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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a new place to live and I'd really really like to find a house this time. Living in a little apartment with a preteen aged boy who wants and deserves some privacy is getting old.

But if I want to keep my son in his school (which I do) my options are either relatively new apartments or old houses -- 50, 60 years old a least.

Yesterday I saw an adorable little house. Just the right size for 2 people, and in great condition. But there was visible mold in the basement. The landlord assured me that they had just found it when they came into to check before showing the house (the old tenants are still in it) and as soon as the tenants leave they're going to rip out the wall board, treat behind it, and then replace it. They assure me that this will work.

DS has moderate asthma, triggered by grass pollen, ragweed, and indoor and outdoor molds. At this point we only have to treat during pollen and leaf mold seasons, and I'd really like to keep it that way. Does anyone have a sense of how effective treatment is for mold? I have a hepa filter I could run down there, and I guess I could buy a dehumidifier -- but I really don't want to move and then find out that 1/3 of the house is off limits to my child.

Also, we'd like to get a dog. DS has never tested allergic to dogs, or shown any reaction to any animal. The allergist said that he showed some subtle signs that he might develop a cat allergy but absolutely no reaction to dogs. She felt it was safe for us to get one. But I'd love to hear other people's experiences with dogs and allergic kids.

DS is 10, and while I would say that his allergies have gotten worse over time what he's allergic to hasn't changed since he was about 3. He's also definitely not allergic to some common allergens such as dust mites. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
 

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Is there some clause that could be put in the contract so that if their mold abatement program did NOT work, you wouldn't have to buy the house? That would be a safeguard.

My DH is allergic to cats and dogs, and DD1 is allergic to cats. We have a hairless dog. I know a lot more people who are allergic to cats than dogs, so it seems like if he hasn't tested positive for either cats or dogs, that a dog would be the safer bet. You could always get one of the more hypoallergenic dogs out there if you're still worried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not buying the house -- just renting, so worst comes to worst I can walk away from my security deposit. Not my first choice of course, but not as bad as if I was buying it.

I talked to the maintenance guy and he told me the neighbor's drainpipe had come lose from the hose it feeds into (??? does that make sense I live in a highrise right now so drainpipes I know not) and it was spilling lots of water onto the ground right where the two houses meet, causing water to leak in through the basement wall. They went over and got the neighbor's permission to fix the drainpipe and use screws to make sure it wouldn't come lose again. They also will do both yardwork and replace the drywall to repair the damage. Does that sound safe? I thought it sounded pretty proactive to me.
 

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It sounds plausible and also sounds like they're being good about it. I'd make it clear though, if you haven't already, that your son has asthma and is highly allergic to mold, just so they know that they're sort of responsible. Bringing them cookies is my mother's tactic for helping workmen see that you're a person not just a "renter". My husband's tactic was to bring the guys building our house beer at the end of the day. We got good work!

Are pets in the contract, if you're just renting? Puppies are hard on a house. An older dog might be a better idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, pets are in the contract, and yes, I'll get an adult dog, either a rescue or an older dog from a breeder. We're away from home too long each day for a puppy.

The home should be OK for a dog -- it's hardwood throughout except the basement which is painted concrete.
 

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That sounds great. Is there any recourse if you find out after a couple months your son is reacting to it? Do you just lose a security deposit or more?

And by the way, when I read the original post, my first thought was, "What a great mom!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The landlord has agreed to let me bring my son into the basement of the house after the mold abatement is done. We'll know pretty fast if he reacts (he's like that). If he does react they'll refund my security deposit. I'm also going to leave a HEPA filter there, plugged in and running, so hopefully it will have removed any lingering mold spores in the air.

I've also driven by the house a couple of times and you can tell they've started working on the downspout (which is what caused the problem).

Based on those two things I did sign a lease -- we move in a month! I can't tell you how excited I am to have a whole house, with a backyard, a washer/dryer and lots of storage space!!!
 
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