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 8350 Lombard Way, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21726664)
    25
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    882 sqft   lot 6,599 sqft
    Listing provided by Annaliese Hiatt Quisisem, RE/MAX PROs
    MLS 21726664
  2. Photo of 3109 Rocklin Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 (MLS # 21726747)
    12
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    978 sqft  
    Walk Score® 62
    Listing provided by Sarah Carlson, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/Wine Country Group
    MLS 21726747
  3. Photo of 5787 Levie Lane, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21726685)
    42
    3 beds,  4 full baths
    3,098 sqft   lot 2.25 ac
    Walk Score® 13
    Listing provided by Trish McCall Team, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21726685
  4. Photo of 812 Taylor Street, Winters, CA 95694 (MLS # 21726742)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,435 sqft   lot 6,181 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Sandy Vickrey, Realty World Camelot Winters
    MLS 21726742
  5. Photo of 512 Tamalpais Drive, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (MLS # 21726736)
    21
    3 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    1,808 sqft   lot 3,406 sqft
    Walk Score® 19
    Listing provided by Christopher Toomajian, Redfin
    MLS 21726736
  6. 2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,432 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 10
    Listing provided by Cory Schell, The Kelly Company
    MLS 21726740
  7. Photo of 332 Coast Street, Willits, CA 95490 (MLS # 21726637)
    19
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    896 sqft   lot 7,841 sqft
    Walk Score® 83
    Listing provided by Roxanne Lemos-Neese, Coldwell Banker Mendo Realty
    MLS 21726637
  8. Photo of 8389 Liberty Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21726558)
    19
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,392 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Shayne Bowen, Samson Group
    MLS 21726558
  9. Photo of 1022 Linda Vista Way, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21716538)
    31
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,581 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 52
    Listing provided by Diane Shafer, Shafer Real Estate
    MLS 21716538
  10. Photo of 4697 Green Valley Road, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21726732)
    6
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,462 sqft   lot 1.08 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Kelly Dagul, Security Pacific Real Estate
    MLS 21726732
  11. Photo of 918 5th Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21726729)
    17
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,140 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 68
    Listing provided by Vickie Jackson, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21726729
  12. Photo of 3006 Hagen Road, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21718745)
    36
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,159 sqft   lot 11,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 1
    Listing provided by Jannette Hall, RE/MAX Gold Napa
    MLS 21718745
  13. Photo of 13431 Green Valley Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472 (MLS # 21726692)
    23
    5 beds,  2 full baths
    8,800 sqft   lot 38.50 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Kimberly Sethavanish, Century 21 Alliance
    MLS 21726692
  14. Photo of 2376 Chad Court, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21725809)
    48
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,164 sqft   lot 8,516 sqft
    Walk Score® 26
    Listing provided by Che Hill, Che Hill, Broker
    MLS 21725809
  15. Photo of 1690 E Street, Napa, CA 94559 (MLS # 21722768)
    26
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    880 sqft   lot 10,303 sqft
    Walk Score® 70
    Listing provided by Andrew Paulson, RE/MAX Gold Napa
    MLS 21722768
  16. Photo of 15 Avocet Court, Novato, CA 94949 (MLS # 21726704)
    14
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,683 sqft   lot 6,408 sqft
    Walk Score® 17
    Listing provided by Philip Wright, Wright Realty
    MLS 21726704
  17. Photo of 600 Rowland Boulevard, Novato, CA 94947 (MLS # 21726627)
    28
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,000 sqft   lot 7,575 sqft
    Walk Score® 35
    Listing provided by Kristie Martinelli, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21726627
  18. Photo of 1051 North Pine Street, Ukiah, CA 95482 (MLS # 21725568)
    22
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,229 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 62
    Listing provided by Karena Jolley, Coldwell Banker Mendo Realty
    MLS 21725568
  19. Photo of 4695 Old Adobe Road, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21726689)
    48
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,248 sqft   lot 299.36 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Karl Bundesen, CENTURY 21 Bundesen
    MLS 21726689
  20. Photo of 34 Hop Ranch Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (MLS # 21726481)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,068 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 45
    Listing provided by Mary Anne Veldkamp, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21726481
  21. Photo of 8875 Quarterhorse Lane, Lower Lake, CA 95457 (MLS # 21726715)
    16
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,248 sqft   lot 11,326 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Timothy Toye, Timothy Toye & Associates
    MLS 21726715
  22. Photo of 31 Drakes View Circle, Greenbrae, CA 94904 (MLS # 21726711)
    30
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,727 sqft   lot 1,973 sqft
    Walk Score® 63
    Listing provided by Jennifer Pfeiffer, Zephyr Real Estate
    MLS 21726711
  23. Photo of 208 Mesa Verde Street, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21726710)
    40
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,442 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 57
    Listing provided by Cathleen Rojas, RE/MAX Gold-Vallejo
    MLS 21726710
  24. Photo of 1617 Nancy Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21726688)
    24
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,338 sqft   lot 8,076 sqft
    Walk Score® 49
    Listing provided by George Theodorides, Vanguard Properties
    MLS 21726688
  25. Photo of 132 Skyline Court, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21723196)
    35
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,562 sqft   lot 8,276 sqft
    Walk Score® 43
    Listing provided by Hamed Nawabi, Intero Real Estate Services
    MLS 21723196
  26. Photo of 2042 Devonshire Drive, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21726695)
    23
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,321 sqft   lot 4,447 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by William Keller, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21726695
  27. Photo of 104 Hawkesbury Way, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21726658)
    16
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,945 sqft   lot 5,998 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Evelyn Harris, Home 4 All Realty, Inc.
    MLS 21726658
  28. Photo of 2099 Mount Olive Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21726690)
    45
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,752 sqft   lot 10,624 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Susan Franks, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21726690
  29. Photo of 3798 Manzanita Drive, Nice, CA 95464 (MLS # 21726701)
    22
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,500 sqft   lot 7,841 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Diana Dahl, RE/MAX Gold
    MLS 21726701
  30. Photo of 208 Via La Cumbre, Greenbrae, CA 94904 (MLS # 21726700)
    25
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,770 sqft   lot 9,108 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by William Osborne, REALHome Services and Solutions, Inc
    MLS 21726700
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