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. 3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,223 sqft   lot 5,227 sqft
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Yohannes Gebrekidan, Alliance Bay Realty
    MLS 21801403
  2. 2 beds,  1 full bath
    727 sqft   lot 3,250 sqft
    Walk Score® 68
    Listing provided by Pamela Jenkins, Century 21 M&M and Associates
    MLS 21801346
  3. Photo of 1025 Vintage Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21801390)
    39
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,430 sqft   lot 5,850 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by DONNA STARKS, RE/MAX GOLD
    MLS 21801390
  4. Photo of 1930 Rose Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21801380)
    7
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    977 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 69
    Listing provided by Kelly Kline, Premier Realty Associates
    MLS 21801380
  5. Photo of 54 Vine Street, Vacaville, CA 95688 (MLS # 21708687)
    27
    5 beds,  3 full, 1 half baths
    4,202 sqft   lot 1.29 ac
    Walk Score® 28
    Listing provided by Nicole Solari, The Solari Group
    MLS 21708687
  6. Photo of 473 Rosso Court, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21801389)
    29
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,229 sqft   lot 2,252 sqft
    Walk Score® 66
    Listing provided by Paulo Corro, Heritage Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801389
  7. Photo of 114 Shelley Drive, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21727343)
    35
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,932 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Beth Brittenbach, Century 21 Schutjer Realty, Inc
    MLS 21727343
  8. Photo of 16927 Schiller Court, Sonoma, CA 95476 (MLS # 21800710)
    31
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,740 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 31
    Listing provided by Phoebe Brookbank, Coldwell Banker B of V
    MLS 21800710
  9. 2 beds,  1 full bath
    847 sqft   lot 5,097 sqft
    Walk Score® 86
    Listing provided by Lani Cooke, Heritage Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801388
  10. Photo of 1152 Church Street, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21801378)
    44
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,597 sqft   lot 6,922 sqft
    Walk Score® 79
    Listing provided by Cyndi Gates, Gates Estates Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801378
  11. Photo of 33721 So. Highway One Highway, Gualala, CA 95445 (MLS # 21801368)
    22
    2 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,073 sqft   lot 33,106 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sharon Burningham, Coldwell Banker Coastal Properties
    MLS 21801368
  12. Photo of 942 Grant Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21801238)
    19
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,477 sqft   lot 5,002.00 ac
    Walk Score® 39
    Listing provided by Frenchelle Franklin - Bowie, RE/MAX Gold Elite
    MLS 21801238
  13. Photo of 9216 Si Oliver Way, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21801375)
    7
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,200 sqft   lot 3,812 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listing provided by Greg Levy, Levy & Associates Real Estate
    MLS 21801375
  14. Photo of 1327 Legend Circle, Vallejo, CA 94591 (MLS # 21801322)
    16
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    1,982 sqft   lot 6,046 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by LaGuan Lea, Lea Pannell Realty
    MLS 21801322
  15. Photo of 389 Catalina Way, Vallejo, CA 94589 (MLS # 21801373)
    27
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,449 sqft   lot 6,534 sqft
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Scott Brown, eXp Realty of California, Inc
    MLS 21801373
  16. Photo of 405 Woodman Creek Road, Laytonville, CA 95454 (MLS # 21801372)
    24
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,225 sqft   lot 7.45 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Sharon Noah, Realty World-Selzer Realty
    MLS 21801372
  17. Photo of 1867 Carignan Way, Yountville, CA 94599 (MLS # 21801366)
    25
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,400 sqft  
    Walk Score® 47
    Listing provided by Cyndi Gates, Gates Estates Sotheby's International Realty
    MLS 21801366
  18. Photo of 1021 Sheridan Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21728673)
    5
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    1,075 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 42
    Listing provided by Clinton Dickson, I.C.E. Realty Services
    MLS 21728673
  19. Photo of 1724 Vermont Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21800679)
    40
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,417 sqft   lot 4,792 sqft
    Walk Score® 67
    Listing provided by Julia Culpepper, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21800679
  20. Photo of 1865 Windsorville Way, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21801369)
    19
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,866 sqft   lot 7,889 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Debbie Duncan, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21801369
  21. Photo of Fort Bragg, CA 95437 (MLS # 21801209)
    35
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    2,200 sqft   lot 1.30 ac
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Gale Beauchamp, Gale Beauchamp Realty
    MLS 21801209
  22. Photo of 2781 Warm Springs Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442 (MLS # 21801365)
    39
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,696 sqft   lot 110.53 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Laura deRutte, RE/MAX Marketplace
    MLS 21801365
  23. Photo of 322 Yellowstone Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687 (MLS # 21801355)
    12
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,367 sqft   lot 5,663 sqft
    Walk Score® 32
    Listing provided by Tezra Rogers, Pacific Bay Estates
    MLS 21801355
  24. Photo of 9233 Magnolia Way, Windsor, CA 95492 (MLS # 21801317)
    23
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    2,384 sqft   lot 6,573 sqft
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Marnie G. Teri V., NextHome Wine Country Premier
    MLS 21801317
  25. Photo of 240 Sugar Loaf Drive, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21801358)
    27
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,562 sqft   lot 10,481 sqft
    Walk Score® 15
    Listing provided by Evan Gorder, Evan Gorder
    MLS 21801358
  26. Photo of 1426 Driftwood Circle, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21801363)
    41
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,942 sqft   lot 5,079 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Robert Chung, Legacy Real Estate & Associates
    MLS 21801363
  27. Photo of 285 College View Drive, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21727423)
    23
    2 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    985 sqft   lot 871 sqft
    Walk Score® 63
    Listing provided by Bret Menze, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21727423
  28. Open House
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,012 sqft   lot 3,254 sqft
    Walk Score® 34
    Listing provided by Michelle Perez, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21801359
  29. 4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,856 sqft   lot 10,838 sqft
    Walk Score® 23
    Listing provided by Maria Yee Johnson, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21801360
  30. Photo of 125 Mountain Meadow, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 (MLS # 21801169)
    22
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    3,610 sqft   lot 18.48 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Mary Anne Veldkamp, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21801169
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