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 131 Isle Royale Circle, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21818518)
    20
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,314 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Thomasine Peters, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21818518
  2. Photo of Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21818743)
    48
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,073 sqft   lot 6,033 sqft
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by Hope Hernandez, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21818743
  3. Photo of 1040 Campoy Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21818577)
    10
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,188 sqft   lot 566 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Mary Anne Veldkamp, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21818577
  4. Photo of 2331 Morningside Circle, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 (MLS # 21818783)
    34
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,439 sqft   lot 4,012 sqft
    Walk Score® 28
    Listing provided by Gary L Sumner, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21818783
  5. Photo of 1870 Leaning Oak Drive, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21818774)
    28
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,975 sqft   lot 3,106 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by Kathleen Ramos, Stumbaugh Realty Advisors
    MLS 21818774
  6. Photo of 3263 Inwood Place, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21818771)
    2
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,409 sqft   lot 2,322 sqft
    Walk Score® 11
    Listing provided by Sofia Waiz, Greater Solano Real Estate Services
    MLS 21818771
  7. Photo of 717 Crestview Drive, Pinole, CA 94564 (MLS # 21818759)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,161 sqft   lot 8,398 sqft
    Walk Score® 56
    Listing provided by Artavia Taylor, Taylor Real Estate Brokerage
    MLS 21818759
  8. Photo of 1391 Couples Circle, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21818563)
    42
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    3,477 sqft   lot 7,166 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Candice Sullivan, Country Estates, Inc
    MLS 21818563
  9. Photo of 399 Riviera Circle, Larkspur, CA 94939 (MLS # 21818547)
    33
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,750 sqft   lot 7,501 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Angela Curley, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21818547
  10. Photo of 1105 Bello Drive, Dixon, CA 95620 (MLS # 21818698)
    40
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,489 sqft   lot 8,490 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Juli Paschal, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21818698
  11. Photo of 799 Dizzy Gillespie Way, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21816962)
    30
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,400 sqft   lot 3,920 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listing provided by Craig Curreri, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21816962
  12. Photo of 359 Seaport Drive, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21818792)
    37
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,238 sqft   lot 1,594 sqft
    Walk Score® 20
    Listing provided by Candice Camden, Camden Realty & Property Management
    MLS 21818792
  13. Photo of 165 Vineyard Circle, Yountville, CA 94599 (MLS # 21818810)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,154 sqft   lot 1,442 sqft
    Walk Score® 43
    Listing provided by Cyndi Gates, Gates Estates Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21818810
  14. Photo of 1079 Tahoe Court, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21817132)
    48
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,596 sqft   lot 3.26 ac
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Olcott, Keller Williams Napa Valley
    MLS 21817132
  15. Photo of 132 Riordan Lane, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21814133)
    4
    Price Drop
    Open House
    5 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    2,821 sqft   lot 6,970 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Elli Ketcherside, Ryder Homes Realty, Inc
    MLS 21814133
  16. Photo of 13970 Green Valley Road, Forestville, CA 95436 (MLS # 21818797)
    4
    1 bed,  1 full bath
    lot 7.87 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Trish McCall, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21818797
  17. Photo of 153 Riviera Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901 (MLS # 21818790)
    46
    Open House
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    3,433 sqft   lot 14,161 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Benjamin Faber, Redfin
    MLS 21818790
  18. Photo of 1 Frisbie Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21817327)
    15
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    964 sqft   lot 492 sqft
    Walk Score® 33
    Listing provided by Tim Hiemstra, Napa River Realty
    MLS 21817327
  19. Photo of 260 Ginger Street, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21818804)
    26
    Open House
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,514 sqft   lot 5,092 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Jill Alderson, Century 21 MM
    MLS 21818804
  20. Photo of 82 Longview Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21818751)
    31
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,546 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Bonnie Almarez, Windermere Hulsey & Associates
    MLS 21818751
  21. Photo of 4 Lorraine Street, Ukiah, CA 95482 (MLS # 21801826)
    14
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,220 sqft  
    Walk Score® 51
    Listing provided by Lynn McNamara, RE/MAX Full Spectrum
    MLS 21801826
  22. Photo of 1200 East Railroad Avenue, Cotati, CA 94931 (MLS # 21818788)
    34
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,620 sqft   lot 19.79 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Lauren Camarda, Engel & Voelkers Sonoma County
    MLS 21818788
  23. Photo of 30 Castellina Circle, American Canyon, CA 94503 (MLS # 21818791)
    39
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,652 sqft   lot 5,223 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by David Tate, Century 21 Exclusive
    MLS 21818791
  24. Photo of 201 Floribel Avenue, San Anselmo, CA 94960 (MLS # 21815197)
    24
    4 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    1,936 sqft   lot 10,920 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Aron Cawood, Dolan Realty Company
    MLS 21815197
  25. Photo of 509 South Foothill Boulevard, Cloverdale, CA 95425 (MLS # 21818415)
    38
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,544 sqft   lot 6,286 sqft
    Walk Score® 41
    Listing provided by Annaliese Hiatt Quisisem, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21818415
  26. Photo of 2929 Branch Street, Sacramento, CA 95815 (MLS # 21817021)
    14
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,538 sqft   lot 19,798 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by David Coombs, Realty One Group Complete
    MLS 21817021
  27. Photo of 4974 Filament Street, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21818779)
    22
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,685 sqft  
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Kenneth Schrier, RE/MAX Marketplace
    MLS 21818779
  28. Photo of 32290 South Highway 1 Highway, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21818770)
    11
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,210 sqft   lot 1.58 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sean Gaynor-Rousseau, Sea Ranch - Gualala Real Estate Co
    MLS 21818770
  29. Photo of 6740 Merchant Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21818777)
    35
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,400 sqft   lot 3.84 ac
    Walk Score® 11
    Listing provided by Kelly Sullivan, Century 21 NorthBay Alliance
    MLS 21818777
  30. Photo of 15115 Konocti View, Clearlake, CA 95422 (MLS # 21818776)
    23
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,248 sqft   lot 8,100 sqft
    Walk Score® 46
    Listing provided by Colleen Chatoff, Chatoff Properties
    MLS 21818776
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