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Kathy Luebcke
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Napa Homeowners Easily Conquer Bad Home Habits

8-27-home maintenanceNapa homeowners take note:

Neglecting your filters!

That was only one of many “bad home habits” blogger Annie Stevens admitted to in last week’s confessional outpouring on the Aussie web site Domain. “Bad home habits” may not be a phrase Napa homeowners are accustomed to thinking about, but it’s an idea worth mulling—especially if selling your Napa home is something that could be in your immediate (or even middling) future.

In its mildest form, a Stevens bad home habit would be one that needs to be straightened out before John and Jane Q. Public come to look your house over after it’s listed. In the extreme, a bad home habit can lead to escalating maintenance issues. Neglecting your filters is one of those.

Filters you neglect can be the thin, washable, plastic-and-foam panels you slide in and out of your window air conditioner. If you have one, you are among the many Napa homeowners who was grateful to have it last week. Filters you neglect can also be one of the larger, paper-foil-and-mesh replaceable thingies that you are supposed to replace in the workings of your central air unit. They can also be the cottony stuff you wad into your tropical fish aquarium, but that’s not the kind that’s a big homeowner concern. That one is strictly between you and the fish.

In all but that last example, neglecting your filters can lead to an air circulation problem, or even to a burnt-out blower motor. This bad home habit can be blamed on the location of the filters. Being out of sight, it’s hard to remember they are even in there, much less that they require your tender ministration.

Another of blogger Stevens’ bad home habits is “buying exercise equipment you will never use.” It’s easy to see why this is a bad budgeting habit, but not really a bad home habit. After all, if you turn the garage into a home gym, it could be a selling point when you’re ready to sell. And if you don’t ever use the exercise equipment, it will be appealingly shiny and new (even if you are more out of shape than you want to be). Potential home buyers won’t care about that.

Stevens actually described eight bad home habits, but some of them don’t really apply to Napa homeowners (she writes from Australia). For instance, leaving half-drunk cups of tea around the place is not a common Napa homeowner failing. And sleeping with your phone is more of a bad lifestyle habit, since constantly checking an iPhone in the middle of the night disrupts a normal sleep cycle.

Much more applicable is Bad Home Habit #6: letting dirt build up on the things you forget to clean. It’s easy to forget to clean areas and things that are in dim, out-of-the-way corners, but when it comes to getting your home into shape for open houses and showings, it’s amazing how prospective buyers somehow seem to make a beeline for them. Fortunately, a few serious deep cleaning sessions will cure any vestige of bad home habit #6.

It’s a Murphy’s Law kind of rule that any neglected maintenance feature will tend to go completely kaput just when you least want it to. As you get your home ready to put on the Napa market, that’s why catching it in advance is definitely to your advantage. Also to your advantage: giving me a timely call!


