I’ve Got a House Crush…

American Canyon edition!

I actually have a couple of homes that I’m eyeing for the right buyer. The first is 442 Lucina Drive in Napa Square. It’s rough…it’s really rough even at $469,000. The bedrooms are a little small but the living space has a ton of potential. There is a small family room with fireplace immediately off to your left as you walk through the door. This gives way to a formal dining room and wet bar. The kitchen is massive but has enough wasted space that it makes you want to channel your inner Chip & Joanna…take out a wall and add an island. Here’s a quick video of the living area. It’s listed by Debora Graftaas w/ Homes 4 All Realty, Inc. Contact me now to set up a showing.

Next up on my mini tour was 233 Newberry offered at $529,500 and exclusively listed by Verna Mustico with Mustico Realty in Vallejo.

I love this part of American Canyon, perhaps even more than Rancho Del Mar. It’s just a long half-block from Donaldson Way Elementary, the Rec Center and another short jaunt to the middle school. Standard 3 bed, 2 bath, 1600±sf home.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The carpet needs to be replaced and the kitchen could use some updating (I know…white tile counters should never have happened). Nevertheless, the layout of the home works well and there is a fantastic flow throughout the house. The bedrooms – including a well proportioned master suite – are nestled in the back of the home allowing for some privacy. The slider off of the master bedroom could be replaced by French Doors. The outside of the home is spectacular. It appears that there are several mature fruit trees and there is so much space…the tax record shows .18 acres but the lot feels larger.

I had some friends who lived on Crawford Way with a similar layout. They had their main family area in the living room to the left as you walked in with the TV and couches, etc. They turned the family room off the kitchen into more of a studio (he is an artist) but one could easily turn it into an office or small gathering area if so desired. The best part, though, was definitely the outside. They had enough room for two patio tables, a large grill and a dry bar. This back yard is easily the same size.

If you’re interested in seeing either of these two homes – or any home in American Canyon, Napa or Solano Counties – contact me today: 707.853.0797 | rich@napasolanohomesforsale.com


Lic# 01931815

Just Sold – 209 Landana St


I am excited to welcome a new family to the neighborhood…my neighborhood to be exact. Just half a block down from my home, 209 Landana St in American Canyon sold for $460,000. I was able to negotiate a credit towards closing costs and repairs for my clients prior to close of escrow.

This darling 3 bed, 2 bath home is in the heart of Rancho del Mar. It was completely gutted and rehabbed. Newer roof, all new floors, updated bathrooms and an absolutely exquisite new kitchen. I love that the company that redid this home took out the wall between the kitchen and the living area. It was beautifully done. Add a pool and you have a couple of very, very happy first time home buyers.

2018 American Canyon RE Market Prediction

The American Canyon real estate market looks to remain strong in 2018. With fantastic schools, rising interest rates and likely continued lack of inventory you can expect the home prices to continue to rise. Most prognosticators expect the national market to continue to rise 5-8% and I don’t see any reason why American Canyon should see a similar increase.money-coins-stack-wealth-50545

The median home sales price for 2015 was $452,000 (164 units sold), in 2016 was $474,000 (167 units sold), and so far in 2017 it is $515,500 (142 units sold). The number of sold units is fairly consistent although 2017 will be slightly lower. Still, this is a far cry from the 292 units sold in 2011 at the height (or is that bottom) of the recession. Thankfully the median sales price is significantly higher than the $282,000 in 2011 as well.

As Vallejo City Unified continues to struggle with its image, families in Vallejo continue to move across the county line for perceived better schools. American Canyon has a darling of a high school and programs in the middle school that continually win awards along with superior elementary schools. It doesn’t look like there will be any slow down in the influx of parents looking for a better landing spot for their kids.

Active homes on the market are still hard to come by in American Canyon. There is no significant new construction coming up any time soon and homeowners are staying longer and longer in their homes. There is no reason to believe that there will be an increase in inventory over the next year unless investors start dumping properties.

