Tucked away in the heart of Napa Valley, Yountville is a charming little town with a walkable environment that practically begs you to move in and stay forever. Peaceful, tranquil, and friendly, the little city just south of Saint Helena and just north of Napa is couched between Mount Hood and Lake Berryessa, with plenty of nature to access, and is only a short trip from major metropolitan cities like Vallejo and Santa Rosa.
It is the perfect escape for anyone looking to stay close to the Bay Area but still feel a million miles away. Fine dining, boutique shopping, and open-air markets make for a sweet small-town feel you will love. It is no surprise buyers are aching to settle down here. If you are a first-time homebuyer in Yountville, here are a few things to help you on your real estate journey.
1. Get pre-approved
You’ll need your social security number, birth date, and current address to run your credit score. Then, you’ll also need to provide proof of your income and any savings you have. All of these factors will contribute to your pre-approval amount. This amount will become the top of your budget. Now, you have negotiation power and something for your real estate agent to work with.
2. Work with a trusted real estate agent
Next, you will sit with your realtor to discuss your checklist. What are your must-haves, and what are your nice-to-haves? Your realtor will know the right questions to ask, and then they will show you houses that match your list.
To find a real estate agent, make sure you either get a word-of-mouth reference from a trusted source or do your due diligence and read testimonials and online reviews. There is a real estate agent for every area and every kind of property, so look for a realtor who specializes in your area and the type of property you want.
3. Decide what down payment makes sense for you
However, suppose all you have is 20%. In that case, you may be better off putting down 10% and paying the PMI and more interest payments to keep a cushion of savings in the bank in the event of a costly repair or other expense you need to make after you buy the home. It is almost always a better idea to have cash flow than to have all of your money tied up in your home. Consider what works best for you, and make this decision before you buy the house.
4. Calculate property taxes
5. Educate yourself on the best loan for you
FHA loans offer assistance from the federal government. If you are a school teacher, a police officer, a firefighter, or a number of other professions in the service industry, you may qualify for assistance. There are also first-time homebuyer programs that help you get into your first house. Finally, you can look into a VA loan if you are a current or former military member.