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  1. 3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,158 sqft   lot 2,788 sqft
    Walk Score® 72
    Listing provided by Jill Alderson, Century 21 M&M and Associates
    MLS 21722759
  2. Photo of 1713 Andrews Circle, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21722727)
    25
    Price Drop
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,117 sqft   lot 6,050 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Anthony Ward, Ward's Realty
    MLS 21722727
  3. Photo of 422 Rio Del Mar, American Canyon, CA 94503 (MLS # 21722612)
    15
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,032 sqft   lot 7,475 sqft
    Walk Score® 29
    Listing provided by Marcia Hadeler, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21722612
  4. Photo of 701 701 Way, El Sobrante, CA 94803 (MLS # 21722649)
    27
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,076 sqft   lot 5,001 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Robert Triglia, Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific
    MLS 21722649
  5. Photo of 4124 Yeager Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21722754)
    31
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,694 sqft   lot 4,626 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Rhonda Alderman, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21722754
  6. Photo of 150 Enes Avenue, Bay Point, CA 94565 (MLS # 21721078)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,404 sqft  
    Walk Score® 46
    Listing provided by Ellen Sabino, BA Golden State Homes
    MLS 21721078
  7. Photo of 260 Heritage Lane, Dixon, CA 95620 (MLS # 21722753)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,711 sqft   lot 3,054 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Nicholas Munsee, Select Realty Team
    MLS 21722753
  8. Photo of 122 Chula Vista Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21722639)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,929 sqft   lot 7,048 sqft
    Walk Score® 8
    Listing provided by Susan Coleman, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21722639
  9. Photo of 400 Evergreen Road, Bolinas, CA 94924 (MLS # 21721827)
    29
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,352 sqft   lot 27,000 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Tom Wredberg, Oceanic Realty
    MLS 21721827
  10. Photo of 1531 South Wright Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21721063)
    43
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,466 sqft   lot 1.50 ac
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Jonny Sanchez, RE/MAX PROs
    MLS 21721063
  11. Photo of 4480 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21722748)
    4
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    2,513 sqft   lot 36,900 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Lenora Kauth, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21722748
  12. Photo of 170 Hearthstone Drive, American Canyon, CA 94503 (MLS # 21722747)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,841 sqft   lot 5,153 sqft
    Walk Score® 40
    Listing provided by Connie Johnson, Heritage Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21722747
  13. Photo of 362 Edwin Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21720694)
    3
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,374 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Ronald Kahn, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate JFF
    MLS 21720694
  14. Photo of 33721 South Highway One, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21722740)
    29
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,073 sqft   lot 33,106 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sharon Burningham, Coldwell Banker Coastal Properties
    MLS 21722740
  15. Photo of 2121 Rachel Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21706634)
    9
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,545 sqft   lot 4,278 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Jay Belmont, W Real Estate
    MLS 21706634
  16. Photo of 2125 Rachel Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21706633)
    8
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,410 sqft   lot 4,021 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Jay Belmont, W Real Estate
    MLS 21706633
  17. Photo of 2577 Trinity Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21722741)
    13
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,880 sqft   lot 3.66 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Julie Dempsey, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21722741
  18. Photo of 405 Fairway Court, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21722432)
    48
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,900 sqft   lot 13,504 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Marel Ponseti, Century 21 Alliance
    MLS 21722432
  19. Photo of 381 Mark West Commons Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (MLS # 21722476)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,290 sqft   lot 1,816 sqft
    Walk Score® 51
    Listing provided by Susan Mobley, Russian River Realty Co
    MLS 21722476
  20. Photo of 512 Skylark Drive, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21722733)
    21
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,720 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Tess Downey, RE/MAX Gold Elite
    MLS 21722733
  21. Photo of 2205 Forest Run, Hercules, CA 94547 (MLS # 21722694)
    11
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,126 sqft   lot 1,124 sqft
    Walk Score® 62
    Listing provided by Barrett Adams, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21722694
  22. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,480 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 38
    Listing provided by JoAnn Paulon, HomeSwing
    MLS 21722730
  23. Photo of 208 Redstone Circle, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21722732)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,158 sqft   lot 2,862 sqft
    Walk Score® 72
    Listing provided by Ninoroy Machado, All City Homes
    MLS 21722732
  24. Photo of Angwin, CA 94508 (MLS # 21714206)
    30
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,741 sqft   lot 2.15 ac
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Jan Dykema, Coldwell Banker BofV ST Helena
    MLS 21714206
  25. Photo of 14860 Rotonda Way, Guerneville, CA 95446 (MLS # 21719747)
    20
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,150 sqft   lot 3,049 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Mary Mount, Russian River Realty Co
    MLS 21719747
  26. Photo of 517 Apple Tree Lane, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21718308)
    31
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    926 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 52
    Listing provided by Ninoroy Machado, All City Homes
    MLS 21718308
  27. Photo of 141 San Andreas Street, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21722643)
    31
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,441 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Ninoroy Machado, All City Homes
    MLS 21722643
  28. Photo of 890 Woodward Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 (MLS # 21722731)
    24
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,805 sqft  
    Walk Score® 46
    Listing provided by Paul Clark, Century 21 Fort Bragg Realty
    MLS 21722731
  29. Photo of 790 Youngsdale Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21722717)
    49
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,562 sqft   lot 6,403 sqft
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by David Clutts, Country Estates, Inc
    MLS 21722717
  30. Photo of 2744 Overlook Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21722644)
    41
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,918 sqft   lot 12,763 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Cathleen Rojas, RE/MAX Gold-Vallejo
    MLS 21722644
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