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By Phone: 707-251-0225

By Fax: 707-251-0224

By Mail: Skip Keyser Realty, Inc., 1434 Third Street, Suite E, Napa CA 94559

In Person: We're located on the north-east corner of Third Street and School Street, at 1434 Third Street, Suite E, Napa CA 94559

How to Find Us: From Highway 29 take the First Street off-ramp east bound. This will put you on Second Street. Continue east on Second Street about 5/8 mile until you get to School Street. Turn right on School Street and you should see our office at the end of the block.

From Soscol Avenue, take Third Street west bound. We're located about 3/8 mile west of the Soscol Avenue and Third Street intersection.

Our office hours are 9:00 am to Noon and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, holidays excepted.

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Full Service Property Management Co. serving Napa & Solano Counties


Welcome to the Skip Keyser Realty Inc. blog.  We will post local current events and our experiences in the real estate and property management field that affects Napa Valley and the surrounding areas.  We will post your comments provided they are appropriate to the topic at hand.

HOME APPRAISALS: Are you getting your money's worth?
April 22, 2011 2:50PM
by: Ed Ramirez
Category(s): (none)
  Lenders are required to pay fair fees to appraisers, but many say they are still offered $200 to $250... (more)

Los Angeles Times

Are you getting your money’s worth with appraisal?

Despite Federal Reserve regulations that took effect April 1 requiring lenders to pay appraisers fair fees, many appraisers say they are still offered $200 to $250 by lenders for work billed to consumers at $450 or more.


  • Last year’s Dodd-Frank financial reform law mandated that appraisers receive fees that are “customary and reasonable” for their local market areas, yet the Appraisal Institute says that is not happening.

  • While a portion of the difference between what consumers are billed and appraisers are paid goes to the management companies that connect lenders with local appraisers and take a percentage for their services, often times lenders make a profit from the appraisal as well.

  • Home buyers should care about this for several reasons. For starters, accurate appraisals are a concern for consumers, as appraisals can be deal-breakers if the appraisal comes in too low. When performed competently, appraisals can be accurate measures of the equity in a home when the homeowner refinances or seeks a second mortgage.

  • Most experienced independent appraisers refuse to work for $200 to $250 because they can’t pay their overhead at that rate, leading less-experienced appraisers, who sometimes travel long distances and are unfamiliar with the area, to conduct the appraisal, which can lead to inaccurate, appraisals.

  • The Appraisal Institute is seeking to persuade the Federal Reserve to tighten its regulations, which created a loophole for lenders and management companies that wanted to keep paying low fees to appraisers. In the meantime, consumers should demand transparency, asking how the appraisal fee was distributed and why.

Read the full story 


December 21, 2010 1:40PM
by: Ed Ramirez
Category(s): (none)
Napa County recently approved $500,000 in affordable housing funds for workers to buy homes near their workplaces.  (more)

In an attempt to help cut down on commuters time on the road, Napa County approved a six-month pilot program of $500,000 to help workers live near their workplace. Called the Proximity Housing Plan, potential homebuyers may apply for loans of 10% of the purchase price to use as a down payment on a property.  To be eligible, a person must buy a permanent residence within 15 miles of their workplace, work 30 hours per week or 1,200 hours per year, and earn no more than 120% of the county's annual median income. To apply contact the Community and Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, County Executive Office, Napa County, 1195 3rd Street, Suite 310, Napa CA 94559.

October 15, 2010 10:21AM
by: Irenee Ramirez
Category(s): (none)
A Bank of America official testified that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents a month, many without being verified. (more)

A Bank of America official testified that she signed up to 8,000 foreclosure documents a month, many without being verified. This lead B of A to halt foreclosure proceedings in all 50 states this month while it verifies proper procedures are in place and being followed in foreclosure actions.


California to join multistate inquiry of foreclosures by banks

In late September and early October several major lending institutions began voluntarily halting foreclosures in select states while they reviewed their foreclosure processes. This action is in response to findings that questioned whether some lenders/servicers were following the correct procedures to foreclose on a property.


• To date, Bank of America is the only lender that has extended its foreclosure moratorium to California, where the vast majority of foreclosures are conducted without a court order.

• Non-judicial foreclosures in California, however, do have legal requirements that lenders must follow. For example, California law requires that lenders for certain mortgage loans made between Jan. 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2007, attempt to make contact with borrowers to discuss options for avoiding foreclosure at least 30 days before filing a notice of default. Lenders also must sign a declaration in the notice of default stating that they tried to contact the borrower, made contact with the borrower, or fall within an exception (such as a bankruptcy filing).

• This halting of foreclosures is a voluntary action taken on the part of these lenders/servicers and has not been mandated by either the states or the federal government. The participating lenders and servicers believe their internal review processes should take anywhere from a few weeks to 30 days to complete.

• It is important to note that Bank of America is temporarily suspending foreclosure sales, but not necessarily halting its actions during other stages of the foreclosure process.

Read the full story:,0,6850348.story



October 1, 2010 12:32PM
by: Ed Ramirez
Category(s): (none)
Do you know what is included in the Good-faith Estimate?  Read on for what is included and what isn't included... (more)

5 Tips for Deciphering Your Home Loan’s Good-faith Estimate

Article From

By: G. M. Filisko

Published: April 09, 2010

Knowing how to read your good-faith estimate can help you save money on your home loan.

When you're shopping for a mortgage loan, it's sometimes hard to understand the jargon lenders use in the good-faith estimate explaining the costs and fees you'll pay when taking out a mortgage.

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender has three days to give you a good-faith estimate of the fees and interest rate you'll pay, as well as other loan terms. Here are five tips for using the new three-page form to your advantage.

