The market for Napa luxury homes is always hot. Many people dream about living in one of the most beautiful areas in California, with proximity to several of Wine Country’s best vineyards and tasting rooms. Some of the best homes in Napa are located near the water, but before you start shopping for a waterfront home, there are a few essential considerations to remember. This article will tell you everything you need to know about finding, purchasing, and maintaining a home on the water in Napa.
Understand the housing market
Sales prices in Napa have come down in recent months, but this is to be expected given the state of the housing market across the nation. The average home sells in five to six weeks for an amount slightly below the original listing price. Hot properties may go under contract in less than a month for a price above listing.
If you’ve followed real estate at a national level, you might have concerns about the housing market's current state and how it impacts the long-term value of properties. However, most experts believe that the market remains strong overall. They anticipate that any challenges the market is currently experiencing will be short-lived and minimal.
Decide what location you prefer
Napa waterfront homes vary in location. Some waterfront homes look out over the Napa River, while other Napa waterfront homes are closer to Lake Berryessa and the Napa-Sonoma marsh. Each area offers its own set of benefits, and you’ll want to think about what each option has to offer and which is best for you. Both locations offer incredible natural views and the opportunity to enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming as often as you would like.
Don’t wait to pursue funding
Since waterfront homes are often more expensive than other properties, securing funding is a longer process. Many waterfront homes require jumbo loans, often with stricter requirements such as a higher down payment. It’s never too early to contact a lender to discuss the type and loan amount you can secure. Remember that different lenders can offer different interest rates, and you can save money by shopping around to see who can provide you with the best deal.
Evaluate the condition of the home
Waterfront homes are more susceptible to damage from flooding and erosion. Before you decide to buy a home, it’s essential to ensure the house is structurally sound and in good condition. You’ll learn a lot more about your home when you order an inspection during the option period, but you also don’t want to turn a blind eye to any potential signs of damage that you might see at the first showing. If you notice any areas in the home that feel unstable or if you see cracks on the house's exterior, the property could have underlying water damage.
Learn about local zoning laws
The zoning laws will affect what you can do on your property and how much you can build or expand on your lot line. Some waterfront areas have rules and restrictions that are more lenient. Other places have stricter requirements that limit your options for development.
Get a quote for a home insurance policy
Most owners of waterfront homes will spend more on their insurance premiums than anyone who owns a home in another location. There are unique risks associated with owning a waterfront home, and you don’t want to be unprepared for what it will cost to protect your home from damage. Consider speaking to multiple providers to hear different quotes and see who can offer you the best deal. Don’t take each offer at face value, but carve out time to research each policy to learn more about what is and isn’t covered under each package.
Consider how you’ll increase your ROI
Many people purchase waterfront Napa luxury homes as second homes or investment properties. If you’re thinking about renting out your waterfront home on a short-term or long-term basis, there are certain things you’ll want to look for in the house that make it more attractive to tenants. If you don’t plan to rent your home out, you may still want to think about potential upgrades or improvements you could make to the house that will raise its value.
Think about how the home aligns with your lifestyle
Prepare to maintain the property
Work with an agent who specializes in waterfront homes
*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock