Nury Wood | Napa Real Estate, Yountville Real Estate, St. Helena Real Estate, Vallejo Real Estate


Among the many desirable features of living in California are the hundreds of scenic beaches that stretch from Del Norte County in the north to San Diego County in the south. If you're in the market for a luxury house or condominium with a view of the Pacific Ocean, there are a wide range of possibilities.

The advantages of living close to a California beach are undeniable! For some home buyers, the luxury of being able to gaze out over the ocean, every day, is one of the main reasons -- if not the only one-- for buying a coastal property. Others seek homes near the beach for health and fitness benefits (both physical and mental). If you enjoy walking or jogging along the shoreline, for example, there is no shortage of beaches in California to check out. In addition to the more than 60 State beaches, which are part of the California State Parks system, there are hundreds of beaches, both large and small, to explore.

Targeting Your Search

With a little online research and the help of a seasoned real estate agent, you'll be able to locate the type of coastal or beach community that matches your lifestyle goals and your budget.

In Southern California, the four areas that offer proximity to beaches and ocean views are San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles County, and Catalina Island. If you're leaning toward the central California region, the counties you'll want to focus on are Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Cruz.

The seven counties in northern California that feature ocean views, proximity to beaches, and amazing scenic vistas are San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte. In Sonoma County, the majority of beaches you'll have access to -- about a dozen of them -- are part of the Fort Ross State Historic Park.

San Mateo and Marin Counties are in close proximity to the San Francisco Bay area, and feature more than three dozen beaches -- most of which are located in San Mateo County. If you're looking for a home in the San Francisco area, those are among the areas on which to concentrate.

A few factors to consider when searching for the ideal California coastal home include proximity to major cities, climatic conditions, and the type of terrain in which you'd be comfortable living. As the result of northern California's rugged terrain, fewer accessible beaches and beachfront properties may be available in Del Norte County, Humboldt County, and Mendocino County. (That's not to say that there aren't many beautiful homes for sale now in those areas!)

Generally speaking, the coastal areas south of San Francisco offer the most access to California beaches, homes with an ocean view, and waterfront properties. However, with the right real estate agent, favorable market conditions, good timing, and a little patience, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the oceanfront gems available to you in different parts of the state!


Moving your old apartment furniture into a new home can be awkward and frustrating. The pieces that once filled your small studio are now dwarfed by the size of each room. It seems no matter how you arrange them nothing makes them any bigger.

This also always seems to exasperate feeling that all of your furniture is boring and drab. It’s outdated, cheap looking and not nearly up to parr with your beautiful new house.

I hear you. But this doesn’t mean you need to toss it all out to start completely from scratch. And it’s not the wisest time to seek financing for swanky new pieces after just wrapping up the house buying process. Instead, try these tips:

Start by rearranging which furniture is used in which room. Just because it has always been used in your bedroom does not mean a piece needs to stay there. Simply moving it to fit in with the decor of another room could bring it whole new life. Give it a try! I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Replace and/or remove hardware from existing pieces. This can modernize an old favorite and make a cheaper piece feel more upscale. Look for either antique pulls or some sleek new t-bar handles. You may even want to remove hardware completely to create a sleek, clean look.

Ask family and friends if they have any pieces they are looking to get rid of or swap for a piece you’re tired of but they love. Keep in mind when considering these pieces what changes can be made to them if they aren’t the perfect fit at first glance. Can they be repurposed or given a facelift?

There are few things a coat of black or white paint can’t freshen up. You may also want to consider other neutral tones like grays, browns and navy blues. If the piece has millwork consider painting it two colors to give it a drastic new look.

Give outdated finishes an update with metallic spray paint. Whichever finish you have your heart set on you will be sure to find at your local hardware store. Whether you want a new metallic tone or a bright fun color painting a piece can change it into something that feels entirely new.

Add new smaller pieces that are more affordable to add to your decor. They can distract from the pieces they’re rooming with and create a more modern, updated look. Pick up items you love from your favorite stores and keep an eye out on places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

While browsing used pieces for sale if you find a great deal keep the above tips in mind when considering to make a bid. Many times you just need to flex your imagination to find the perfect decor for you!


Contingencies on a contract to buy a home are there to protect both the buyer and the seller. The contingencies give the buyer the right to back out of the contract if any of these contingencies aren’t met. There are many reasons that buyers back out of deals including financial issues and problems with the home. Below, you’ll find a break down of some of the most common contingencies and what they mean for you as a buyer or a seller.   


Financing Contingency


Most home contracts come with what’s called a financing contingency. This gives you the ability to walk away from a deal if the financing falls through when trying to buy a home. Usually this is due to a credit reason or some other financial reason. You can’t rely on financial cracks to help you to back out of a deal on a home. Lenders will only deny a loan for real financial reasons. There’s no way to ask a lender to lie for you so you can get out of buying a home! This is why you need to make your decision about a home purchase wisely.   



