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Napa Valley Real Estate

Napa Valley Real Estate
Napa Valley benefits include natural beauty, pleasant climate, and relative proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.

While the area is known world-wide for it's fine wines, the Napa Valley is a relatively small geographic area nestled between low mountain ranges in Northern California. People from all over the world travel to the Napa Valley to experience the wonderful cuisine and fabulous wines that have become the hallmark of the Napa area. As many find out during their visit, however, the Napa Valley is more than just one of the great vacation destinations in the world, it is also a great place to live. Many of the people who now call Napa home, originally fell in love with the area while vacationing.

So what is it that makes the Napa Valley one of the most desirable places to live in the United States? Many attribute it's appeal to the natural beauty, pleasant climate, and relative proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. While close to these large metropolitan areas, it seems a world away. For many people it has become a year-round place to call home, for others it has become a favorite second home, a place where they can get away from their big city living to relax and unwind.

Napa Valley Geography

The geography of Napa County is characterized by a flat valley floor that is surrounded by low mountain ranges. Both the rugged hills and flat valley floor are beautiful and scenic, home to acres and acres of vineyards, chateau-style wineries and turn-of-the-century stone buildings. The southern border of Napa County touches the San Pablo Bay and the northern border is about 30 miles more to the north at the base of Mt. St. Helena. The county seat is the town of Napa, located only about 50 miles northeast of San Francisco. The valley region ranges from one to five miles across, which is protected by the low mountain ranges on the east, west and north sides. The recreational area of beautiful Lake Berryessa is located on the eastern side of the county.

There are two main roads that travel the length of the Napa Valley, Highway 29 and Silverado Trail, from the town of Napa in the south to Calistoga in the north. Highway 29 is the more traveled road and passes thru most of the notable cities in the county, starting at Napa, then winding thru Yountville, Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena, and Calistoga. The highway makes it's way thru the scenic vineyards and the way is dotted with many wineries, restaurants, shopping areas, and lodging facilities. Silverado Trail parallels Highway 29 to the east and is the back road thru the valley, passing by gorgeous vineyards and some wineries, but not many other businesses.


Demographics of Napa

The major economic forces in Napa County are the wine industry and wine tourism. The area is home to some of the best wineries and restaurants in the world. Reservations are often made months in advance for the world renowned French Laundry in Yountville. Napa is home to the renovated Napa Valley Opera House. The Culinary Institute at Greystone is located near the town of St. Helena. Improvements to the infrastructure have helped to modernize the structure of the valley, namely the upgrade of the Napa River bridge and the intersection of Highway 29 and Trancas. There are several golf clubs in the area, including the Silverado Country Club.

In the year 2000, the population of Napa County was approximately 125,000. The town of Napa is located in the southern end of the county. The town was incorporated in 1987 and has a land area of 18.34 square miles. Of this area, the land is zoned 67% residential, 8% commercial, 4% industrial, 12% parks/public/quasi public, and 9% agricultural.

The town of Napa has a population of about 72,000, with a projected cap of 85,000, due to a Rural Urban Line that surrounds the town in order to protect the outlying agricultural area. The Napa citizens are well-known for their resistance to suburban development. Out of California's 58 counties, 33 have a higher population, even though many of them are far from any major urban area. Approximately 60% of the county's population and jobs are in the town of Napa.

The Napa Valley climate is moderate and smog-free, very reminiscent of the Mediterranean region. The average January winter temperatures are a low of 34 degrees and a high of 58 degrees. The average July summer temperatures are a low of 52 degrees and a high of 82 degrees. The rainy season is normally from November to March, with an annual average rainfall of about 25".

Napa Valley is often associated with great wealth, and it's true that there is a very wealthy component in the county. Some estates in Napa Valley sell for millions of dollars. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is a large majority of the population that lives in relative poverty. Many of the Latino migrant workers who work in the vineyards live in the town of Napa, creating a downward pull on the apparent wealth of the area. Within Napa, the median home cost is $270,000 and the median household income is almost $46,000. There are 27, 251 households, which are 58% owner occupied and 42% renter occupied.

Real Estate Brokers and Agents

When considering a move to a new area, it is often helpful to contact a real estate professional in the area. If you are unfamiliar with the Napa area, it is beneficial to have someone working for you who knows the neighborhoods, schools, market conditions, zoning issues and other valuable local information. They can answer your questions about the area and help you find the property that is "right" for you. They can also help you negotiate the best price and the best terms for the property you purchase.

Real estate brokers and agents are in the business of assisting people who want to buy and sell all types of real estate, including residential property from homes to condos, estate property, land, vineyards, or farms and ranches. Whether you are looking for your dream home, vacation property, business property, when you work with a real estate agent, you are hiring someone who can help you find the "right" property for your needs.

Property and homes in Napa continually become available and the property values continue to appreciate. There are many cities and areas within Napa County and many real estate options. Hiring a real estate broker or agent can help you navigate thru the process and help you search for your dream home or estate property in the Napa Valley.

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