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Napa : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info5
  • Home Buying53
  • Home Selling9
  • Market Conditions10

Activity 128
Fri Jul 6, 2012
Adam answered:
Contact Napa Architect Sarah Marshall. She's an expert with these types of additions / renovations.
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Fri Jun 22, 2012
Donna Fortenberry answered:
I live on La Homa Drive in Napa. We have two new beautiful homes next door,selling for 549,000. They are landscaped only in front yard. Also across the street there is amost quarter acre for sale with fixer up house. Nice neighborhood. It is selling for 219,000. Can be subdivided to build house. In good area with school, doctors and hospital close by. ... more
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Wed May 16, 2012
John Arendsen answered:
Ron, I'm not entirely sure what your comment implies. I'm assuming you're referring to my presumption that she's referring to a "Manufactured Home park/community"? I certainly didn't think she was referring to a park bench somewhere in Napa. LOL!! ... more
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Thu Apr 12, 2012
Ray Beem answered:
I understand you your concern. I todays economic environment it is hard to convince a seller ot consider financing some of the loan. Both the City of Napa and County of Napa have programs in place that can contribute silent seconds at very reasonable rates to help with down payment. Perhaps that can help. I you need additional information, let me know and I will put you in contact with the right peple. ... more
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Fri Jan 13, 2012
Ty Lopez answered:
I can't, but DANA LOPEZ of BRiX Real Estate Inc. can! He is an experience broker here in the Napa Valley and if you would like to get in touch with him below is his info.

You can also do a home search on his website:

Hope you find what you're looking for!
... more
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Sun Aug 21, 2011
Lynda Jensen answered:
Hello Gina,
The answers listed below give good advise.
I have a couple of additional suggestions:
Try to narrow down where in Napa you would like to live. I assume schools will be important.
In addition, consider where you are going to work so that you can anticipate the commute.
Check out the local paper (Napa Register) on line so that you get an idea of what may be available.
The amount of $2,500 more or less should be enough to find a comfortable place.
I would get very serious about the first of October.
If you need assistance, I would be happy to have someone help you.
Lynda Jensen
Regional Manager
Wine Country Group
... more
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Wed Jun 8, 2011
Timmy answered:
Obviously, all the people saying "yes you need to get an agent" are agents. I have bought houses on several occasions directly through the seller's agent. Even though they clain to be working for the seller, they are working for themselves. No sale, no commission. If they get the sale, they get double commission.

So if they get a sale at $100,000 below listing price, the seller's agent still gets way more money than if the buyer has his own agent. You can work this to your advantage. The whole playing field is tilted in favor of the buyer right now, and the seller's agent will do whatever they can to help you buy that property, no matter what anyone says. Including dropping commission to get a deal done. That will never happen if you have two agents involved.

So if you've found a property you like, don't hand the transaction (and commission) to a buyer's agent. They're just taking your money, you don't need them, you already found the house on your own
... more
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Tue May 3, 2011
Rudi Hofmann answered:
Put yourself in the seller's shoes. How would you like this to be handled?

Happy funding, Rudi
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Wed Apr 20, 2011
Paul and Christine Nelson answered:
Yes they can. I have had an approval, buyer's docs at escrow and the bank then send over a denial contradicting what their approval said and proceeded to foreclose on the home. It does not happen a lot but I have seen this happen.

I hope this helps.

... more
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Mon Feb 7, 2011
Kevin Collins answered:
This property last sold for $2.2M in Jan '07, right after the absolute height of the market. The current owners have done some updating and additions.
It has an income producing winery and two tasting rooms. They also have a little area for weddings that they rent out. This street and area is filled with beautiful homes and wineries.
Nice property, but a bit overpriced in my opinion. If you need any more information about this or any other surrounding properties, feel free to contact me.
... more
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Mon Dec 6, 2010
Trying To Stay Informed answered:
Home vacancy rates in Napa 12/1/10 are less than 2 percent. Google and check NAI BT commercial for apartment rates - they put out quarterly reports. Hope this is helpful.
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Fri Aug 27, 2010
William Frias asked:

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Fri Jul 16, 2010
Pam Vanderschoot answered:
It is not as bad as it has been the last few years. The lenders are putting together groups of employees who just work on the REO's or Short Sales, but not both. Working with people on the listing side, selling side and lending side who all know what they are doing and what is expected makes the entire transaction go smoother and much faster in most cases. With the extra training I have been taking in distressed sales this year and last, I've got a good idea of what is needed and how to deliver it. If the home you choose is a short sale or REO (bank owned) then you might very well get a good price. The fastest sales are still, however, the fair market (non-distressed) ones and then it is up to your lender and Realtor to help get it closed in a timely manner. There are some great properties on the market right now and the interest rates have never been better. It is a great time to invest in your future! ... more
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Mon Jun 21, 2010
David Johnson answered:
If I was a young retiree with no children seeking a sense of community, I would locate near downtown.
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Wed May 26, 2010
Don Tepper answered:
Let's approach this from two angles. First, you ask how it affects you and your bottom line.

