Homeowner’s checklist


Desert Moon House in Arizona


Selling or renting to MCS tenants

Placing a listing on our site is FREE to both private homeowners and real estate agents. To place a listing, please email us with all pertinent information requested below, including up to eight (8) photos. Text should be typed in upper and lower case; ALL CAPS text will be returned. If you do not know the answer to a question or it does not apply to your home, please note “n/a” in the space provided. Thank you!

The issues your MCS renter/buyer will be concerned about include:

  • chemical safety of building materials
  • household/personal care products used in home and on property
  • electromagnetic fields in or near home
  • interior mold levels
  • specific MCS triggers and/or allergies such as:
    • plants/pollens on property and in general area
    • pets and homestead animals
    • wood (typically, pine, cedar, and others containing terpenes)
  • any hidden problems that might hurt them later on


Please specify the following details about your home’s construction. The few minutes you take now to detail the below in writing will save you countless hours in questions from prospective MCS buyers/renters.

General Information

  • Property type (e.g., private home, condo, land for sale, rental, etc.):
  • Address (city, state, zip code required):
  • # Bedrooms:
  • # Bathrooms:
  • Square footage:
  • Lot size (in acres):
  • Purchase price/Monthly rent:
  • Date available:
  • Basic description:
  • Contact information:
  • Website:


Building Materials/Indoor Air Quality

  • How old is house:
  • Standard construction or built to MCS specifications:
  • Passive solar design features:
  • Moisture barrier installed over the slab:
  • Exterior building materials:
  • Roofing materials:
  • Insulation materials:
  • Are the walls foiled?:
  • Wood detailing (e.g., door/window trim, cabinetry, etc.), include wood type:
  • Wood sealants used:
  • Flooring materials including sealants and other finishes:
  • If carpet was used, how old is it, what material is it, how was it installed, what rooms is it installed in:
  • HVAC ducting used (e.g., formaldehyde free, flex or metal, etc.), filter MERV rating, and how often filters are changed:
  • Whole house air filter:
  • Whole house vacuum:
  • Sauna? If so, what brand/model, materials, year purchased, etc.
  • Dates of past repairs/renovations/remodeling/painting (if painted, what type and brand of paint – -e.g. low/no VOC):


Utilities and Major Appliances

  • Heating system (include any passive solar home design features):
  • If propane or gas, are tanks located outdoors in a shed or utility closet, at a distance, and downwind, from home?
  • If solar, how far is inverter from home?
  • Cooling system (include any passive solar home design features):
  • Gas, propane, solar, or electric appliances? (All electric appliances are best for a chemically sensitive person.)
  • If propane, gas or solar, where is the propane/gas source or solar inverter located (preferably outdoors at a distance, and downwind, from the home)?
  • Did the house ever sit empty for any length of time? If so, were heat and a/c and dehumidifers run appropriate to the season?


Electromagnetic fields

  • Are there any known EMF issues with the house or in the area, such as:
    • Unshielded electrical wiring (wiring in metal conduit is preferred)
    • Dimmers and 3-way switches
    • High voltage and above ground power lines (underground power lines to home are preferred)
    • Neighbors with WiFi
    • WiMax installed or planned for area in near future
    • Smart Meter on site or planned in near future
    • Cell/microwave towers nearby and/or planned for near future
    • Other wireless technology being used nearby or planned for near future (e.g. WiFi in school, library, etc.)
    • Located under an airport flight path
    • Other
  • Have others with electromagnetic sensitivities healed in this house?
  • Have others with electromagnetic sensitivities done poorly in this house?


Mold

  • Is the property graded, are French drains, swales or other features used to wick away rainwater?
  • Are there plantings or berms around the perimeter of the home?
  • On-slab foundation, crawlspace or basement?
  • Exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchen, and other high-humidity locations?
  • Whole house dehumidifier?
  • List other mold-reducing features:
  • Is there a history of water damage of any kind?
  • Have there ever been roof or plumbing leaks, and if so, how were they repaired and how soon after the leaks were they repaired?
  • Was mold remediation ever completed in your home?
  • To the best of your knowledge, is there currently high levels of mold or existence of allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic molds in the home?


