Corro-Ramirez Napa Valley Real Estate Blog

Aug. 27, 2013

Increase in Tourism Revenue Leads to an Increase in Budget

Visit Napa Valley has $5 million approved budget, following an increase in total tourism revenue countywide.

Visit Napa Valley unveiled a countywide tourism revenue increase within their annual report at their recent Napa County Board of Supervisors meeting. After an 11.4 percent total revenue increase as of the end of June, Napa County hotels have officially increased in revenue to $276 million.

Using a combination of revenue statistics and visitor figures from various county hotel rooms, Smith Travel Research found the positive results. The boost is not the only increase, however, as occupancy improved by 2.7 percent, and daily room rates were up to $247.77, a 5.5 percent raise. Finally, more sought-after demographics, such as weekday visitors and off-season stays, also showed increases. In fact, the number of county visitors during the off-season increased by 10 percent.

CEO and president Clay Gregory recently informed that Visit Napa Valley will have a $5.19 million budget for the next fiscal year, with $400,000 in reserves, as a result of the tourism increases. A total of $800,000 will be kept in a bank to continue marketing efforts. Whether funding will be used on enhancing visitor experience has yet to be determined.

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Aug. 20, 2013

Luxury Resort and Downtown Hotel: Napa’s Latest Sales

Luxury Resort and Downtown Hotel: Napa’s Latest Sales

One Napa property changes hands between owners as another is listed.

The Carneros Inn, a luxury resort valued at $60 million, is currently for sale, as the Andaz Hotel’s $70 million sale remains pending downtown, according to an industry newsletter.

The 27-acre Carneros Inn property does not have an identified seller, but is currently owned by Carneros Inn LLC, according to County Assessor documents. Managed by the PlumpJack Group, the luxury inn includes a variety of units of several sizes, as well as private homes, reportedly valued at over $1 million according to the 2004 Napa Valley Register.

To stay at one of the resort’s 86 units, guests pay between $400 and $2,500 per night. Equip ped with cottages, private homes, a conference center, pools, pavilions and a restaurant, the Carneros Inn has something for everyone.

The Carneros Inn is not the only regional competitor, however. With a total of 141 rooms, the Andaz Hotel is sure to host a variety of future visitors. Having originally opened in 2009 as an Avia brand hotel, the inn has also undergone a variety of changes to best suit guests’ needs. While the hotel’s new buyer has not been publicized, the deal is pending.

As sales continue within the San Francisco area, hotels are set to match the $867 million brought in regionally last year. The change is earning attention, as it greatly contrasts the minimal hotel construction since 2008 and the limited growth.

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Aug. 19, 2013

A Fall in foreclosures

A Fall in Foreclosures:

Figures plummet in Napa County


Recent research conducted by the San Diego-based DataQuick, a company centered on real estate news and custom data, has tracked a strong decline in the foreclosure process in Napa County. Houses and condos with notices of default have fallen 60.7% between the fourth quarter of last year and the first quarter of 2013. In fact, the total loss of homes, loan defaults and the amount of trustee deeds are currently the lowest in seven years throughout the state of California.


Despite a consistent fall in the amount of homeowners beginning the foreclosure process, the 74.3% plunge between quarters drew particular interest. Many attribute the drop in numbers to the “Homeowner Bill of Rights,” a set of new laws that took effect January 1st. Other factors such as the current rise in home prices, the improving economy, governmental support and a difficult labor market have also attributed to the plummet.


While the majority of defaulted loans exist from between 2005 and 2007, analysts agree that the recent change in foreclosure stems from the state’s new regulations regarding banks’ protocol, and the $25-billion national mortgage settlement from 2012. The drastic changes in foreclosure numbers and policy have captured that attention of many, and will remain an important topic to track.

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Aug. 16, 2013

Cashing Checks

As of April 25, 2013, more than one million people either deposited or liquidated more than $1 billion in checks affiliated to the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement.    

The payments were granted to borrowers whose properties were going through phases of the foreclosure process back in 2009 or 2010,  and whose mortgages were serviced by any of the following companies, their affiliates, or subsidiaries: Citibank, Bank of America, SunTrust, Wells Fargo, PNC, Sovereign, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Metlife Bank, Morgan Stanley, Aurora, and U.S. Bank. This is due to a concession between the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, and the 13 services to bestow $3.6 billion worth of defrayments to the borrowers.

Also, disbursements to more than 220,000 borrowers whose mortgages were serviced by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs started May 3, 2013 in the wake of a separate agreement disclosed earlier this year by the Federal Reserve Board.       

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July 26, 2013

Builder Spin the Wheel

Home sale from a low inventory? Go for a lottery.

This is the result of the ingenuity of O’Brien Homes, builders from Sunnyville, California, In an attempt to prevent familiar situations where potential buyers camp out on the new condo complexes’ lawns in hopes of getting a chance at acquiring one of the new homes, the builders of a new 228-unit development called Fusion in the Golden State came up  and carried out a bingo-like lottery system for its buyers.

The process is simple. They will just draw a name from among the participants, all of which were already pre-qualified for a mortgage and had a down payment in place.

Cost of condos constantly rose each time a new grouping went up for sale. The two-, three-, and four bedroom homes started out between $420,000 and $620,000. The two-, three-, and four bedroom homes started at a price tag between $420,000 and $620,000. At a 32% increase, the last batch went for $555,000 to $815,000.

Despite the soaring prices, buyers kept coming back, and the last unit was recently sold. But O’Brien Homes isn’t the only ones using this system. Other Bay Area builders, including Shea Holmes at a development in Livermore, California, and Shapell Homes in San Ramon, California are also utilizing lotteries.

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