Thinking of selling or buying your home? Contact me today.

December 2017 Market Update

Dec 2017 Price

OMG! The median sales price and the average sales price in November plummeted in American Canyon…by a lot.  And there are only 20 homes for sale. And the number of homes sold dropped by 1/3 year over year…and…and…and…

It’s easy to get caught up in the hysteria of the market place and feel like the sky is falling out from under us…which it isn’t. The median price dropped 17.5%± because we’re starting to see a lot of the smaller, older homes come onto the market. Of the nine homes that sold last month, six were in Rancho del Mar or Canyon Creek. Last year, only three of 14 homes were in the Rancho subdivision.

I am seeing one major trend right now: Rancho del Mar is pushing the bottom of the market upwards at a fast pace as investors start to flip homes that they’ve had as rentals since the recession. These homes are (or appear to be) turnkey and buyers are flocking to them. However, buyers are more discriminating than in the past couple of years. Sellers have to do more than put lipstick on a pig; remodels have to be well done or the buyers are willing to walk away.

There are 17 homes that should close escrow soon (if they haven’t already) so I expect December to be a YUGE month. It will be interesting to see how things start to shake out as we look towards another year of rising house prices.

Dec 2017 Sold Pended

A meeting of minds…

In real estate when we speak of a meeting of the minds we are talking about the buyer and the seller coming together on price and terms. This may also include any needed repairs after inspections and prior to the physical inspection contingency removal. However, some times the meeting of minds has to be between multiple buyers. There are three primary components that need to be agreed upon to get to that meeting of the minds: price, location, and needs vs. wants.keys-in-door

There are two basic steps to price: the pre-approval process & deciding what is a comfortable monthly payment. The first step is relatively easy. You go to your preferred lender (if you don’t have one your agent will) and get pre-approved. However, just because you can get a $600,000 loan with $0 down does mean that you should. Walk through the monthly payments with your lender making sure that you are considering property taxes and any potential Mello Roos or HOA fees that are involved.

I will admit that – for the most part – I haven’t had buyers diverge on location too much. In a situation where both buyers have to commute, both sides are generally amenable to compromise and try to split the difference. Unless an investor, I’ve found that buyers are looking for a quieter spot in an area that feels right to them.poolside

The needs vs. wants, however, is where things can get tricky. It can be hard to distinguish between the two in the heat of the moment – especially in hot markets like American Canyon or Vallejo. Few buyers can get everything, but if their agent is willing to take the time to listen, most buyers can get more of what they want. My recommendation is to focus on the want at first; once a master list has been created it will be easier to cull the list into needs. Once you – as a buyer – have come to an understanding about each other’s needs it will become easier to focus on the wants.

One concept to keep in mind is compromise…sometimes this is with yourself. You might have to give up on a location to get more house; you might have to choose between turn-key and a home that needs a little bit of work; the community pool down the street might just have to be good enough instead of the infinity pool with a view overlooking the Carquinez Straits.

The most important thing throughout the process is to be honest with yourself. Too many home buyers are unhappy with their purchase and have buyer’s remorse. Don’t let this happen to you. Go for as much as you can and – unless there is a compelling reason to move faster – take your time. Yes, it sucks to pay someone else’s mortgage but why pay your own on a home you don’t even like? I can assure you that you will find the right home at the right price in the right location.

To find your next forever home, contact me today.

Let’s find you a home…pt. 3

So we covered knowing the inventory and asking questions. The last important competency that a buyer’s agent should bring to the table is negotiation skills.negotiating

There is no reason for you to leave money on the table. Everything in real estate is negotiable so you better make sure that your realtor® has some experience as a negotiator as well as some extra training. Negotiating is a learned skill so ask your realtor what courses s/he has taken to make him/her better.

