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 717 Fitch Street, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21824593)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,600 sqft   lot 15,686 sqft
    Walk Score® 72
    Listing provided by Alain-Martin Pierret, Healdsburg Sotheby's Int'l Realty
    MLS 21824593
  2. Photo of 19908 Mountain Meadow, Hidden Valley Lake, CA 95467 (MLS # 21824733)
    29
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,591 sqft   lot 23,448 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Jen Mullin, Century 21 North Bay Alliance
    MLS 21824733
  3. Photo of 3091 Pecan Circle, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824578)
    41
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,261 sqft   lot 8,224 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Sherri Duggan, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21824578
  4. Photo of 1713 Ventura Way, Suisun City, CA 94585 (MLS # 21824187)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,434 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 7
    Listing provided by Brenda Comfort, California Investment Properties
    MLS 21824187
  5. Photo of 263 Forrest Avenue, Fairfax, CA 94930 (MLS # 21824063)
    10
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,022 sqft   lot 6,190 sqft
    Walk Score® 53
    Listing provided by Steve Sekhon, Compass
    MLS 21824063
  6. Photo of 46 Bedford Cove, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21824725)
    26
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,595 sqft   lot 2,448 sqft
    Walk Score® 25
    Listing provided by Stefan Schermerhorn, Holmes Burrell Real Estate
    MLS 21824725
  7. Photo of 119 Mica Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21823063)
    24
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,671 sqft   lot 5,070 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Judith Urbanik, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21823063
  8. Photo of 1371 Sirah Court, Ukiah, CA 95482 (MLS # 21824712)
    13
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,656 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Pat Williams, AMC Realty
    MLS 21824712
  9. Photo of 4096 Peaceful Glen Road, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21824567)
    47
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,959 sqft   lot 4.70 ac
    Walk Score® 7
    Listing provided by Julie Coffey, Century 21 MM
    MLS 21824567
  10. Photo of 2047 Dubloon Court, Bodega Bay, CA 94923 (MLS # 21822814)
    42
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,540 sqft   lot 10,350 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Steven Hecht, Artisan Sotheby's Int'l Realty
    MLS 21822814
  11. Photo of Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21816759)
    28
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,702 sqft   lot 9,583 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Richard Frank, Sterling California Properties
    MLS 21816759
  12. Photo of 901 Meadowlark Drive, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824703)
    11
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,024 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Michael Hulsey, Windermere Hulsey & Associates
    MLS 21824703
  13. Photo of 1821 Mini Drive, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21821348)
    13
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,300 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 37
    Listing provided by Zee Magee, ARS Realty & Financial Service
    MLS 21821348
  14. Photo of 113 Villa Court, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824694)
    13
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    968 sqft   lot 1,742 sqft
    Walk Score® 21
    Listing provided by Cecile McNaughton, Greater Solano Real Estate Services
    MLS 21824694
  15. Photo of 927 Broadway Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21824610)
    18
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,717 sqft   lot 8,712 sqft
    Walk Score® 54
    Listing provided by Justina Ortiz, Sequoia Real Estate
    MLS 21824610
  16. Photo of 46650 Fish Rock Road, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21819506)
    15
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    lot 1.04 ac
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Cassie Henderson, Kennedy & Associates
    MLS 21819506
  17. Photo of 6319 Newhaven Lane, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21824691)
    38
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,259 sqft   lot 3,014 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Stacey Sandoe, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21824691
  18. Photo of 5031 Feliz Creek Road, Hopland, CA 95449 (MLS # 21824576)
    46
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    2,498 sqft   lot 15.00 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Alain-Martin Pierret, Healdsburg Sotheby's Int'l Realty
    MLS 21824576
  19. Photo of 4610 Aria Place, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21824653)
    32
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,417 sqft   lot 20,255 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Eric Brooks, KW Vaca Valley
    MLS 21824653
  20. Photo of 73 Tamalpais Road, Fairfax, CA 94930 (MLS # 21824596)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,527 sqft   lot 3,899 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Dominique Nave-Conroy, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21824596
  21. Photo of 26 Hilligoss Court, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21815749)
    40
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,903 sqft   lot 20,713 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Michael Williams, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21815749
  22. Photo of 7771 Healdsburg Avenue, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21824455)
    20
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,200 sqft   lot 871 sqft
    Walk Score® 71
    Listing provided by Rick Warner, Bradley Real Estate
    MLS 21824455
  23. Photo of 170 Wilson Way, Larkspur, CA 94939 (MLS # 21824439)
    25
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,685 sqft   lot 9,500 sqft
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Chris DeNike, Zephyr Real Estate
    MLS 21824439
  24. Photo of 2324 Jose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21824671)
    8
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,676 sqft   lot 4,356 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Luis Ramos, Blue Sky Realty & Investments
    MLS 21824671
  25. Photo of 2100 Tindall Ranch Road, Talmage, CA 95481 (MLS # 21824673)
    19
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,400 sqft   lot 28.36 ac
    Listing provided by Anthony Ford, RE/MAX Full Spectrum
    MLS 21824673
  26. 4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,540 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by Logan Adams, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21824668
  27. Photo of 8981 Glen Alder Way, Sacramento, CA 95826 (MLS # 21824669)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,003 sqft   lot 7,000 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by Richard Howells, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21824669
  28. Photo of 763 Penny Royal Lane, San Rafael, CA 94903 (MLS # 21823704)
    27
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,513 sqft   lot 6,499 sqft
    Walk Score® 47
    Listing provided by Jonathan Marks, Alain Pinel Realtors
    MLS 21823704
  29. Photo of 25302 Ten Mile Road, Point Arena, CA 95468 (MLS # 21805863)
    34
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    lot 71.45 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Cassie Henderson, Kennedy & Associates
    MLS 21805863
  30. Photo of 1559 Philip Drive, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (MLS # 21824618)
    42
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,740 sqft   lot 4,356 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Michael Viani, Redfin
    MLS 21824618
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