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Today I'm a guest - NO AIR - ADVICE PLEASE

Lol 1.5 miles is definitely not a walking distance for me.

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It sounds amazing DC! We love West Virginia, and just yesterday were talking about taking a drive there for a couple of days off this week. It’s funny, because we’re all really different. If the house was older, I would expect the basement to have a musty smell. Many old homes with unfinished basements have that issue, well it’sa big problem in our area (we are lucky to live on a hill and have a finished basement, but even our next door neighbors just a tad lower down have terrible issues, and their home is just divine, and they are meticulous - they are the local historians). I don’t know if it is an old home you were visiting, but if it were, than pretty much everything you’ve discussed is par for the course around our parts at least, and our street has every kind of historic home on it, Italianate, Greek Revivalist, Victorian, Colonial revival, Queen Anne. And the people that live here (AC free for the most part) are famous artists, writers, successful book collectors, famous comic strip artists (comics?) socialites in NY that weekend, a colorful lot, retired professors, professors. We often sweat at dinner! I make it ultra clear to guests visiting with us to please not come if you like modern and new and are expecting that kind of stay, because our house is not for you. An old house has its ‘quirks’. Our floors creak when you walk, some doors stick sometimes so they need an extra little pull, the original taps squeak a bit (now and then). We have window AC’s in the rooms, but not downstairs - we are used to living without total control of the temperature. We simply don’t cook hot meals in the summer, and never hot breakfasts! We make yummy salads, lots of veges, wraps, and quickly grill some meats occasionally. Our neighbors have no AC at all (they are ugly and destroy the look of a historic home)! We thought we were total luxury nuts!

None of our guests has ever complained, and everyone has been thrilled all summer. 100% five star reviews so far (actually one 1 star from a resolution case but that was removed for violation). But, our porches are not giving way and crumbling, so it sounds as if the place is in a bit of disrepair. Personally, I couldn’t host in a home that had that mildew smell - nor could I live in it. I would do everything under the sun to get rid of it. When we have visited W Virginia however, we found many areas to be depressed financially, so I am assuming that some of the issues may be down to that, and sometimes unfortunately, you just can’t seem to get rid of the damp. It is constantly seeping, and nothing helps. I also wonder if there was any AC at all, it was actually just heating installed, but the dial thing was for both so it just looked that way? She should certainly have that marked for future guests!

As far as your hosts response, as I mentioned in my first reply to you, I think I might have got a huge shock and felt distraught by your message, just because it felt a bit accusatorial - as if the host deliberately made you suffer in her horrible home. I know you guys were all stressed out and not used to dealing with the weather and felt betrayed, so please don’t take it the wrong way! I was just imagining myself as the host, and I would have felt hurt at the tone. Especially because you claim it’s so terrible you have to leave because the morning is ruined, but then ask to stay longer to enjoy what the home offers - proximity to a water hole - even if you have to drive on a dirt road a few minutes, I thought it was a pretty awesome attraction. But again, I understand that emotions were running high, and you were there, not me. I’m just imagining the reason she may have not responded as graciously as she might have was because of that. It’s so tough in these circumstances, when expectations aren’t met. I’d feel devastated if someone felt that way about my home. I would want them out asap though!

Hearing your experience has made me consider being even more explicit about my home than I already am in my listings, because I would hate for anyone to be as disappointed as you and your family have been both for their ruined getaway, and for the hurt and inconconvenience to myself. Do you think that your family is better suited to staying in more modern homes in future, or ones that have been completely renovated and modernized? Obviously it will be hard to find homes like that in the West Virginian countryside, but there will be other places to go, perhaps in more popular spots.

Thanks for the feedback, Sandy, I didn’t realize my tone was harsh, and it wasn’t my intention. I do think she was surprised - after many exchanges she explained that, by saying “no one has had a problem before” she was trying to say “I wouldn’t have rented out the home if I knew it was uncomfortable”. But what I thought she was saying was 'it’s never been a problem with anyone else so you’re out of line for complaining"

When we are at home we use the a/c as sparingly as possible as I hate it - but we have doors and windows that can be opened, and use fans - as I assume you do also. In this home there was only 1 window that could be open and no screens on the doors - so we didn’t have that option. It was a closed-up house. Otherwise we would not have cared - while it was 83 inside it was pleasant outside - we would have been thrilled to have been able to open all the windows and wouldn’t have used the window units upstairs at all.

