy summer and fall of that year kept her from taking the actual test. In March of 2015 Anne took, and passed, her broker’s license test.
With Michael ready to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the Boonville office and Anne ready and willing to step in, the two have agreed to make this change a formal one. Michael will remain very active in real estate both in Anderson Valley and Mendocino County but he will no longer be tied to the North Country brokerage responsibilities. Michael looks forward to continuing to work with his clients and friends on different real estate and business activities — in that nothing has changed. Anne will be the one dealing with all the responsibilities and the oversight required in running the North Country brokerage and continuing its goal of providing the best possible service to all our clients.
We hope you wish us both luck as we move forward with this exciting change. Stop in and visit — we’d love to see you!
--Michael Shapiro & Anne Fashauer