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What should I look for in a new home?

I am looking for a new place and am wondering if I should go for a newer home/apartment which might be less moldy. Any suggestions on how new the place should be? Our current home is 15 years old and the gutters are full of mold. We had that cleaned out. 

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  • K8sMom2002

    @Breatheeasy, your question was so good, I turned it into its own new topic! Hope that's okay!

    Here are some tips for … Do you think you could look for signs of mold or suggestions that there have been leaks or that water gathers around the home? Things like … 

    • repairs to walls in basements or in kitchens or bathrooms near sinks or other sources of water
    • trees or shrubs too close to foundations and blocking the way that rain and water can drain away from a home
    • gutters in ill-repair
  • Shea

    I spent some time debating this topic as I was previously renting an old duplex in Florida and suspected it had mold issues. I was looking for a home to own– a first and forever home for my son and I, that was in my price range (actually in my parent's price range as I am living on disability), but they wanted to help me out, so I wanted to make sure to get it right! Also I moved a little more inland in Florida, and in a no flood zone (hurricanes really freaked me out last year). 

    I wanted new, because I didnt want a place previously with cats or dogs, and didnt want mold– all of which are prevalent in Florida. 

    I decided on a brand new manufactured home. I found a lot I could own and a neighborhood which is not age-restricted, and then used Palm Harbor Homes, as it is a reputable builder that is known for their high hurricane building standards. I got a double-wide manufactured home, although modular homes are popular, manufactured cost less, and they are so nice-looking on the inside and outside– diesnt feel like a trailer at all. I got the option of vinyl flooring throughout (no carpet) to reduce dust mites, and 9 foot ceilings, which makes it just like a regular site-built home.

    The main thing with manufactured homes, or new homes in general, is to air them out to clear formeldhyde and glues from all the new building materials and appliances. I had it built during the fall/winter months because it rains less then and the weather is cool and pollen low, so itd be a goid time to air it out. The home is built in a factory, so, unlike site-built homes, it never gets rained on or exposed to the elements during the process of building. Once the roof is on half is covered with plastic as they finish the inside so it starts to air out on the factory lot. Then it is delivered to the site and it took 3 months for all the plumbing to get hooked up, air to get going, electric connected, permits, and finishing touches– and I stopped by weekly to open all the windows and air it out during thst time, plus added houseplants and watered them weekly on the visits so the could clean the air and can clean out some of the formeldhyde, and these homes are built particularly air tight– which is great for energy efficiency and keeping pollens out– but important to air out or it can cause breathing issues, especially to those with asthma.

    I have been here for just under a year now and my breathing and asthma has improved since moving in. I used to have to use nebulizers 3 times a day, now I can get by on inhalers. I absolutely love our home! 

     

  • K8sMom2002

    What great tips, Shea! I would have never thought about building during a temperate time of the year so that you could air it out! You think of everything!

  • Breatheeasy

    Thanks @K8sMom2002 for making it a new topic!

    Shea that’s very helpful. thanks! When I buy a home I’ll definitely look into the builder you mentioned thank you for the info!

    I am thinking of taking a rental and then moving into a new home. Gotta get an air purifier. I guess I’ll go for a home with no carpet..  will try and run the purifier there for a few days before I move in if that’s possible. 

     

     

  • Breatheeasy
    Shea posted:

    I spent some time debating this topic as I was previously renting an old duplex in Florida and suspected it had mold issues. I was looking for a home to own– a first and forever home for my son and I, that was in my price range (actually in my parent's price range as I am living on disability), but they wanted to help me out, so I wanted to make sure to get it right! Also I moved a little more inland in Florida, and in a no flood zone (hurricanes really freaked me out last year). 

    I wanted new, because I didnt want a place previously with cats or dogs, and didnt want mold– all of which are prevalent in Florida. 

    I decided on a brand new manufactured home. I found a lot I could own and a neighborhood which is not age-restricted, and then used Palm Harbor Homes, as it is a reputable builder that is known for their high hurricane building standards. I got a double-wide manufactured home, although modular homes are popular, manufactured cost less, and they are so nice-looking on the inside and outside– diesnt feel like a trailer at all. I got the option of vinyl flooring throughout (no carpet) to reduce dust mites, and 9 foot ceilings, which makes it just like a regular site-built home.

    The main thing with manufactured homes, or new homes in general, is to air them out to clear formeldhyde and glues from all the new building materials and appliances. I had it built during the fall/winter months because it rains less then and the weather is cool and pollen low, so itd be a goid time to air it out. The home is built in a factory, so, unlike site-built homes, it never gets rained on or exposed to the elements during the process of building. Once the roof is on half is covered with plastic as they finish the inside so it starts to air out on the factory lot. Then it is delivered to the site and it took 3 months for all the plumbing to get hooked up, air to get going, electric connected, permits, and finishing touches– and I stopped by weekly to open all the windows and air it out during thst time, plus added houseplants and watered them weekly on the visits so the could clean the air and can clean out some of the formeldhyde, and these homes are built particularly air tight– which is great for energy efficiency and keeping pollens out– but important to air out or it can cause breathing issues, especially to those with asthma.