I didn’t complain to her about the musty/mildew smell or the ants because yes, that’s what you get in an older home - We didn’t complain about the gagging plug-in air fresheners in every room, or that the piano she listed as an amenity was completely out of tune - or that the Jacuzzi tub she lists doesn’t have jets that work - or the total lack of information about how to get to said ‘swimming hole’ or boat ramps.

My only complaint was and is the lack of a/c when it was listed as having a/c - there is a thermostat on the wall - vents in the floor - she could have had a note saying ‘this does not work’. We spent a lot of time in the stifling house pushing buttons on the thermostat trying to get the air or even just the fan to come on, trying to figure out what we were doing wrong. We had to ask her to find out it didn’t work and it took her an hour to respond.

So no, I don’t think we need to stay in anything modern - we are actually quite used to roughing it - we don’t even need a/c - but if there’s no a/c we do need to be able to open some windows - don’t you? Even wraps and veggies are not appetizing when there’s the air is hot, stale, and stagnant.

I don’t think you did anything wrong. She was at fault, not you . She had to deliver what was In a listing, and she failed . On top of that she was not responsve and disregarding. How can 83F be comfortable for anyone especially if you can’t even open window. And I don’t believe that no one ever complained.

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Our thermostat also goes down to low temps (40 F), and I can imagine someone thinking if they push it all the way down that we have some AC. We don’t. It’s just our heating thermostat. It has a wide temp range - we have the old fashioned water radiators. It was the same in our little cottage in rural Canada (way north), with forced air, and the air vents that you describe. It had a wide temp range, but was just a heat system (also a musty smell from damp finished basement). I wonder if you may have thought that because you read AC it seemed like it was meant for that instead of heating, and didn’t realize she had meant the AC in the bedrooms? I had my home listed as having AC, but I am changing it to say ‘window AC in the bedrooms’ to avoid this situation. To be clear, if a home has central air it would be listed as having HVAC. AC really just means it has some airconditioning. Did it say HVAC? If so, then you definitely have reason to be upset, and I understand why you were fiddling with the thermostat.

Most people spend a lot of time hanging out on their front porches or back porches in these areas, and in mine - as you say, it’s nice and cool where there’s a breeze - dinner on the porch is always nice.

So it sounds like you feel she is charging too much for a home for 4 (or so I guess?) without central air (though I much doubt many homes in rural WV have HVAC). Did you check other places in the area? I do know resorts and hotels are very expensive there as I have enjoyed a few!

I’m pretty sure she’ll make some changes after your stay. Obviously she can’t change the layout of her home - it was probably built many many years ago, but I’m sure she will warn people in the future about where the AC is so that this experience isn’t repeated.

I’m sorry you couldn’t enjoy the home DC. It is difficult being hot and stuffy. We’ve had a really hot and humid few weeks, and we don’t run all the AC’s unless guests are here or coming, so essentially we live like you explained except upstairs in our bedroom and living area/bathroom. Our kitchen has been pretty sweaty (can’t open windows when it’s 90 and humid as it is even worse). I guess we and others around us are so used to it that we would never have thought anyone would find our way of living that unacceptable. Our neighbors (historians with no AC) sit out on their porch all afternoon, and I love to see them there. They have beautiful flowers always hanging, nice wicker furniture (like us), and often have the grandkids playing about. I’m glad you shared, because it’s a good learning experience for us, and I am sure you (although a painful one). I truly hope you have some nice memories after all the stress.

Sandy - the thermostat had a/c - nothing worked, not even the house fan - and she didn’t say she didn’t HAVE a/c, she just said ‘it’s currently unavailable’. No, I didn’t turn the thermostat down to 40 and expect a/c to come on.

On the drive up here (Adirondacks where we are about to go canoeing and camping for a few days into the mountains and get into the wild as much as we can in a short time), and where I had no cell service to edit my post, I worried you might take offense to it. I truly apologize I wasn’t able to give you the input you needed in this circumstance. I really gave my best to help and wish I could have said what you needed to hear.

DC, yesterday my wonderful guests sat on one side of my picnic table and broke it! They were so worried about the damage, they offered to rent a skillsaw from Home Depot and fix it. Of course I said no worries! These things happen and it was not their fault. I was just glad the collapse had happened with someone who was nice and understanding and not with someone litigious!


Hi @dcmooney,

This is an old post, but I just read it.

I think you should tell your host about these things. She can’t fix them if she doesn’t know about them.

True, but she wasn’t even able to discuss the lack of air conditioning, or the stifling heat, so I couldn’t even get that far.

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