7 home fixes you must complete before selling

7 home fixes you must complete before selling

The process of getting a property ready to put on the market can seem daunting enough. There’s clearing the clutter, endless amounts of cleaning, organizing and scrutinizing your property with a fine-tooth comb. What needs attention and what can yo...
By Cara Ameer | Monday, July 18, 2016
New or pre-owned: how to choose the best holiday home

New or pre-owned: how to choose the best holiday home

Whether it's better to buy new or pre-owned property is a frequently asked question. Accordingly, there are some commonly accepted guidelines: new property includes newly-built, off-plan and homes acquired within five years of commissioning while pre...
By Yulia Kozhevnikova | Monday, November 2, 2015
Thumbnail Breaking lease over disruptive property showings

Breaking lease over disruptive property showings

Q: The owners of the house we rent told us they'll be selling the property even though we have a year left on the lease. I have a medical problem and need quiet so that I can rest. But showing the house is going to be disruptive. Can we stop it? A...
By Janet Portman | Friday, March 15, 2013
Thumbnail Ceiling fan provides relief in 2 ways

Ceiling fan provides relief in 2 ways

One of the basic things we all understand about heat is that it rises. As air molecules warm up, they expand and become lighter, and that causes them to head up toward the ceiling of a room, which isn't necessarily where you want them. This na...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, February 22, 2013
Thumbnail What to know when inspecting heat, air conditioning on a hot day

What to know when inspecting heat, air conditioning on a hot day

DEAR BARRY: Our buyers hired a home inspector. When he was here, the outside temperature was 105 degrees. After he tested the heating and air conditioning system, the outside condenser stopped working, and that night our house got up to 91 degr...
By Barry Stone | Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Thumbnail Consider a low-cost alternative to air conditioning

Consider a low-cost alternative to air conditioning

Summer heat can mean soaring energy bills for operating your air conditioner, but there's a low-cost alternative that often gets overlooked: the whole-house fan. Whole-house fans offer an installed cost that's a fraction of central air conditi...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, July 20, 2012
Thumbnail Negotiate repair credit when buying a home

Negotiate repair credit when buying a home

Q: I'm trying to buy a townhome in Las Vegas right now. The seller wants $46,000 for it, but I just found out the air conditioning is bad and will cost $5,000 to replace. So far, the seller wants to allow only $1,000 for repairs. Do I have any...
By Tara-Nicholle Nelson | Thursday, October 20, 2011
Thumbnail 8 ways to save on home cooling bills

8 ways to save on home cooling bills

Q: I have a friend who has mounted soaker hoses on each side of the ridge row of his roof to help cool it. The hoses are connected to a sprinkler timer and come on six times during the hottest part of the day. They stay on long enough to wet th...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, September 9, 2011
Thumbnail How to handle unapproved rental repairs

How to handle unapproved rental repairs

Q: I am a new landlord and recently faced a situation that frustrates me. I have a tenant in a moderate-climate area who said his air conditioning unit stopped working, and he wanted me to have it fixed. The next thing I knew, he went ahead and...
By Robert Griswold | Thursday, August 11, 2011
Put air conditioner to the test

Put air conditioner to the test

DEAR BARRY: We bought our home in the winter time, so our home inspector did not test the air conditioner. He said the outside temperature was too cold to run the system. But that left us with an undisclosed problem. The summer arrived with 100...
By Barry Stone | Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Thumbnail A divide-and-conquer plan to cool your home

A divide-and-conquer plan to cool your home

When you're looking for a way to keep just part of your house cool this summer, you might want to consider a mini split air conditioning system. These systems strike a happy medium between individual window or wall air conditioners and central ...
By Paul Bianchina | Friday, July 23, 2010
Air conditioning alternative lauded

Air conditioning alternative lauded

Q: We live in a split-level, west-facing contemporary home, which was built in the early 1980s. It has very high, slanted ceilings in many of the rooms and no attic. It is beautiful, and we love it. But it gets hot. There is an air conditioning...
By Bill and Kevin Burnett | Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Resolving ‘hidden’ home defects

Resolving ‘hidden’ home defects

DEAR BARRY: I just purchased a home and am disappointed with the home inspector I hired. The first time I used the air conditioner, water dripped from the bedroom ceiling. My contractor found a broken air conditioner pipe in the attic. Besides that, ...
By Barry Stone | Tuesday, October 13, 2009
AC outage could bring rent strike

AC outage could bring rent strike

Q: Our son is renting a condo in an area where it gets very hot in the summer. Two weeks ago, he came home from work to find that his air conditioning unit was not working. It was after hours on Friday evening and he tried to reach the property manag...
By Robert Griswold | Thursday, September 24, 2009
Insurer’s HVAC demand cost $10,000

Insurer’s HVAC demand cost $10,000

DEAR BARRY: Three months after I bought my home, I got a letter from my homeowners insurance company. They threatened to cancel my policy because my furnace, according to them, was "outdated." But they never even looked at it. The new heat...
By Barry Stone | Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Air conditioner at top of wish list

Air conditioner at top of wish list

Q: My place has been miserably hot and I'd like to have a window air conditioner installed. How can I convince my landlord that it's a good idea? A: Make it easy for your landlord to say yes. Start by doing the legwork, including calculating the s...
By Inman | Thursday, June 12, 2008