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 7142 Carillon Court, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21829515)
    32
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,586 sqft   lot 7,000 sqft
    Walk Score® 50
    Listing provided by Jonny Sanchez, Keller Williams Realty
    MLS 21829515
  2. Photo of 2380 Millay Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21821219)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,144 sqft   lot 7,501 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Yousef Khoury, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21821219
  3. Photo of 1133 Kelcie Drive, Ripon, CA 95366 (MLS # 21829530)
    28
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    2,246 sqft   lot 8,503 sqft
    Walk Score® 4
    Listing provided by George Hawrysz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-Drysdale Properties
    MLS 21829530
  4. Photo of 690 Cypress Drive, Rio Vista, CA 94571 (MLS # 21829528)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,864 sqft   lot 6,098 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Andria Haisley, Shafer Real Estate
    MLS 21829528
  5. Photo of 908 Louisiana Street, Vallejo, CA 94590 (MLS # 21829526)
    24
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    922 sqft   lot 2,130 sqft
    Walk Score® 79
    Listing provided by Lizbeth Alarcon, RE/MAX Gold of Fairfield
    MLS 21829526
  6. Photo of 46841 Ocean View Avenue, Anchor Bay, CA 95445 (MLS # 21708911)
    30
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,956 sqft   lot 12,632 sqft
    Walk Score® 30
    Listing provided by Karen Scott, Banana Belt Properties
    MLS 21708911
  7. Photo of 109 Upham Street, Petaluma, CA 94952 (MLS # 21828280)
    16
    Open House
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,152 sqft   lot 7,083 sqft
    Walk Score® 86
    Listing provided by Vicki Thiessen, RE/MAX Full Spectrum
    MLS 21828280
  8. Photo of 1814 Hanford Street, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829398)
    29
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,591 sqft   lot 5,428 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Robert Ramirez, CENTURY 21 Bundesen
    MLS 21829398
  9. Photo of 379 John Kamps Way, Ripon, CA 95366 (MLS # 21829518)
    21
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    3,194 sqft   lot 8,207 sqft
    Walk Score® 28
    Listing provided by George Hawrysz, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-Drysdale Properties
    MLS 21829518
  10. Photo of 7711 Pythian Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95409 (MLS # 21828582)
    20
    Open House
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,211 sqft   lot 3,903 sqft
    Walk Score® 9
    Listing provided by Kerry Rose, Compass
    MLS 21828582
  11. Photo of 3921 Louis Krohn Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95407 (MLS # 21829517)
    4
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,617 sqft   lot 3,633 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Kyle Beeler, Redwood Property Group
    MLS 21829517
  12. Photo of 3006 Hagen Road, Napa, CA 94558 (MLS # 21829024)
    34
    Open House
    2 beds,  1 full bath
    1,159 sqft   lot 11,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 3
    Listing provided by Elizabeth Olcott, Keller Williams Napa Valley
    MLS 21829024
  13. Photo of 1911 Buckingham Lane, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829441)
    27
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,140 sqft   lot 5,279 sqft
    Walk Score® 49
    Listing provided by Jeffrey Lokey, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829441
  14. Photo of 2245 Alysheba Court, Napa, CA 94559 (MLS # 21819478)
    14
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,726 sqft   lot 3,067 sqft
    Walk Score® 18
    Listing provided by Jeffrey Sickler, Coldwell Banker B of V-Napa
    MLS 21819478
  15. Photo of 1072 Mockingbird Lane, Valley Springs, CA 95252 (MLS # 21829511)
    21
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,521 sqft   lot 7,405 sqft
    Walk Score® 2
    Listing provided by Penny Boutte, Excel Realty Inc.
