House Shopping With Asthma
I’ve been renting for just about two years now. I already described the “asthma renting dilemma” in a previous article. The time finally arrived to start looking for a house - but not just any house. It needed to be an asthma-safe house. So, here’s an article about the house shopping with asthma dilemma.
The journey to find an asthma-safe house begins
A house must not have any asthma triggers in it. Or, the triggers present must be minimal and/or treatable.
That's my rule.
So, let’s go on a journey here. Let’s go house shopping, asthma style. Here are some of the houses I saw with my realtor. Also, with me were my house experts: my three kids. Two of them also have asthma, so finding an asthma-safe house was even more crucial.
Cat dander house
This house was a fixer-upper. I knew it before I saw it. But, it was on the low end of my budget. I figured if it was allergy-free and right for me, I would have money left over to do any renovations that were necessary. However, as soon as I walked through the door, the smell of cat pee hit me. It got stronger as I entered the basement. My realtor assured me the smell would go away once the cat was gone. But I wasn’t so sure. It was a turnoff nonetheless.
The next house was another space on the low end of my budget. The home was beautiful. An artist had owned it previously, and she had done a wonderful job renovating and decorating it. As a bonus, the artist had an office where she did her painting. I figured this would be the perfect place for me to do my writing. But, there was this smell. That voice in the back of my head said it was mold. But, I was almost willing to ignore it just for the fact it was such a nice house. But is it an asthma-safe house?
My kids were excited about it too, particularly the nice bedrooms upstairs. Then I checked out the basement. It was a nice basement considering the house was built in 1905. But, there were white patches on the cement floor. This told me the house was prone to flooding, something not uncommon in older houses where I live. After all, I live right on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. So, this house was scratched from my list.
Another thing about Michigan houses is many have Michigan basements. This means that all or part of them are little crawl spaces filled with sand. These areas are prone to leaking and mold. I would be fine with a house with a Michigan basement if it were contained well. So, this sets the stage for the next house we looked at.
It was a beautiful victorian style home. It had nice-sized living, kitchen, and dining rooms. It did have a little bit of a smell. But, I figured this would be resolved with new carpeting. And the house was well within my budget, so I figured this was doable. But then we went into the basement. It was a nice sized basement. However, a good chunk of it was a Michigan basement. So, this house was scratched from my list.
We looked at many other houses like this.
I took a deep breath and revisited my strategy
So, I’m going to be 50 years old next year. I have asthma, and I also have severe allergies. I looked at houses on the low end of my budget. A couple of these houses were tempting to buy, as they were very nice and in good neighborhoods. But, they all had one thing in common: they needed work.
Look, some of those houses would be perfect for my brothers. My older brother bought an older house and fixed it up very nicely. One of my younger brothers did the same. My parents did the same thing years ago. But, I am not my parents nor my brothers. I am John with asthma, severe allergies, and two kids with asthma, too.
I decided to shift my strategy and start looking at houses on the higher end of my budget.
We’ll be moving into our new asthma-safe house soon
You know that feeling when you just KNOW something is perfect for you? Well, I walked into THAT house. It was spot on what I wanted. It had all wood floors. The kitchen was nice and clean with all new appliances. It had a brand new central heating and cooling system. The basement was renovated and turned into a family room. The yard was relatively small and with very nice grass and landscaping. So, yard work would definitely be doable even for me.
Of course, we’re excited. We are all looking forward to moving into our new home. We are confident this asthmatic and his asthmatic kids will be fine there. Sure, that monthly payment will be a little higher than anticipated. However, it’s doable. And, the fact it’s a nice asthma-friendly house makes it well worth it.
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