When you apply for a mortgage, the lender has three days to give you a good-faith estimate of the fees and interest rate you'll pay, as well as other loan terms. Here are five tips for using the new three-page form to your advantage.


In the past, lenders provided an estimate of the costs involved in getting your home loan, and if those costs rose by the time you closed on your home, tough luck. The good-faith estimate shows some fees the lender can't change, like the loan origination fee that you pay to get a certain interest rate (commonly called points) and transfer costs.

The form also lists the charges that can increase by up to 10%, like some title company fees and local government recording fees. The lender must cover any increase over that amount.

Finally, the good-faith estimate lists the fees that can change without any limit, such as daily interest charges.


In the summary section, lenders explain your loan's terms in simple language. Can your interest rate rise? If so, a lender must spell out how much the rate can jump and what your new payment would be if it does. Can the amount you owe the lender increase, even if you make your payments on time? If it can, a lender must show you the potential increase.


In the new "tradeoff table," you can ask lenders to provide details on the tradeoffs you can make in choosing among home loans. If you'd like the same loan with lower settlement charges, how will the interest rate change? If you'd like a lower interest rate, how much will your settlement charges increase?


Included on the good-faith estimate is space for you to list all the terms and fees for four different loans, so you can make side-by-side comparisons.


The new form lacks some key information, such as how much you'll reimburse the sellers for property taxes they've already paid on the home. It also doesn't tell you the amount of money you'll have to bring to the closing table. Some lenders have created supplemental forms providing that information. If yours hasn't, ask for it.


More on the new good-faith estimate form(


The new U.S. Housing and Urban Development good-faith estimate(

More on shopping for a loan(

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who has encountered many settlement statements that bore no resemblance to the lender's good-faith estimate. A frequent contributor to many national publications including, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Reprinted from HouseLogic ( with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (R).
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Napa, California Rated Second in Popular Retirement Affordability!
July 9, 2010 11:30AM
by: Ed Ramirez
Category(s): (none)
If Napa, California is your dream retirement area, it is affordable. But not just for retirees.  There are lots of amenities to... (more)

If Napa, California is your dream retirement area, it is affordable. But not just for retirees.  There are lots of amenities to enjoy in and around Napa for people of all ages, including golfing, mountain biking, wine-tasting and world-class dining.  If you'd like to experience Napa Living, contact Skip Keyser Realty, Inc. and we can help you find that condo, house or estate that suits your needs.  Read on for other worthy destinations.

Most Affordable Popular Retirement Locations
The real estate downturn has turned some very popular retirement destinations into bargains.

To determine where the prices are most attractive, U.S. News & World Report examined price-to-income data for 384 metropolitan statistical areas. This expresses the relationship between owner income and home values.

Here are 10 retirement havens where homes are most affordable by this measure:

1. Bend, Ore.
2. Napa, Calif.
3. Fort Meyers, Fla.
4. Fayetteville, Ark.
5. Las Vegas
6. Sante Fe, N.M.
7. Punta Gorda, Fla.
8. Phoenix
9. Santa Cruz, Calif.
10. Burlington, Vt.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, Luke Mullins (07/08/2010)


In the home-shopping process please don't let this happen to you.
June 11, 2010 11:42AM
by: Irenee Ramirez
Category(s): General
When shopping for a loan to purchase your home make sure you work with a reputable bank or mortgage broker to... (more)

Ask friends, family and co-workers who they used for a home loan.  Ask for and check references. Do you feel comfortable with the loan products offered to you?  If you don't or it seems too good to be true then take a step back and do a little more research and ask more questions.  Read the following story from the LA times.  Make sure you don't feel pressured into making a poor loan choice.

Los Angeles Times

After shopping for a home, tired buyers often make poor mortgage choices

New research suggests buyers applying for mortgage loans immediately after house hunting often make poor choices—sometimes selecting the first loan option presented, regardless of the terms with which it is associated.


• The research, conducted by two George Washington University instructors, found "cognitive resource depletion" to be a determining factor in why some borrowers make poor choices in selecting a home loan. Cognitive resource depletion implies willpower is a limited resource that can be exhausted. The study suggests the depletion of willpower may be one reason borrowers choose loan products such as pick-a-pay mortgages, interest-only loans, loans with balloon payments, and mortgages with negative amortization.

• To test the theory of cognitive resource depletion, two test groups were created. One was presented with an online-shopping simulation, the other was not. The group completing the simulation then was tasked with selecting a set of mortgage alternatives. The second test group only was asked to select a mortgage product. Almost half of those participating in the house-shopping exercise selected a higher-risk mortgage, while less than one in five of those who did not participate in the experience selected a higher-risk mortgage.

• Although most sales contracts require buyers secure financing within a designated time period, the authors of the study recommend even financially savvy borrowers institute a waiting period of at least two days after selecting a home to purchase before applying for a home loan. To address this, the authors and most real estate professionals advise home buyers apply for a home loan and receive preapproval prior to searching for a house.

To read the full story, please click here:,0,1809394.story


Renting or Buying in Napa and Solano Counties
January 4, 2009 4:18AM
by: Irenee Ramirez
Category(s): General
Rental rates are steadily increasing because more people are entering the rental market, some as a result of losing their homes... (more)

Rental rates are steadily increasing because more people are entering the rental market, some as a result of losing their homes due to shortsales and foreclosures.  Now is a great time to buy in Napa County and the surrounding areas.  Prices are quite affordable and there are many opportunities for first-time homebuyers or homeowners who want to move up to a larger home. Interest rates are still at historical lows and the inventory of homes and condos in Napa and the surrounding areas of American Canyon, Vallejo, Fairfield and Vacaville are extensive. We recently helped our client close escrow on a shortsale just in time for the holidays.  If you have any questions, please contact us and one of our salespeople will be able to explain the homebuying process and answer any questions you may have.