Properly structured, it'll provide some up-front cash (the option fee), income slightly higher than ordinary rent, and the possibility of a sale down the road.

Let's now address some of the statements--correct and incorrect--below:

If you get into a price today and prices go up tomorrow, you may be stuck with todays price in a year.
True. The price is usually set up-front, though it doesn't have to be. So that's why you set the price HIGHER than today's value. After all, if they could buy right now, they would. They can't. So you charge a premium for that. Let's say in today's market your home is worth $400,000. You might agree on a purchase price of $440,000 at any point in the next 3 years. Ask yourself: Would you be satisfied with that as a sales price? If yes, fine. And if the market soars and the home is really worth $460,000, that's life.

The buyer usually has the option to not buy but may loose his/her option deposit. If they do purchase, then the option money goes towards the price.
Actually, the buyer always has the option not to buy. That's why it's called an option. And, yes, they're almost always structured so that the buyer loses his/her option deposit. Remember: It's not a downpayment, and it's not a security deposit. It's a fee (an option fee), in return for which you've given them something of value: The right to buy your property.

Another thing to consider is what do you do it they don't take care of the property, because you cannot just give them a notice to move.
You structure the lease to make the tenants responsible for minor repairs. And, yes, you can just give them a notice to move. They're leasing the property from you. Although they may have an equitable interest (see below), they're there as tenants. Just make sure your lease complies with all state and local regulations.

My attorney told me that a lease option gives the tenant a "beneficial interest in the real estate". This significantly changes the landlord/tenant relationship so you need to understand HOW this affects you.
I advise you to check with an attorney who knows and understands lease options. You will probably be told that the landlord/tenant relationship does not significantly change. The lease is the lease. The option is separate. But do check with a knowledgeable attorney.

My accountant told me that, based on how the agreement is written, the length of time, the rights of the tenant, etc. is how it will be handled for income tax purposes.
I advise you to check with an accountant who knows and understands lease options. Your goal is to have two documents: a lease and an option. I'll leave it at that.

If property is renting well in your area you can rent without giving an option.
Generally true. However, some sellers like lease-options even when property is renting well. As you note, you have your property up for sale. You'd rather sell than rent. So a lease-option at least gives you a potential buyer. Rent without the option if you wish, but if you want to sell and you don't have any buyers lined up, then at least a lease-option gives you a chance.

If you give an option and prices go up the seller does NOT get that appreciation.
Generally true, as noted above. However, options can be structured to share that appreciation. It's all negotiable. What IS needed in the option is a clear, unambiguous way to determine the sale price. And most parties prefer a solid number. But it can be based on other factors, everything from indexing for inflation to requiring an appraisal at the time the option is exercised.

If you give an option and prices go down the lesee probably won't buy it - they will go and find
a cheaper house somewhere else.
Maybe. But you always have the right to renegotiate the option to offer a lower price, if you wish. Or you can extend the option period. And, worst case scenario: You've collected a non-refundable option fee. You've leased the property at above-market rent. And now, if you wish, you can repeat that process.

I have found most times this benefits the buyer more so than the seller.
Everyone's experience is different. But there are plenty of benefits to the seller. Again, up-front option fee, slightly higher than market rents, and the possibility of having a buyer lined up.

The purchase contract will discuss all elements of the purchase.
Not in a lease-option. A lease-option is a lease and an OPTION to buy. A lease-purchase is a lease coupled with a PURCHASE agreement. And either one is fine. But recognize that they are different. A lease-option is a unilateral agreement, whereas a lease-purchase is a bilateral agreement.

Out of space. But hope that helps.
... more
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Wed May 26, 2010
Pam Vanderschoot answered:
It's nice that you are in a family park. It opens you up to more buyers. I currently have a sale pending on my listing in Napa Valley Moble Home Park on Pattie Way. I have sold several units in both Newell and Salvador parks. I cannot tell you what the value is without more information but would be happy to meet with you and do a market analysis on the property. How soon do you want to sell and/or put it on the market? It sounds like you are in a great location within the park. ... more
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Thu Mar 18, 2010
Lookingtobuy2010 answered:
You need an unbiased source of information. Go to the local association of realtors and ask one of their administrative personell or use a company like
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