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Mike Bolen's Blog

By Mike Bolen | Agent in Napa, CA
  • Buyers Frustrated by Low Inventory

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  October 10, 2012 2:03 PM  |  1,003 views  |  No comments

    Are you looking for a new home and finding yourself out-bid with each contract you submit? Low mortgage rates plus low inventory equals a sellers market - and the competition is hot, especially in California (Napa too).

    "Inventory declines have typically preceded stronger prices if demand stays the same, because more buyers are chasing fewer homes. But low inventory could also curb transaction volumes if buyers, frustrated by the lack of choice, sit on the sidelines."

    If you've found yourself frustrated trying to purchase a home, call Mike Bolen and he can help you throughout your entire real estate transaction. 707.254.9999 or

    Here's a link to an Wall Street Journal article that speaks to the same as above:

  • Go-To Tips for Getting Your Home Show-Ready and Top Dollar

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Selling, Design & Decor  |  September 27, 2012 7:08 PM  |  1,009 views  |  2 comments

    The market "mood", so to speak, is competitive and to get top dollar for your home, consider adding some of the following to your home before the next showing or open house. Love the fresh flowers and subtle accents like decorator boxes and picture groupings or add seasonal color with candles.

    Take a moment to review this great article by Chramean Neithart for more ideas.

    Mike Bolen and his team can help you get your home "sell" ready. Call today 707.254.9999 or email Mike at
  • How to Buy a Home Without Any Regrets

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Home Ownership  |  September 21, 2012 2:04 PM  |  1,017 views  |  1 comment

    In the current market, where inventory is still low and competition for having your contract accepted is high, it is advisable to consider the following list as compiled by Doug Bullwinkel, VITEK Mortgage Group.

    Home Buyers 10 Most Common Regrets

    1. Not Thinking of Your Long-term Needs
    Put some thought as to where you and your family will be in 2 to 6 years. Thinking ahead will assist you in assuring you purchase a home to fit your needs for the future.

    2. Not Being Open Minded With Your Home Search
    Choosing not to use a Realtor® can be detrimental. A Realtor® (an experienced one such as Mike Bolen 707.254.9999, mike@mikebolen.com, www.mikebolen.com) can guide you through the process and will have access to up-to-date listings and details not found in internet searches.

    3. Deciding to Hire Just Any Agent
    The key is to make a connection with a Realtor® (such as Mike Bolen 707.254.9999, mike@mikebolen.com, www.mikebolen.com) you trust with a proven track record, and that has your best interest at heart. Ask friends or co-workers for a referral.

    4. Not doing Thorough Research
    Create a list of needs and wants. Decide what is important to you, such as schools, parks, crime rate, etc. Be detailed so your Realtor® can better match you with the right home for your needs.

    5. Writing an Offer before Being Pre-qualified
    Meet with a qualified lender first to review the program(s) you are qualified for, along with the closing cost estimate and interest rate, to help you determine upfront how much home you can afford.

    6. Not Understanding the Cost Involved in Your Loan
    Meet with a qualified lender to review a Good Faith Estimate. This estimate contains all taxes, insurance, homeowner’s dues, and loan fees, associated with the 'cost' of your home loan.

    7. Looking at a Limited Number of Homes
    Most likely this will be the largest purchase you will ever make. Request your Realtor® prepare a market analysis to provide you current and important area data to save you time and stress later on. (Mike is a Napa expert and is highly skilled in this area)

    8. Not Paying to get the Home Inspected
    Now is not the time to cut corners. When you hire a professional home inspector they will inform you of items you may have overlooked to help you guarantee you are making the right purchase.

    9. Not Obtaining the Right Amount of Property Insurance
    Rely on a professional for advice. Contact different companies and get several quotes to compare to. Ask about replacement cost and deductibles.

    10. Not Purchasing a Home Warranty
    This is a safety net. The warranty is usually good for one year from the close of escrow date and can be purchased by you or the seller. Talk to your agent about this necessary protection plan.

