Best Napa Neighborhoods: Your Expert Guide

Published on September 12, 2017

– 6 min read

Living in Napa Valley is more desirable than ever. Featuring proximity to the Bay Area, gorgeous wine country landscapes and top-notch dining, what’s not to love?

Population: 80,416
Avg. Temperature: High 69.2°F Low 43.8°F
What it’s known for: Aside from being the Disney Land of wine, Napa is also a hub for delicious food, is home to a world renounced culinary school and countless gourmet restaurants.

The real estate market is healthy, with home prices rising about 3% so far this year, and many buyers are jumping in. If you’re among them, check out our experts’ tips on the best Napa neighborhoods.

Meet our Napa real estate experts:

Lauren Nicholsen, Pacific Union
Nicole Solari, Solari Group, Inc
Dotty Hopkins, Dotty Hopkins & Associates of Keller Williams Napa Valley

Napa neighborhoods: What makes the real estate market unique

“Many people buy second homes in Napa. Overall, inventory is a problem—but a huge increase in inventory downtown is super exciting for urban-style living.” Nicole Solari

“Napa Valley’s market has been surging since January 2013, but we are starting to see some price resistance by buyers in upper price ranges, which signals a ‘shift’ in the market. This started happening a few months ago elsewhere, in the pricier Bay Area markets, and now we’re seeing it in Napa.” Dotty Hopkins

Napa neighborhoods: What first-time home buyers should know

“First-time home buyers—if they are in the typical entry-level price range of $500,000 to $600,000—should recognize that they will be competing with many others, so buyers should be looking at homes priced below their maximum amount so they can allow extra funds to over-bid the asking price. Even with the market leveling off, this will remain necessary, as there just isn’t enough housing in that price range to meet demand. If you start at the top of your range, you’ll be disappointed every time.” Dotty Hopkins

“First-time home buyers coming to Napa need to have very strong lender and realtor partners because it is such a unique market.” Nicole Solari

Best Napa neighborhoods for buyers who want major views

Atlas Peak and Soda Canyon are hands-down the bearers of idyllic vistas overlooking Napa Valley. Home buyers seeking privacy, tranquility and the ability to build a custom haven should look here. If you’re looking to buy land to build a house and have hopes of planning a small vineyard, these AVAs have excellent soil. Just make sure your land meets the requirements to plant a vineyard.” Lauren Nicholsen

Best Napa neighborhoods for families

“There are a lot of new homes in Browns Valley, which is a super great place for families.” Nicole Solari

Silverado Country Club is quickly becoming a hot spot for younger families looking for that all-inclusive Napa Valley lifestyle. It has a Starbucks, what more do you need? Silverado Country Club hasn’t left out a single detail when it comes to annual events, incredible outdoor activities, and national golfing programs. The homes include newer construction and condos. Residents can enjoy the full amenities of a resort in their very own home.” Lauren Nicholsen

Hidden gem Napa neighborhoods

“The hidden gem areas include south of downtown on both sides of Jefferson, below Old Sonoma Road, and off Browns Valley Road along the creek. These can sometimes be affordable areas, too, depending on how much updating the homes have had—which raises the price.” Dotty Hopkins

“The downtown market between Lincoln and Pearl is hot right now, with some really cool improvements going on.” Nicole Solari

More affordable Napa neighborhoods

Westwood, South Napa, Redwood Estates and the Pueblo Park area are more affordable.” Nicole Solari

Best Napa neighborhoods for buyers seeking privacy

“Once you start heading into Dry Creek, the properties become further apart and the opportunities for privacy and tranquility are more robust. Parts of Dry Creek remind me of being up in the hills in Tahoe, so incredibly quiet and beautiful. One of the greatest parts of Dry Creek is the proximity to Oakville and Santa Rosa. Check out Alston Park—beautiful trails and super dog-friendly.” Lauren Nicholsen

What are your favorite Napa neighborhoods? Send your tips to Ready to shop for a Napa Valley home? Apply for pre-approval completely online or chat with one of our licensed Loan Specialists.

Steven Fung
Steven Fung is a licensed Loan Specialist at Clara with over 17 years of experience. When he doesn’t have his mortgage hat on, he enjoys repairing old cars and working on home improvement projects.

Clara is an online lender helping individuals and families finance their lives in a more efficient, transparent and empowered way.

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