The Best Place To Live In Napa
Of all the neighborhoods to settle in Napa Valley, the best place to live in Napa is the exclusive Napa neighborhood, Browns Valley.
Browns Valley, located on the west side of Napa, is broken into four areas including the central, south, east and west neighborhoods, stretching from Tall Grass Court and the southern, western and northern limit of Napa, to the Napa Creek and Highway 29 in the east, with Browns Valley Road as a centerpiece. Everyone in the Valley has heard of the best place to live in Napa – Browns Valley – as it is known for its friendly neighborhood families, its many parks, and views of hills, vineyards and beautiful pastures.
Browns Valley, NAPA History
The Browns Valley, Napa neighborhood has a long history dating back to the early 1800’s and was named after the Napa County surveyor in the 1840s, John E. Brown. The land that makes up Browns Valley was once cow pastures and orchards, and the old and new now harmoniously co-exist with 100 year old farmhouses along with the requisite residential subdivisions and streets, dotted with retail stores, including the renowned Browns Valley Market.
The Browns Valley Market has been a staple shopping destination for over 30 years and is always busy with local shoppers. The market is known for its fantastic fresh meat, including Wagyu beef and various sausages and beef burgers all made in-house. They also have a wonderful selection of cheeses from both local farms and international producers and some fantastic lunch and dinner choices at their deli. We shop there at least three times a week ourselves both for our weekly groceries and for when we just don’t feel like cooking, when we pick up one of their house made chicken lasagnas, beef pot pies or goat cheese and leek quiches!
Browns Valley attracts a great deal of families due to the many parks and, of course, the Browns Valley Elementary School, located on the far south west side of the neighborhood. When it was first opened it was a one-room school with just 26 students consisting of eight grades. With the vast increase in population over the years, this size school would no longer be enough and in 1960, the former school was torn down and the current elementary school was built. Today the school serves approximately 520 students from Kindergarten through Grade 5 and is in the top 20% of all schools Statewide. Minority enrollment is 43% of the student body, which is vastly lower than the California state average of 77%.
Browns Valley Napa Homeowner Survey Results
So what do people say about living in Browns Valley? A survey was conducted with the residents of Browns Valley back in 2012 where they were asked multiple questions about life in the neighborhood. The results of this survey found that most residents enjoy the quiet, country feel of the neighborhood along with feeling safe and the friendly neighbors. What the survey also discovered was that many neighbors were unhappy with the speed in which some people drive the main roads and the failure to maintain the streets and sidewalks.
The survey also dives into more specific aspects of living in Browns Valley, such as the satisfaction of the police and fire response times, the effectiveness of street lighting at night, and the satisfaction of the services available within the community. You can read the full survey results in the link provided in the description below.
Survey results from Browns Valley residents (2012-2013)
Click here to view the entire survey results from the homeowners of Browns Valley, Napa.
Local Establishments within Browns Valley
Other things that make up Browns Valley include the Hop Creek Pub, where they serve great traditional American fare, spirits and beer, and have a large outdoor dining space, Bella Capelli Salon and Spa (where I get my hair done!), the Browns Valley Yogurt and Espresso Bar and more small local establishments within the shopping center. There is also an outlet mall on the edge of Browns Valley where you can shop at over a dozen different brands and grab a coffee at Brewed (one of my favorite local coffee shops).
Browns Valley Recreation
Browns Valley also has many large parks throughout the neighborhood both with and without playground equipment and basketball courts in addition to the Westwood Hills park, which consists of 2 miles of hiking with many different trails and is dog friendly. It is quite steep, with an elevation of 300 feet, but the views are well worth the effort.
Browns Valley, Napa Properties
Browns Valley consists of both residential homes and condos with the majority of property owners being full time residents between the ages of 35 and over 65 with a combined income of over $150,000. As of May 2021, there are approximately 2,400 single family homes, around 100 condo units, along with a handful of multi-family properties within Browns Valley.
So what does it cost to own a home in Browns Valley? Great question!
As of today, May 2021, the average sales price of a home has increased by 8.5% to $1,075,000 since a year ago. The highest sale in the past year in Browns Valley was just under $3M at $2,995,000 and the lowest sale was $510,000. So with a 20% down payment on an average home price you would be looking at just over $200,000 and for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 3.5% interest rate, you would be looking at a $3,592 monthly mortgage payment. (Please consult with a licensed mortgage broker to gain accurate costs.)
Currently there are just eight homes currently active on the market with seven homes pending and 91 sold over the past year. The average days on market is just 51 days with many selling with cash buyers in a matter of days.
57% of homes sold in the past year in Browns Valley were in the range of $740,000 to $1.1M with 29% over $1.1M with the majority of these homes consisting of 4 bedrooms.
Need more information about Browns Valley?
If you are interested in learning more about the best place to live in Napa, the Browns Valley neighborhood, I would be thrilled to chat with you! As a resident here in Browns Valley, I can provide some great firsthand knowledge and information, that will help you get to know the neighborhood better, and make an educated decision on whether or not it is the right place for you to live too. Please reach out to me at 707.210.5500 or use the contact form below.