Drip Sensors Can Keep Your Home High and Dry

It’s taken for granted these days that most homeowners have smoke detectors. But how many have leak detectors, also known as drip sensors? Water can do just as much damage as fire but isn’t normally top-of-mind except during harsh winter weather when homeowners worry about pipes freezing and bursting. But in fact, it doesn’t take […]

For Your Valentine, Give the Gift of Sleep

Roses are red but eyes aren’t supposed to be. If your special someone isn’t getting enough sleep, it can put a damper on your Valentine’s Day and all the other mornings when one or both of you wake up grumpy. What’s the solution? Meditation, melatonin, exercise and a nightcap may not be the ideal answer […]

Making Your Home Safer for Seniors

We’re all getting older. There are more seniors in the U.S. than ever and many of them are choosing to stay in their longtime homes. That can be a wise decision but it may require some upgrades to make those homes safer. Considering that a month in a nursing home costs about $8,000, it’s well […]

Insurance Costs Rising in California Fire-Prone Areas

If you’ve been thinking of buying a multi-million dollar home in California, you may want to think again. Insurers are growing tired of paying big claims each time a wildfire torches a pricey neighborhood. More than 40,000 structures have been destroyed by wildfires since 2017 despite government’s efforts to reduce the risk by clearing brush, […]

Rogue Movers Ordered to Pay $13 Million for Using Competitor’s Name

Picking a mover can often be more stressful than moving. There are nearly constant complaints of movers who don’t show up, who hold customers’ goods hostage and who engage in any number of slippery business practices. But tracking down the bad guys can be difficult. Consumers are in a vulnerable position when their family belongings […]

What’s the Most Dangerous Room in Your Home?

Quick – what’s the most dangerous room in your home? The kitchen? The garage? No, it’s the bathroom. More people get hurt in bathrooms than anywhere else in their homes. Not surprisingly, about two-thirds of the injuries involve slips and falls, mostly while bathing or showering, with toilets close behind. This is especially serious for […]

Mortgage ‘Rescue’ Makes a Bad Situation Worse

[Updated 5 p.m. 10/13, to add the company’s response] Falling behind on your mortgage is bad. Falling in with companies that claim to offer “mortgage relief” services can be even worse, leaving cash-strapped homeowners like Paul of South Carolina in even worse shape than before they signed up. Paul, who asked that his last name […]

California Outlawing Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers, Lawn Mowers

A few years ago, the rather chic little city of Palm Springs, California, banned gas-powered leaf blowers, bringing relief to residents tired of the ear-splitting din and noxious fumes emitted by the infernal gadgets. The move was seen as the sort of thing that only a wealthy little resort town would bother with. But now […]

Home Elevators Endanger Children, Feds Seek Recall

In an unusual action, federal safety regulators are suing a home elevator manufacturer, seeking to force a recall of elevators that they say can trap and kill or maim children. What’s unusual about that? Well, for starters, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) doesn’t normally have to sue companies to force them to recall […]

Heat Pumps Becoming a Year-Round Solution to Heat Waves and Winter Weather

Bailey the Dog and I were sitting quietly in the family room one day in February when an odd thing happened. I realized I was sweating and Bailey was panting lightly. It being the coldest day of the year, somewhere south of 20 degrees, this didn’t seem normal. Our house in the Northern Virginia suburbs […]

Big Utilities Blackball Solar Power

Many homeowners assume that, any day now, they’ll be able to put some solar panels on their roof, thereby saving money and helping reduce the strain on the nation’s electric utility grid. But the reality is a bit different. In state after state, consumers find that a few solar panels won’t be enough to free […]

Florida Homeowners Face Higher Insurance Rates

Feb. 17, 2021 Florida and Texas have become quite aggressive in painting themselves as low-cost states and making a pitch for businesses and consumers looking to escape higher costs of living in such states as California, New York and Illinois. But while both states offer relatively low tax burdens, they also face frequent natural disasters, […]