My favorite real estate coach, Lorna Hines, teaches that the true power in any negotiations is the ability to walk away. This is true especially for a realtor®. If your agent can’t walk away from any deal that is bad for you because they want that commission…then you need to find a different realtor®. We owe a fiduciary responsibility to our clients; this means that we treat your money like it’s our money.

Our relationship with you is a sacred trust. No one, especially your realtor, should pressure you into doing something that you don’t want to do. If you’re feeling that pressure than it’s time to reassess that relationship.



American Canyon Planning Update

I’ll be back with part 3 of home buying on Friday. Today, I am going to start a monthly series on American Canyon planning.

American Canyon’s Planning Commission meets tomorrow night with some big news for the community (nope…not Watson Ranch!): They will be reviewing plans for construction of a new, 10,000± sf multi-use parish & administrative building for Holy Family Church.  If you aren’t aware, Holy Family has been raising money for quite some time in order to get this church built. I’ve lived in town for eight-plus years and I feel like this capital campaign has been going on for at least that long.  Hats off to my friends at Holy Family. You can check out the staff report here.construction-site-build-construction-work-159358

Of course, really everyone wants to know about Watson Ranch. I’m not on the inside (yet), but I can tell you that the applicant started negotiating a development agreement with the City on October 1 which is a little odd since I don’t remember planning sending the draft EIR to the City Council. Seems to me they’re putting the cart before the horse a bit, but I may be wrong on that one.  Click here for a thorough overview of the project.

My interest is also piqued by the proposed five unit subdivision on the corner of West Carolyn & Rio del Mar. The planning department sent it back to the developer with comments and they are just receiving an updated proposal. Sure hope that they don’t take away from the view over on Jana.

Last but not least, building is well under way for the Boys & Girls Club and Valley View with the Village at Vintage Ranch not far behind.

Let’s find you a home, Pt. 2

In my last blog, I spoke about how there were three things that your professional realtor® should do for you to make sure that you get more of what you want: 1. Know the inventory; 2. Ask Questions; 3. Negotiate

Earlier this week I wrote about inventory knowledge. In case you missed it, it’s important. Today, I very briefly would like to focus on asking questions. As professional realtors®, we spend a lot of time talking. However, as any good therapist will tell you, half of helping people is asking the right questions and listening to the answers.


That’s why it’s so important for you to go on the Grand Tour with your Realtor®. It’s the first opportunity for your agent to hear what you like and don’t like. You also shouldn’t be afraid to dream big. That’s one of the first thing that they teach you in coaching: tell me your biggest, baddest goals so that we can make them happen. You should be able to tell build your dream house and tell your agent. The more that you tell them what you want the more than your agent can find for you. No one should force you to do anything that you want to do so there’s no need to settle. The good, professional agents that I know work tirelessly to match the right home for the right buyer.

Tell us everything that you want in a home that you don’t have now. We know about homes that aren’t even on the market yet. So go ahead…build your dream house. We’ll help you find it.


Twilight Open House – 3 Karen Drive

Stop by between 6-8pm this evening and enjoy wine, cheese and other delectable treats while previewing this amazing home! Enter into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to the Urban Counter. One of the best new restaurants in Vallejo!

Living Room

Pride of ownership abounds as the original owners have taken meticulous care of this beautiful home. 3 beds, 2.5 baths, 1700±sf

Upgrades include Corian counter tops and ceramic tile floors. The home sings with a brightly painted walls creating a vibrant atmosphere.

3 Karen Drive – New to the market!

Pride of ownership abounds! Beautiful 3 bed, 2.5 bath, 1700± sf home in Chesapeake! 

Exclusively listed by Richard Peterson & Lynn Levin. Offered @ $479,900.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pride of ownership comes through in this lovely 2 story home. Significant upgrades including – Corian counter in the kitchen, ceramic tile floors in the kitchen and entryway; laminate flooring in the family room. Newer garage door with gas panel inserts. Napa Valley Unified Schools. Close to freeway, shopping and schools.

Open Saturday & Sunday, 12 – 4pm.