What to Know About Buying Napa Waterfront Property

What to Know About Buying Napa Waterfront Property

  • Avi Strugo
  • 07/24/23

Most people think of wineries and sprawling hills and valleys when Napa Valley comes up in conversation. Little do they know that Napa County has a wealth of waterfront property. From the Napa River to Lake Berryessa, you can find Napa Yacht Club homes for sale and houses perched on the lake with private access. The options are seemingly limitless, so if you’re buying waterfront property, look no further than Napa. Before you do, let me tell you everything you’ll need to know about owning a home here.

The Napa waterfront

Whether you’re looking for a home on Lake Berryessa, along the Napa River, or even backed up to one of the many creeks that make their way through this valley, there are plenty of gorgeous luxury houses to choose from. Acres of property tucked into the hills with a full lake view or a sweet little house backed right up to the river with a boat dock, you can take your pick among the houses that might best suit you.

Locals enjoy taking their boats and jet skis out on the lake and river for the day, taking a stroll along the Napa River trail, or heading into town for amazing food and friendly neighbors. The Napa community has remained tight-knit, where people still open doors for each other and lend a hand to a neighbor in need. The Napa waterfront may be the height of elegance and class, but it is also still very down-to-earth and small-town America.

What you need to know

Waterfront property is a good investment

Everyone wants to live on the water. Unless you live in an isolated area that is hard to get to, you can usually count on waterfront property holding more value than property further inland. Especially if you invest in property and use it as a vacation rental for income, you are likely to get a great return on your money.

Napa is a particularly great example of waterfront property that not only holds its value but continues to rise in value as the years go by. Waterfront houses are highly sought after and sell for top dollar in this area, one of the wealthiest regions in the state. Still, there are a few potential disadvantages and hidden costs to keep in mind.

Wear and tear is tougher on waterfront property

Waterfront property typically has greater wear and tear than other types of property. Most people know this truth when it comes to salt water, like beach homes, but the rule holds for all waterfront property. Just because you don’t have salt water to deal with doesn’t mean you won’t still have issues.

Typically, waterfront property is more exposed to the elements because the water does not serve as a buffer in the way that hills or trees would. Furthermore, the humidity from the water can impact the structure and materials of your house. Also, your home’s inhabitants and guests may be tracking in water, sand, and dirt from spending time on the water, impacting the interior of your home as well.

You’ll need flood insurance

Without fail, you will need flood insurance if you live on the water in Napa. If last year was any indication, California is due for continued rainy springs that could see landslides and floods, and your waterfront property may be affected. The bank will likely require you to have flood insurance if you are on the water, and even if it doesn’t, you’ll want to protect yourself just in case.

You may have or need a septic system

Some of the houses in Napa Valley, including those along the waterfront, have septic systems. More and more people long to be out and away from the cities and off the grid. Having a septic tank is a necessary part of this kind of rugged individualism. Buying a house with a septic tank means your wastewater will get treated onsite rather than at the city level. Through a complicated process, your septic tank will treat all the wastewater that comes from your house and eventually leach it through pipes into a drain field that ultimately becomes the local groundwater.

In this day and age of becoming increasingly eco-friendly, the concept of having your own septic tank, well system, and solar paneling can seem costly. Fortunately, the annual costs to maintain a septic tank are low unless you need an inspection or need to have it pumped for some reason.

Median home price and property taxes are a consideration

The median price of a home in Napa today is $741,202, and the waterfront homes are going to be significantly higher than that median number. It is also important to note that property taxes in Napa County are 0.58%, so you could end up paying close to $5,000 a year on an average waterfront home in Napa.

Still, the investment is well worth it as home values have remained steady, even amid the pandemic, and are projected to continue to rise as more people seek refuge from the bigger cities. Thus, while you may pay more for a waterfront home in Napa than you would elsewhere, you will also pay significantly less for a house in this area than you would in San Francisco or San Jose.

Avi Strugo is your Napa waterfront realtor

With 20 years of experience in real estate and 40 years in sales and marketing, Avi Strugo is the Napa Valley realtor you want for your waterfront home search. He specializes in waterfront properties here and prides himself on selling more waterfront property than any other agent in the area. He has built a reputation for being a “miracle worker,” always getting his clients what they want, down to the most minute detail. If you’re ready to start looking for your next luxury home in Napa Valley, contact Avi today.

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"Awesome!" --- That's one of REALTOR® Avi Strugo's favorite words. Avi uses it to describe a glorious sunset on the Napa River, the stunning decor of his newest residential listing, and the consumer response to the marketing campaign for his recent Open House.

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