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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. Photo of 30397 River Road, Cloverdale, CA 95425 (MLS # 21719522)
    9
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,800 sqft   lot 7.03 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Charmayne Alcones, San Felipe Realty & Mortgage
    MLS 21719522
  2. Photo of 809 Rancho Way, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21719519)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,456 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Marshall Mello, Sterling California Properties
    MLS 21719519
  3. Photo of 3025 Foothill Boulevard, Calistoga, CA 94515 (MLS # 21717960)
    10
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 4.59 ac
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Inna Lehman, Lehman Properties
    MLS 21717960
  4. Photo of 10300 Hwy 20 Highway, Willits, CA 95490 (MLS # 21719542)
    2
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 30.83 ac
    Walk Score® 1
    Listing provided by Randy Weston, Summit Realty
    MLS 21719542
  5. Photo of 122 Poppy Court, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 (MLS # 21719488)
    33
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,513 sqft   lot 8,851 sqft
    Walk Score® 14
    Listing provided by Kristopher Lepore, Sonoma Coast Living
    MLS 21719488
  6. Photo of 809 Paula Lane, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21719507)
    36
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,845 sqft   lot 7,118 sqft
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Steven Gavriloff, Westgate Realty
    MLS 21719507
  7. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,148 sqft   lot 5,475 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Leanne Ridley, NewVision Realty Group
    MLS 21719454
  8. Photo of 20924 Powder Horn Road, Hidden Valley Lake, CA 95467 (MLS # 21719536)
    24
    3 beds,  1 full, 2 half baths
    2,016 sqft   lot 14,375 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Erica Bergstrom, Morgan Lane Real Estate, Lake
    MLS 21719536
  9. Photo of 586 Peppertree Drive, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21719323)
    50
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,469 sqft   lot 6,003 sqft
    Walk Score® 20
    Listing provided by Marshall Mello, Sterling California Properties
    MLS 21719323
  10. Photo of 0 Silverado Trail, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21719531)
    29
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 3.04 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Deborah Russell Broman, Coldwell Banker BofV ST Helena
    MLS 21719531
  11. Photo of 529 East Blithedale Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (MLS # 21719520)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,250 sqft   lot 5,502 sqft
    Walk Score® 73
    Listing provided by Chip McAllister, Paragon Real Estate Group
    MLS 21719520
  12. Photo of 1204 Colorado Drive, CA 95961 (MLS # 21716793)
    25
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,596 sqft  
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Rhonda Welch, Welton Realty
    MLS 21716793
  13. Photo of 114 Topsail Court, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21719518)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,740 sqft   lot 8,485 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Scott Foster, Delta Realty Group Inc
    MLS 21719518
  14. Photo of 486 Banning Way, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21719491)
    38
    4 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,988 sqft   lot 37,897 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Rosita Arriaga, Powerhouse Real Estate & Mgmt
    MLS 21719491
  15. Photo of 6757 Covey Road, Forestville, CA 95436 (MLS # 21719445)
    20
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,938 sqft   lot 19,476 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Brenda Alarcon, Bradley Real Estate-Santa Rosa
    MLS 21719445
  16. Photo of 15621 Forest View Road, Manchester, CA 95459 (MLS # 21719511)
    28
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    lot 16,117 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Rosemary Campiformio, Kennedy & Associates
    MLS 21719511
  17. Photo of 512 Hastings Drive, Benicia, CA 94510 (MLS # 21717851)
    27
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,071 sqft   lot 9,583 sqft
    Walk Score® 14
    Listing provided by Linda Takacs, Kennon Realty
    MLS 21717851
  18. Photo of 2901 Old River Road, Talmage, CA 95481 (MLS # 21719169)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,300 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Gary Nix, Realty World-Selzer Realty
    MLS 21719169
  19. Photo of 1042 Daroff Court, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21719420)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,130 sqft   lot 3,280 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Kelly Thornhill, Stumbaugh Realty Advisors
    MLS 21719420
  20. Photo of 318 Earl Avenue, Roseville, CA 95678 (MLS # 21719498)
    13
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,182 sqft   lot 7,362 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Michaelene Major, Realty One Group Complete
    MLS 21719498
  21. Photo of 16221 Par Road, Cobb, CA 95426 (MLS # 21719506)
    16
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    lot 7,754 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Timothy Toye, Timothy Toye & Associates
    MLS 21719506
  22. Photo of 310 Murphy Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21719224)
    45
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    888 sqft   lot 9,052 sqft
    Walk Score® 57
    Listing provided by Ann Harris, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21719224
  23. Photo of 1711 Lincoln Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21714645)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,448 sqft   lot 5,201 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Rick Warner, Bradley Real Estate
    MLS 21714645
  24. Photo of 125 Claxton Court, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21718284)
    11
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,232 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Lisa Carter-Salaices, Century 21 Schutjer Realty, Inc
    MLS 21718284
  25. Photo of 5825 East Highway 20 Highway, Lucerne, CA 95458 (MLS # 21719480)
    9
    0 beds,  0 baths
    lot 33,977 sqft
    Walk Score® 22
    Listing provided by Denise Marino, RE/MAX Lake County Realty
    MLS 21719480
  26. Photo of 5298 Gramercy Circle, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21719396)
    25
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,195 sqft   lot 4,138 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Heath Rose, Real Estate Broker Services
    MLS 21719396
  27. Photo of 548 Monterey Avenue, Boyes Hot Springs, CA 95416 (MLS # 21719038)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,038 sqft   lot 4,748 sqft
    Walk Score® 75
    Listing provided by Tish Thames, Alain Pinel Realtors
    MLS 21719038
  28. Photo of 212 Foss Creek Circle, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21718971)
    17
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    960 sqft   lot 436 sqft
    Walk Score® 61
    Listing provided by Susan Montgomery, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21718971
  29. Photo of 450 Edgewood Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21719468)
    14
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,418 sqft   lot 4,051 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Joseph McNeany, Bertolone Realty
    MLS 21719468
  30. Photo of 580 Lommel Road, Calistoga, CA 94515 (MLS # 21719501)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full, 2 half baths
    2,400 sqft   lot 160.00 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Joshua Dempsey, Coldwell Banker BofV ST Helena
    MLS 21719501
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