    MLS 21829511
  16. Photo of 1420 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, San Anselmo, CA 94960 (MLS # 21829372)
    38
    Open House
    3 beds,  1 full, 1 half baths
    1,290 sqft   lot 5,249 sqft
    Walk Score® 60
    Listing provided by Phoebe Reyes, Marin Modern Real Estate
    MLS 21829372
  17. Photo of 5044 Eliggi Court, Santa Rosa, CA 95405 (MLS # 21829512)
    19
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,071 sqft   lot 7,170 sqft
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Katherine Clark, Bertolone Realty
    MLS 21829512
  18. Photo of 922 Sundance Drive, Fremont, CA 94539 (MLS # 21829510)
    50
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    3,707 sqft   lot 14,823 sqft
    Walk Score® 7
    Listing provided by Steven Lederman, Bay Select Realty
    MLS 21829510
  19. Photo of 1360 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 (MLS # 21829483)
    11
    3 beds,  1 full bath
    973 sqft   lot 12,001 sqft
    Walk Score® 65
    Listing provided by Shawn Loucks, Town & Country Properties
    MLS 21829483
  20. Photo of 1613 Wishing Well Way, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (MLS # 21829501)
    14
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,297 sqft   lot 4,282 sqft
    Walk Score® 58
    Listing provided by Fermin Escutia, Prosper Real Estate, Brokered By eXp Realty
    MLS 21829501
  21. Photo of 1551 Sylvia Street, Hayward, CA 94545 (MLS # 21829509)
    13
    3 beds,  3 full baths
    1,974 sqft   lot 3,376 sqft
    Walk Score® 53
    Listing provided by Marcela Hidalgo, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21829509
  22. Photo of 5004 Oakbrook Circle, Fairfield, CA 94534 (MLS # 21829487)
    50
    4 beds,  2 full baths
    1,554 sqft  
    Walk Score® 5
    Listing provided by Renee Neuman, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21829487
  23. Photo of 4813 Duval Street, Fairfield, CA 94533 (MLS # 21827217)
    42
    4 beds,  3 full baths
    2,655 sqft   lot 8,782 sqft
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Pamela Watson, Coldwell Banker Kappel Gateway Realty
    MLS 21827217
  24. Photo of 650 Deer Park Road, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21829503)
    17
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    2,722 sqft   lot 1.08 ac
    Walk Score® 16
    Listing provided by Ryan Dailey, Compass
    MLS 21829503
  25. Photo of 6300 Alisal Street, Pleasanton, CA 94566 (MLS # 21829508)
    30
    Price Drop
    3 beds,  2 full baths
    1,680 sqft   lot 7.21 ac
    Walk Score® 6
    Listing provided by Lyn jason Cobb, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
    MLS 21829508
  26. Photo of 4451 North Hwy 1, Albion, CA 95410 (MLS # 21829506)
    19
    2 beds,  2 full baths
    1,086 sqft   lot 1.45 ac
    Walk Score® 0
    Listing provided by Deirdre Lamb, Mendocino Realty Company
    MLS 21829506
  27. Photo of 5763 Dexter Circle, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (MLS # 21829336)
    29
    Open House
    5 beds,  3 full baths
    2,593 sqft   lot 9,099 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Carole McMahon, Century 21 NorthBay Alliance
    MLS 21829336
  28. Photo of 1946 Bristol Street, Petaluma, CA 94954 (MLS # 21829471)
    21
    Open House
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,642 sqft   lot 2,648 sqft
    Walk Score® 27
    Listing provided by Steven Cozza, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829471
  29. Photo of 1700 Dean York Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574 (MLS # 21829470)
    45
    4 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    3,076 sqft   lot 28,946 sqft
    Walk Score® 12
    Listing provided by Cassandra Chastain, Pacific Union International
    MLS 21829470
  30. Photo of 20 Madrid Court, Novato, CA 94949 (MLS # 21829450)
    22
    Open House
    3 beds,  2 full, 1 half baths
    1,588 sqft   lot 1,015 sqft
    Walk Score® 36
    Listing provided by Jean Nicol, Bradley Real Estate-Novato
    MLS 21829450
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