Housing Rental/Buying a Home for the Chemically Sensitive

I just read a blog by Anaphylaxing on Housing Rental for the Chemically Sensitive. In her post (http://mastcellactivation.blogspot.com/2013/01/house-rental-for-chemically-sensitive.html?showComment=1357836487912#c5550117704868306674) she lists 14 points that must be met when renting a home to be safe for her. I find that the same points also apply when looking to buy a home.

My husband built my safe home in 2003 while I spent most of that year in Dallas at the Environmental Health Center-Dallas. My medical bills were racking up pretty quickly and I was in a fight for my life and a fight with workers’ compensation. The only option we had was to build on a lot that we had purchased many years before. I am doing great in my home but this isn’t the place where I want to be forever. The neighborhood is not the greatest and seems to be deteriorating some. I miss my old house with its 2500 square feet of spaciousness and the acre and a half lot it was on.

We have talked a lot about buying a home somewhere else and renovating it to fit my needs. The first house I was going to actively look at was a disaster. We me the realtor on the yard in front of the porch. I told her that if I detected anything when the door was opened, we wouldn’t be interested. She opened the door and I immediately got hoarse, had chest pain and got that tremor feeling I get with mold. I told her there was mold in there and my husband wouldn’t be going in either. She said well there is a smell but I am not sure what it is. My husband replied that if I said there was mold, there was mold. She then asked a realtor that had just been in the house who said there was a little in the master bathroom at the back of the house. As any of you know who have been around mold or know about mold, it would take more than a little in the master bathroom at the far end of the house for me to have a reaction when the front door opened.

My husband and I tried again recently. As soon as we got to the front door the odor of candles and air fresheners hit me like a ton of bricks and I began coughing up a lung. I let him quickly walk in but told him that again the house would have to be gutted to make it safe for me (new sheet rock, carpet removed, tile/grout replaced and the hvac ducting at the very least would have to be replaced. The housing market has started climbing here again and the chances of getting a house priced so that we could afford to almost gut it is very unlikely. Our only real chance to get to a different area would be to buy acreage and build again. This is something my husband does not want to do and something I don’t want him to have to do although starting from scratch is easier than removing and replacing.

It looks like I am not going anywhere anytime soon.

4 responses to “Housing Rental/Buying a Home for the Chemically Sensitive

  1. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO BUILD A “NEW HOME” FOR ME AS AN MCS SAFE HOME— AS ALL THE CHEMCIALS IN THE WOOD– THE CEMENT– EVERYTHING has chemcials–& HAS TO BE OUTGASSED– & NEW IS FULL OF toxic CHEMICALS— I can’t even walk into a lumber yard– or home store– etc etc etc– because of all those terrible toxic killing chemcials– can’t even look in a new home– if I want to live!!!!!!! I have helped hundreds of people who suffer from MCS find safe housing– & set up MCS safe homes in the past 10 years– & NONE OF THEM– NOT ONE– could even consider a new home — with all those toxic chemcials!!!!! Formaldehyde in everything-&–all looking for Motor homes– or RV’s even had to search for used & out gassed— EVERYTHING WE AVOID TO LIVE IS TRYING FOR OUTGASSED & toxic CHEMICAL FREE– & new homes– & new Rvs have EVERY TOXIC CHEMCIAL WE ARE TRYING TO AVOID!!! My Husband keeps a storage building of used outgassed lumber– for when he HAS TO DO A PROJECT AROUND OUR HOME!! We had to have a new roof put on our home this year– & we had to go with a metal roof– because of less chemcials– BUT– they had to put down new lumber in places–& had to do repairs– & I was forced to live in our RV for several weeks– as I no longer had a safe home– I would die– if forced to move into a new home– with all those toxic killing chemicals– as nothing would be outgassed!!!!!!! There are not enough “GREEN PRODUCTS” out there for many with MCS to even think about NEW–

    • I have been fortunate. My husband took charge of everything and the house was built mostly in the warm hot summer so things had a chance to air out and he used kiln dried lumber. We moved from my big house to a smaller house that my husband had built to sell or rent. Our goal was 2 years living in it and we could sell it as our primary home. I was already sick but didn’t even know of all my sensitivities because I was so sick dealing with other illnesses and had no sense of smell. When I came home in December 2003 (two days before Christmas) I was able to walk into this house. I tried walking into the other house and immediately got sick from all the chemicals in it. For me it isn’t just finding a home without chemicals but it is finding a home without having a mold reaction in it.

      You are right about many not tolerating new but there are also a lot of us mold survivors that can’t buy used because of mold. If the house is too old there is a HUGE chance of it having mold. If it is too new and built when they were rushing to get homes built during the height of the housing market, they were built sloppily and many in my area developed mold problems. Also if the house is older the chemicals from candles, air freshners, cleaning products, etc. are firmly embedded in the sheetrock and in the air conditioning ducts. It is a catch 22 for many of us with MCS and mold intolerance to find a safe place whether new or not so new.

      I have often thought of checking out those little toy haulers. They are all metal inside and see if one could be made to house a simple bed and what I would need for a short trip. I will talk more about this later. I have found a picture of one that is equipped but not with safe materials.

      • AMEN—— SOOOOOOOOOO MANY THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT OR EVEN CONSIDER—— I have had 0ver 15 different businesses over the years——- sooooooooooo much to consider when starting a business– when you suffer from MCS– or buying a home– or an RV- etc etc etc— but we are by our blogs making people think!!!!!! Many hundred are realizing their health problems come from toxic killing chemcials — mold— etc etc etc— keep up the good work!!!!!!!!! later—-

      • So true. I have found so many other blogs, like yours, that offer a wealth of information as well. And I am happy to pass on via reblogging or links information from others that I would like to share here. This morning I am busy sitting here at my computer and office desk sorting out the myriad of papers I have copied and saved. I finally broke down and bought some folders and am trying to organize by book marketing/promotion, blog how-to’s, twitter and blog topics that I want to talk about but haven’t gotten to yet. Hopefully all this organization will make it easier for me to blog here and work on my book cover and promotion of the book at the same time. One can only hope.

        Yesterday I cut out some quilt blocks and may try and do a little sewing. My iron went out on me and now have to replace it. Why don’t they last like they used to?

        Keep up the good work on your end of informing and I will keep on reading and sharing.

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