Luxury Homes Wine Country by Kathy Luebcke
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. Photo of 106 Plymouth Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21901378)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,827 sqft   lot 4,199 sqft
    Listing provided by Carol Dean, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21901378
  2. Photo of 152 Del Rio Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21901501)
    27
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,056 sqft   lot 871 sqft
    Listing provided by Jamie Trujillo, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21901501
  3. Photo of 7321 Pleasants Valley Road, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21901337)
    50
    2 beds,  3 full baths
    1,818 sqft   lot 140.00 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Jean Deleonardi, KW Vaca Valley
    MLS 21901337
  4. Photo of 567 Spinnaker Court, Clearlake Oaks, CA 95423 (MLS # 21901482)
    8
    6 beds,  3 full baths
    2,867 sqft   lot 8,880 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Janice Maschek, Shore Line Realty, Inc
    MLS 21901482
  5. Photo of 125 Currant Lane, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21901167)
    50
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,597 sqft   lot 4,918 sqft
    Walk Score® 20
    Listing provided by Renee Neuman, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21901167
  6. Photo of 497 Regency Circle, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21901497)
    35
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,209 sqft   lot 4,787 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Kathleen Ramos, Stumbaugh Realty Advisors
    MLS 21901497
  7. Photo of 332 Donahue Street, Sausalito, CA 94965 (MLS # 21901500)
    3
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,667 sqft   lot 701 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Pete Zavlaris, Alain Pinel, REALTORS®
    MLS 21901500
  8. 5 beds,  3 full baths
    1,280 sqft   lot 4.79 ac
    Walk Score® 1
    Listing provided by Andrew Nicoll, W Real Estate
    MLS 21901457
  9. Photo of 18765 Dove Court, Hidden Valley Lake, CA 95467 (MLS # 21901498)
    24
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,189 sqft   lot 12,197 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Yvette Sloan, NextHome Yvette Sloan
    MLS 21901498
  10. 4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,698 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Jimmy Perez, United Realty Group
    MLS 21901495
  11. Photo of 1040 Boggs Lane, Lakeport, CA 95453 (MLS # 21901425)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    lot 9,306 sqft
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by Shawn Hermosillo, W Real Estate
    MLS 21901425
  12. Photo of 371 Nicoli Lane, Sonoma, CA 95476 (MLS # 21901412)
    17
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    990 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 57
    Listing provided by Erin Davis, Compass
    MLS 21901412
  13. Photo of 17155 Morgan Valley Road, Lower Lake, CA 95457 (MLS # 21901493)
    37
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,000 sqft   lot 40.00 ac
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Yvette Sloan, NextHome Yvette Sloan
    MLS 21901493
  14. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,136 sqft   lot 7,532 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Chanell Tyhurst, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21900701
  15. Photo of 248 Orris Terrace, San Rafael, CA 94903 (MLS # 21901246)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,337 sqft   lot 6,499 sqft
    Walk Score® 54
    Listing provided by Liz McCarthy, Compass
    MLS 21901246
  16. Photo of 1360 Milton Place, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21900887)
    42
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,821 sqft   lot 5,249 sqft
    Walk Score® 60
    Listing provided by BUNHONG YI, CLIMB REAL ESTATE GROUP
    MLS 21900887
  17. Photo of 5973 Lone Pine Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21901387)
    22
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    809 sqft   lot 29,381 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by David Rendino, RE/MAX Marketplace
    MLS 21901387
  18. Photo of 30 Hillcrest Court, San Anselmo, CA 94960 (MLS # 21901394)
    29
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,956 sqft   lot 5,981 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Judy Smith, Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21901394
  19. Photo of 284 Scenic Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21900224)
    19
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,112 sqft   lot 2.00 ac
    Walk Score® 8
    Listing provided by Grant Alvernaz, Grant Alvernaz
    MLS 21900224
  20. Photo of 300 South Lincoln Street, Dixon, CA 95620 (MLS # 21901485)
    30
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,903 sqft   lot 7,405 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Marianne MacDonald, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21901485
  21. Photo of 1500 West Watmaugh Road, Sonoma, CA 95476 (MLS # 21900393)
    22
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,094 sqft   lot 42,689 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Mary Szykowny, CENTURY 21 Wine Country
    MLS 21900393
  22. Photo of 8189 Sonoma Mountain Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21901484)
    35
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    lot 15.48 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21901484
  23. Photo of 7609 Camino Colegio, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21901402)
    20
    1 bed,  1 full bath
    614 sqft   lot 675 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Andrew Saltzman, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21901402
  24. Photo of 8185 Sonoma Mountan Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21900795)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,952 sqft   lot 5.22 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Holly Bennett, Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21900795
  25. Photo of 465 Hillsdale Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95409 (MLS # 21822166)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,696 sqft   lot 10,890 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Paula Lewis, Century 21 Valley of the Moon
    MLS 21822166
  26. Photo of 2150 Yellow Rose Circle, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21827153)
    25
    Price Drop
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,342 sqft   lot 5,698 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Eric Pangilinan, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21827153
  27. Photo of 7318 Michelle Way, Browns Valley, CA 95918 (MLS # 21824125)
    41
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,906 sqft  
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Kelsie Morse, Providence Properties
    MLS 21824125
  28. Photo of 32 Braun Court, Sausalito, CA 94965 (MLS # 21901477)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,241 sqft   lot 1,786 sqft
    Walk Score® 38
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Ellis, Compass
    MLS 21901477
  29. Photo of Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21901481)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,832 sqft   lot 19,798 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Katherine Clark, Bertolone Realty
    MLS 21901481
  30. Photo of 184 Hogan Avenue, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21900192)
    16
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,060 sqft   lot 5,227 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Daryll Canlas, Coldwell Banker Res. Broker
    MLS 21900192
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