Allergies

  • Pets that have lived in the house, either in recent or distant past, including past home owners:
  • Known vermin infestations (e.g. presence of rat or mice feces, etc.):
  • Homestead animals that have lived on property (e.g. ducks, chickens, goats, etc.):
  • Local flora that might be a problem (e.g., juniper, pine, cedar, etc.) and worst times of year for pollen counts:


Other potential toxic exposures

  • Were pesticides/insecticides/termicides/herbicides/mothballs/flea bombs/bug sprays ever used in the house, or outside the house and around the property, by you or by former owners? If so, what type(s) and how long ago? Did you take any steps to remove pesticides used by former owners, and if so, please provide details.
  • Has a pet that was treated with Frontline, wore a flea collar, or had other pesticides applied to it ever lived or entered the home?
  • Has the home site been checked for radon and other potentially hazardous elements? Are you prepared to provide a copy of any environmental home/site inspection that has been done?
  • Is the house currently fragrance free, and has it always been? Were scented candles, Glade or other scented plug-ins, air fresheners, incense, aromatherapy, potpourri, dryer sheets, scented (with either synthetic/chemical or natural/organic plant essential oil fragrances) soaps and other personal care products or any similar products used by yourself and/or former tenants in the home?
  • Is the house currently smoke free, and has it always been? This includes smoke from regular and clove/natural cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, hookah pipes, and other sources.
  • Has the house or any neighbors’ homes in a three block radius ever been used as a methamphetamine (“meth”) lab? How to recognize a meth house
  • Has ozone every been used in the home to try to remove odors/chemicals/mold? Please specify.
  • Detached or attached garage?


General

  • Do you or your MCS partner tolerate the home yourself?
  • How long have you lived in the home?
  • How long have former tenants stayed? May I talk to a former tenant to see how they felt about living in the house?
  • Why are you selling/renting the home?
  • If you are selling (vs. renting), are you charging a premium over the likely appraisal cost for the special materials? If so, are you willing to carry a second note/loan on the house if the bank will not give me a mortgage at the price you wish to sell the house?
  • Who are the closest neighbors and what are their potentially MCS-triggering habits (e.g., pesticides, gas/charcoal barbecue, wood-burning stove, fireplace, gas-powered lawn mowers and other yard appliances, propane/gas outdoor heaters, fabric softener, toxic laundry detergents, pets, recreational vehicles, burning of leaves or rubber, plastic and other illegal items, chlorine swimming pool, loud music, frequent outdoor gatherings, use of fireworks, etc.)?
  • Are the neighbors MCS aware/compassionate/friendly? Will they complain if I use a clothesline to air dry my clothes, leave items outside to offgas, build a “safe room” shed in my backyard, or do other things that would normally be considered aesthetically undesirable on a neighborhood block? Will they heed MCS safe requests with minimal resistance?


Due to the nature of the illness, potential MCS buyers/renters will need to stay in a home overnight, or for an extended period, before committing to a purchase or long-term lease. Doing so puts the homeowner at risk for potential contamination of the space. Are you willing to do this?

  • Potential buyer/renter can stay overnight in home for up to [INSERT #] days/weeks/months before committing to purchase/lease at a fee of $[INSERT DOLLAR AMOUNT]/night/week/month.
  • Please list all allowed and forbidden personal care products, bedding materials, laundry products, etc.:
  • Please detail house rules (e.g., must take shower immediately after returning from shopping and other exposures, must remove shoes before entering home, etc.):


Please cut and paste the above with your answers and up to eight (8) photos, and send in an email to support@reshelter.org to have your home listed on our site.

Please note: Ads will remain on our site for six (6) months unless we are notified in writing to remove the ad prior to that time. If you would like to extend the ad listing past six (6) months, please notify us in writing.

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