The Wall Street Journal | In Search of Summer Real Estate Love


Napa Valley made the list of the Wall Street Journal's Article on Summer Real Estate Love.


This could be the summer you meet your soul mate—the real-estate version, anyway.

The commitment to buy a vacation home, with all the headaches and expenses that come with upkeep and maintenance, can be as daunting as entering into a serious relationship. It had better be right. Home buyers often make the same mistakes as daters: They act on impulse without thinking about the long term; they choose places that seem great on paper but aren’t really right for them; and they don’t take into account how much it will all cost.

So, how to find the right match for you? Here’s a simplified guide to finding your dream summer getaway—with long-term potential.

Napa Valley, Calif.

You are: Fifty-something foodie with sophisticated taste in wine, art and music and a green thumb. Kids are grown or are at camp.

Your match: Napa Valley estate with vegetable garden.

Available matches: 138

Median listing price for luxury market:$5.27 million

Change in price from 2015: +42.9%*

If your ideal summer afternoon involves sipping wine over a garden-to-table meal, listening to pleasant music and gazing at vineyards, then Napa is the spot. Sophisticated wine, food, art and design, and music abound. There are lots of golf courses, too. But fancy food and wine events don’t mix well with young children or teenagers.

“It’s adult heaven. For children it can be boring,” says Julie Husic, whose second home in Napa is on 120 acres and includes a main house, pool house, guesthouse and three vineyards. When her two sons were young she parked them at the swimming pool at two different clubs. The median age in Napa is 39—five years more than the median for California as a whole.

Adult paradise comes at a price: After bottoming out in 2010, Napa County’s housing market has been on a steady rise, currently ranked as the ninth least affordable in the U.S., according to RealtyTrac’s first-quarter 2016 Home Affordability Index. A spec house is on the market in St. Helena for $38 million.

It’s easy to get drawn into the local enthusiasm about farm-to-table cuisine, whether that means making your own wine, olive oil or just dinner from your garden. Mrs. Husic and her husband bought their estate in 1995 expecting to use it to relax; now they produce six wines from their vineyards.

Read the Article Here