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Home Buying in Napa : Real Estate Advice

  • All153
  • Local Info5
  • Home Buying53
  • Home Selling9
  • Market Conditions10

Activity 34
Thu Mar 18, 2010
Scott Butzbach answered:
Hi Laura,

I can recommend a good realtor for you. Please contact me, through my website, and I'll be happy to give you their information. I think it's against Trulia guidelines for me to post it in this message.


Scott Butzbach
Coldwell Banker
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Wed Dec 31, 2008
David Johnson answered:
There might be, I'll check in the MLS and get back to you Thursday morning.

Do you have any money for a down payment? Why can't you get a conventional loan? What amount can you pay monthly? What size house do you need?

Dave Johnson
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Wed Sep 10, 2008
Fl asked:
I want to bid on a Napa house in a foreclosure auction coming up next week. I need to find a home inspector that will go to the open house with me this weekend to do a home inspection (...
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Wed Feb 11, 2015
Ute Ferdig - Atty. Negotiator answered:
Hello G. If you actually paid for the appraisal, you should have received a copy of the appraisal. The only question is from whom you should have received the copy. If the loan agent ordered the appraisal and paid for it and then you paid the loan agent, then you should have received the copy from the loan agent. The appraiser would not be able to provide you with a copy unless the loan agent agrees to it because technically speaking you are not the appraiser's client. On the other hand, if you ordered the appraisal yourself and the appraiser received payment from you or the loan agent, you should have received a copy of the appraisal from the appraiser because the person who orders the appraisal is the appraiser's client. Most appraisals are not ordered by the buyer directly.

Whether or not having a copy of the appraisal would have helped you save the transaction is another question. Many times, an appraisal is specific to the lender that was going to approve the loan and a new lender will not necessarily accept a prior appraisal, but sometimes they will if the appraiser rewrites it to make it specific for the new lender.

It is unfortunate that neither the loan agent nor the appraiser returned your calls. No matter whether the transaction could have been saved, I think you deserved at least a return call and an explanation. Sorry this happened to you.
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Thu Aug 28, 2008
Tisza Major-Posner answered:
Hi Sarah,

Lease Options are a good idea for the buyer in a normal market where prices are holding steady or showing a normal/conservative rate of value growth and are a great idea (if you can get them) in a market where prices are rapidly escalating. However, in a slowing or declining market they are not a good idea for a buyer at all.

Here's why, a Lease Option functions like a sale contract with an excessively long contingency period. In a sale contract time essentially stops at the moment the contract is written and agreed to by all parties involved. What I mean is that the price to be paid for the home is frozen so if homes in the area shoot up in value the lower price is locked in but if they decline then a higher price is locked in as well.

Also, in order for the Option to be a legal and binding contract some form of consideration must be exchanged, usually that is cash. And, usually a portion of the rent being paid is earmarked to be part of the down payment for the home as well. But, if the person who has the Option at the end of the Option period decides not to exercise their option to purchase the property or can't exercise their option because they are still unable to get a loan (either owing to their credit situation or to the homes inability to appraise for the value necessary to support the loan amount - a very real possibility in a declining market) then the monies paid to create the option and toward the potential down payment are kept by the seller and the buyer gets nothing back.

My advice would be to save your money right now and work on improving your credit. A good lender will be able to help advise you on what you need to do and how to do it to start that process. You may also find that even with your current credit situation you may be able to qualify for an FHA loan (their credit guidelines go pretty low) and that would be a much better idea. If you are going to become a homeowner then I think you should get all the benefits of home ownership including the tax benefits (something that the Lease Option won't give you) and not just the liabilities.

Homes will still be available in six months to a year from now when you are in a better position to purchase one. And by rebuilding your credit you will be much better off than you would be if you sink all your cash into a property with no guarantee that you will actually be able to own it and still have not learned how to manage your credit.

And if you do decide to continue to pursue a Lease Option don't make a move on a property without being represented by a Realtor. You need to have the home in question researched to make sure that at the time you are entering into the contract their are no liens or loans against the property that you are unaware of and that the mortgage is being paid so that the home does not get foreclosed upon out from under you. You also need to make sure that written into your contract is a protection for you and your money that ensures that you will get your Option money (not the rent part but the initial deposit and any overage that is supposed to go toward the down payment) back should the seller default or for any reason be unable to deliver the home with clear title and no liens at the time the option comes due , or if at any time during the option period the home goes into preforeclosure by having a Notice of Default filed against it.

Good luck with your situation.

Take care and have a great day!

Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, IVPG Realty
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Wed Jul 30, 2008
Julie asked:
costs, we would like to include prepaid interest in those costs. However, our lender does not offer impound accounts for property taxes (we will not be paying these each month with our ...
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Fri Jul 18, 2008
Eric Bryant answered:
Hi Teresa, Agents from either area would work fine. Napa County is a small area, and many Realtors cover the county. Really, you should choose a Realtor based on ability, not geography. Best of Luck! The Coach ... more
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Sat Jul 12, 2008
Shel-lee Davis answered:

Everything is negotiable when buying and selling paper. Just like when you buy a bond, the price paid will vary based on the terms of the bond. If the first has a favorable interest rate for the lender (ie interest rate higher than current rates) then they will likely want to charge a premium, if unfavorable, you should be able to buy at a discount. Also, if the loan is in default, their first price the bank gives to you will probably be the total amount owed them, including arrearages and collection costs. This is not necessarily their last price.

Remember, it is all negotiable. Make your offer and be prepared to walk away. If you are not prepared to walk away, then be prepared to pay whatever they ask. It truly depends on how invested you are in the final result. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
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Sun Jun 7, 2009
Fl answered:
I understand that if there was a tax lien, that would be first position, then the primary mortgage lien would be the 2nd lien. Could that by any chance be what you bought? If that's the case, just pay off the tax lien holder. ... more
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Wed Jul 9, 2008
Jcappa answered:
Mon May 19, 2008
allen sovey answered:
Having lived here 50 years of course am biased, but it is the greatest area possible. Raised my two daughters here and have been in sales nearly all my life. I have met thousands of people and what really sticks out ,are the ones who I have met, and they stated they could afford to live anywhere in the world and researched their options and ended up in Napa Valley. ... more
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Wed Apr 16, 2008
Laarni G. Omingo answered:
Hi Nancye,

Well some agents respond because some of the questions are universal in nature. Most of us really want to help and if our experiences are relevant and pertinent to the question. However, if it is community-oriented questions, personally, I will not put my 2-cents in.
Good Luck to you,
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Sat Apr 19, 2008
Lourdrie McNamee, MRP answered:
You can search on that is a Coldwell Banker public website that allows you to search in northern and southern California. Let me know if you have any questions or problems getting onto the site. Happy searching. ... more
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Thu Apr 10, 2008
Armand Ramirez answered:
Hi Bill,
Just thought I'd be the first to respond to your question. I'm an agent in Petaluma and to be honest I'm not extremely familiar with either of those markets. However, I do know that one rule holds the same where ever you purchase - supply. Where ever supply is limited, whether by geographic, zoning, or community restrictions (such as areas like Rutherford - no one ever sells!), demand, and thus appreciation will be realized.
If you take a trip over the hill to Petaluma or Sonoma your dollar will definitely go further, it's practically a fire sale over here! Also, we're a shorter commute to the city. Off the top of my head I'd say St. Helena would be a better 5-year choice...although Napa certainly does get very affordable in certain areas. Hope that helps. Here's a snapshot of Napa - maybe it will give you an idea of what's available:

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