    I have been here for just under a year now and my breathing and asthma has improved since moving in. I used to have to use nebulizers 3 times a day, now I can get by on inhalers. I absolutely love our home! 

     

    Your place is so beautiful!

  • Shea

    Thank you Breatheasy! Every day since I have been in it I have felt very blessed! It really makes a difference having a place you feel safe and comfortable in. I think no carpets is a good idea– you can always buy an area rug. I also think it is a good idea to put an air purifier in early if you can.

    For rentals, a no smoking unit, no pets (if you have dander allergies) are good to look for in search criteria as well. And then newer, like you mentioned before, would mean less mold chance, but well maintained and no sign of leaking (like in celings or a/c units) is also something to look at. Keep us updated!

  • Breatheeasy

    Thanks. I guess newer rental place is best for everything. Hopefully I have non smoking neighbors. The old rental was full of smoking neighbors and leaky pipes plus mold and bugs everywhere. I know now not to let myself live in a place like that.

  • Breatheeasy

    I have been soing some research and found some allergy friendly plants because they don’t have a lot of pollen. 

    I am wondering if anyone has any info and experience with these plants?

  • Pljohns

    Breatheasy-I'm very sure Shea can tell you what she uses.  She has done TONS of research on plants and natural products and uses them in her new home.

  • Breatheeasy
    Pljohns posted:

    Breatheasy-I'm very sure Shea can tell you what she uses.  She has done TONS of research on plants and natural products and uses them in her new home.

    Wow shea is like a wonder woman! She truly knows so much and has so much patience and energy!

  • Breatheeasy

    Mums and peace lilies, which help to remove PCE from the air

    Golden pothos and philodendron, which can control formaldehyde

    Gerbera daisies to control benzene Areca palm to humidify the air

    Lady palm and bamboo palm as general air cleaners Dracaena, well known for grabbing allergens from the air and holding them in its leavesRead more at Gardening Know How: Low Allergy Houseplants: Which Houseplants Relieve Allergies

     

    here something I found on the net. Just wondering g if someone has any exp with them.

  • Shea

    Awww shucks you guys! I just learned like Breatheasy– just googling stuff. When I used to have to neb a lot I would google stuff. I started building my ideas for my dream home over time, working through one anxiety at a time (like once I found out new homes and new furnitures can off-gas formeldyhyde– I got the idras for getting MOSO bamboo charcoal bags and houseplants in the home before I ever moved in and it definitely made a difference– there was a certain formeldhyde-y smell that was all aired out by the time I was residing in it.)

    I do have some experience with houseplants but am by no means an expert. (I have had some nearly die snd had to nurse them back, some didnt make it :/). But I have gotten better with time, and the ones Breatheasy listed are pretty hardy. 

    I keep my peace lilly in my room– my room has very low light, and it is near a window there. 

    I have a golden pothos, it is near my reptiles habitat in my brighter living room, the reptile habitat has artificial light and a UV light for them that kinda gets on the plant too, it likes a little brighter light, even artificial lights.

    I have read great things about bamboo palms and I did have a draceana at one of my old places that did well… I think my mom might have it now. My mom is great with plants– she gave me this good tip about watering them slowly using and old dishsoap bottle and squeezing it slowly out so it saturates the soil around the roots instead of running right through the soil quickly. That really helps. 

  • MizWheezie

    I agree with the other Ladies who said: No Smoker-owned – No Pets – No Carpet – No wood-burning Fireplaces…

    Like many of you, I can walk into a house, and after about 3 minutes, I can tell if a Cat or Dog is living there, (and whether a Smoker resides there) – My throat starts to close up, I start sneezing, and my chest tightens. 

  • Breatheeasy

    I have a question when everyone says no wood burning fireplaces – does a stove that runs on gas also cause you issues? 

  • Breatheeasy

    Was just researching English ivy. Supposed to clean mold in the air very fast. Planning on getting this and putting it somewhere where my DD can’t reach. 

  • Pljohns

    I have a duel fuel stove-the top is gas and the oven electric.  I’ve never had an issue with the gas stove.  I am super sensitive to smells so I was concerned about it but so far, no issues at all.

  • K8sMom2002
    Breatheeasy posted:

    I have a question when everyone says no wood burning fireplaces – does a stove that runs on gas also cause you issues? 

    Breatheeasy, I have a gas stove as well, and I have no issues. However, a suggestion: make sure if you buy a home with a gas furnace or logs that you have the furnace or logs inspected and serviced prior to moving in. Gas furnaces or logs that don't operate properly can produce smoke particles. 

  • Breatheeasy
    Wheezy Me posted:

    Breatheeasy, how are things going with your search for a new home?

    Approached a few places last week. Still looking. Been slow because of the weather.