    Feel free to call Mike Bolen to discuss how your next real estate transaction can be "regret free". 707.254.9999, email mike@mikebolen.com, or www.mikebolen.com.

  • Demand for Vineyard properties and Wineries Up in Napa Valley

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying  |  September 15, 2012 5:14 PM  |  995 views  |  No comments

    High-end wine sales are up this year and so is the demand for quaility acreage in Napa Valley. The wine industry is feeling the effects of increased high-end wine sales and those in the businss are feeling the positive effects - wine makers and industry leaders have laid low of late while waiting out the unstable economy. But the recent increase in wine sales across the US spark winery owners interest pointing them to the conculsion that some things in the economy are ready to start moving again. Credit is easier to come by and funds previously restricted for travel and entertainment are more readily available - it's time for a growth spurt - or to plant some new vines.
    Take a look at who's expanding their wine business and vineyard portfolio:

    Are you, or do you know someone, who is interested in purchasing a vineyard or winery in or around Napa Valley? Contact Mike Bolen to learn about available properties 707.254.9999 or mike@mikebolen.com.
  • Are you registered to vote?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Selling  |  August 24, 2012 12:27 PM  |  115 views  |  No comments

    It was suggested at a recent realtor convention that I attended that no matter which candidate wins the 2012 election, the housing market will be sluggish between Oct. and January 2013.  Recent studies, as explained in the article below, indicate that the housing market is stabilizing and improving.  NAR president, Moe Veissi, says "For those with good credit, we've never seen better housing affordability conditions or market opportunities than we see at present.”  So, if you’re considering selling, get your house on the market before November!


  • Napa - Ranked as one of the "15 Best Housing Markets for the Next Five Years"

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Napa, Market Conditions in Napa, Home Buying in Napa  |  August 16, 2012 7:26 AM  |  209 views  |  No comments
    There are quite a few things about Napa that cause me, personally, to believe that Napa is one of the top places in the US to live.  It's natural beauty, surrounding wine country, relaxed atmosphere, lively tourists, spas, great schools, proximity to San Fransico and the Pacific Ocean are just a some of the things that make Napa special.  I didn't mention the restaurant scene, but the culinary climate in Napa is second to none!  Amazing meals at every turn.

    I'm Napa's biggest fan and it's not important to me whether others agree with me on this or not.  However, Napa being ranked on the Business Insider's list of the Top 15 Best Housing Markets for the Next Five Years is going to point a lot of people in this direction. Once home buyers know the housing market is strong in Napa, they will come to find it to be an extraordinary place to call home. 

    Contact Mike Bolen to help you with all of your Napa Valley real estate needs.  (707) 254.9999 or mike@mikebolen.com

  • Home Improvement Projects - Which ones are worth it?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  July 3, 2012 9:21 PM  |  131 views  |  No comments

    Considering the fact that the number of homes for sale in Napa is low, less than 300 in May 2012, sellers may not feel the need to make improvements to their homes that they typically might in a better stocked environment with more obvious competition.  Just because your home is the only one for sale on your street (or neighborhood, or side of town), doesn’t mean you should forsake sprucing up your home before you market it for sale – buyers are still discerning (unless it’s an investor or rehabber), usually well educated in the home options available in their price range, and deliberate in how they go about choosing a home to purchase.  They know what they can spend and what they want to spend it on.  Does your home have what buyers are looking for? 


    What home improvement projects actually increase the likelihood that you’ll see a return on your investment?  What are buyers looking for?  Mike Bolen and his team are skilled and knowledgeable in the Napa market and they know what helps homes sell.  They keep their finger on the pulse of the local economy and nationwide.  Call Mike so he can guide you through the process of preparing your home for sale or any of your other real estate needs.  Call (707) 254-9999, email mike@mikebolen.com or visit the website www.mikebolen.com.

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