Buyer Resources

Napa Valley Home Buyers FAQ's

Answering Your Napa Valley Home buying Questions

Buying a Napa Valley home is both thrilling and a bit unnerving, especially if you're a first-time home buyer. Both experienced home buyers and first-time buyers alike will benefit from the frequently asked questions below. Before you begin your Napa Valley home search, it is recommended that you prepare yourself for the journey by educating yourself. This will ensure you are a knowledgeable home buyer prepared to make a confident home buying decision.

1. Q: Terry, what do I need to do before I think about purchasing a home?

A: This is Very Important: Get your finances in order.

Often when people are considering buying a home, whether it is a first time investment or another home, they believe they can just go purchase it. Unfortunately, that is usually notthe case. Before you buy a home you should check with a lender to see what type of mortgage you qualify for. You should know facts such as:

  • Annual Income
  • Amount of Cash you have for a down payment*
  • Other Home Loans
  • Credit Card Balances
  • Other Loan Balances (Vehicles, etc.)
  • School Loans
  • Other factors affecting your income e.g. child support, tax payments, dividends, etc.

*Note: Some first time home buyer loan programs do not require a down payment, though a great first step to ensuring a better interest rate is to have a down payment ready.

2. Q: Do I need to be prequalified?

A: It is generally a good idea to get prequalified.

Many sellers require a prequalification letter with your offer to purchase. So you should have that readily available when it comes time to make an offer. In general it will make your offer look stronger. Also, getting prequalified lets you know ahead of time what houses are within your budget so you don’t spend time later trying to qualify for too large of a home loan after you have put in an offer.

3. Q: Is there any cost to get prequalification?

A: There is no cost associated with getting prequalified.

4. Q: Can you explain what prequalification is?

A: Prequalification is where you have spoken to a lender about a possible home loan and have gotten

Prequalification is when you have shared the information about your credit history, bills and income, as mentioned above, with a lender. They, in turn, will give you an estimate of what they believe you would qualify for if all the information you have given them is accurate.


People often think that because they are prequalified they can get the loan when they find the home of their dreams. That is not true. At this point in the loan process they have not run a credit check or verified any of the information you have provided. There may be things on your credit report that are inaccurate or that you have forgotten about that may inhibit the loan process or affect the loan amount.

5. Q: If I find a home that is not listed by you can you still show it to me?

A: Yes

I am able to show you ANY home, new or resale, no matter who the listing broker is.

If you see a home advertised in the newspaper, or if you drive by a home that interests you, please call me! If you visit an Open House or a New Home Community, please tell the seller's agent in the home that I am representing you.

Remember, home information is always available to me, even if it is not a Napawunder Team listing.

6. Q: When we find a house we like how do we buy it?

A: It is a many step process here is a brief overview of the process.

You will need an earnest money check to accompany the Offer to Purchase. This may be in the form of a personal check, or in some cases a certified check. A minimum of 1% of the sales price is deemed adequate in most cases. When your written Offer to Purchase is presented to the seller, he has three choices:

  1. 1. He can accept your offer
  2. 2. He can reject your offer
  3. 3. He can make a counteroffer.

Negotiations after the initial written offer are conducted verbally until an agreement is reached. When the seller accepts your offer, or you accept his counteroffer in writing, you have a binding contract for sale on that property. Your earnest money will be deposited in the listing broker's trust account to be held until closing.

7. Q: Would it be best to make a really low offer at first and see if we can “get a good deal”?

A: If your offer is too low you may take some unwanted risks.

It is important to remember that if you make a low offer on a home and the offer is rejected or countered, another prospective buyer may submit an offer that may be accepted by the seller before you have the opportunity to submit another offer or accept the seller's counter to your offer. I have even heard of experiences where a buyer made a low offer to the seller, and the seller was insulted and refused to entertain any more offers from the client. As always, ask me and I will be happy to help you figure out a good and fair asking price for any home you love, that way you will be getting a “good deal” on your home and not risk insulting the current owners.

8. Q: Terry, would it be in my best interest to work with several Realtors and not just one?

A: It is in YOUR best interest to work exclusively with me.

  • I have access to every home that is in the Napa Valley Multiple Listing Service
  • I am self-employed, not on an expense account, and will be paid only when I find the right home for you.
  • Your loyalty is appreciated and in return you will receive the maximum in service from me and my team.
  • All of my time and professional advice, experience, and assistance is FREE to you!
  • Also, but hiring more than one Realtor, you run the risk of communication getting crossed and thus you lose out because each Realtor doesn’t know what parts they should take care of-like taking you for showings or hunting down houses that fit your interests. Only hire one Realtor at a time and for Expert Advice and Luxury Service, contact me, your Napa Valley Real Estate Expert



Because more homes are on the market here in Napa Valley, your choices are plentiful and the time is right for you to buy!

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Are you ready to schedule your home buying consultation?  If so, contact us today and together we will review your needs and your budget to help you find the right Napa Valley home for you!

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