Inspection Contingency


This gives the buyer the right to have an inspection on the home within a certain time frame which is usually 5-7 days. If something is really off with the inspection that you as a buyer don’t feel comfortable with, you have the right to back out of a deal without repercussions. While seller disclosures are important, the seller can’t disclose what they don’t know about. That’s why the home inspection is so important. The seller’s disclosure cannot protect you from hidden damages that may cost half of a home’s worth to repair.   


Appraisal Contingency


If homes are selling fast and you want some secure way to back out of a deal you should consider an appraisal contingency. If the home you want to purchase doesn’t appraise at a price high enough to meet your mortgage requirements, you have a legal way to back out of the deal. For example, if you put down 20 percent of the purchase price of a home and the home doesn't appraise for the value of that purchase price, you’d need to come up with the remainder of the money in cash. An appraisal contingency protects you from having to face this. You’ll still need to have a home inspection done on the home to search for any problems, but an appraisal contingency protects you from any problems with financing and your own disposable amount of cash that could arise due to a home appraising low. 


While contingencies aren’t necessary as a homebuyer, they’re highly recommended. Without contingencies, you could be left with a number of expenses such as damages that are extremely costly to fix.


The home selling journey offers no guarantees, and as such, there is no assurance that you'll be able to enjoy a fast, profitable home selling experience. Lucky for you, we're here to offer insights into the home seller's perspective and ensure you can reap the benefits of a successful home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you become a smart home seller.

1. Analyze Your House's Strengths and Weaknesses

Although you've allocated significant time and resources to keep your house looking great over the years, your home soon may be just one of many houses that is available to property buyers. But if you analyze your residence's strengths and weaknesses, you may be able to identify opportunities to improve your house and differentiate it from others in a competitive real estate market.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a house inspection before you list a residence. This inspection will enable you to receive a comprehensive analysis of your house from a property expert. Then, you can use an inspection report to prioritize home improvement projects and upgrade your house accordingly.

2. Set an Aggressive Initial Asking Price

What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match your home's present value. However, if you analyze the real estate market, you may be better equipped than ever before to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your residence.

Take a look at the prices of available houses in your city or town that are comparable to your own residence. By doing so, you can narrow the price range for homes in your region.

Furthermore, a home appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. An appraisal enables you to receive a property valuation based on your house's condition, age and the current state of the real estate sector. With this appraisal in hand, you can set an asking price for your house that will hit the mark with many potential buyers.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Even a home seller who is persistent and intelligent may require additional help to achieve the optimal results. Fortunately, real estate agents are available who can make it simple for a home seller to maximize his or her home sale earnings.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who is unafraid to be honest with a home seller. This housing market professional will offer unbiased feedback about a residence's condition and provide recommendations to help a home seller improve his or her property. Plus, a real estate agent is happy to respond to a home seller's concerns and questions. This means a home seller can receive extensive housing market insights from his or her real estate agent and make informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.

When it comes to selling a home, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and anyone can enter the real estate market as a smart home seller.


When you’re buying or selling a home, you may hear the terms, “assessed value” and “market value.” There are few things that you should know about these terms. First, they cannot be used interchangeably. The assessed value is generally much less than the market value. If you’re buying a home, you probably would rather see the assessed value of the home as a price! If you’re selling, the same holds true for the market value of the home for you.


Market Value Is Used Differently Than Assessed Value


The market value is how much your home is worth on the market currently. The definition is exactly as the term sounds the home is looked at by an assessor and given a value. The assessed value is used to determine property taxes, among other things. As you can imagine, the assessed value can become a point of contention for many homeowners especially when it comes to paying their tax bills. Many homes end up being assessed at a higher price than their current value, bringing tax bills to higher levels. The market value is what the home will sell for when it is listed for sale.


Be careful when searching for a home to buy. Many sites list the assessed value along with the price of the home or estimated market value of the home. You don’t want to get these numbers confused when budgeting and searching for the perfect house. 


If you’re getting ready to sell your home, pay little attention to the assessed value of the home. That is not what your home will sell for. 


The market value is a good reason to hire a realtor to help you sell your home. Realtors are experts in finding the market values of homes. They will even do something called a CMA (comparative market analysis) for you to help you determine the right price for your home to sell at. This is where comparable properties in the area are examined for their selling prices and all the perks of your home and neighborhood are considered. The market value is determined by the price of the homes that have recently been sold in the area based on the location of the home and how close it is to certain amenities like schools, parks, and the probability of future construction. 


Finally, know that the market value and the appraised value of a home have a lot to do with how much a lender will give you to buy the property. Every home that is being bought must go through an appraisal, to protect the lender from overpaying for a home.    


Whether you’re buying or selling a home, knowing your value terms can really be a help in understanding the sweet spot for pricing a property  





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