Scott Smolen's Maryland Real Estate News and Updates

June 6, 2023

Qualifying For a Mortgage with Student Loan Debt

Buying a home is a significant achievement, but student loan debt can be a significant financial burden for many. The good news is that if you have student loan debt, it doesn't automatically disqualify you from obtaining a mortgage and becoming a homeowner.

To qualify for a mortgage with student loan debt, you need to understand how your debt affects your financial situation.

Here are some important factors that lenders typically consider:

  • Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI): DTI, or debt-to-income ratio, is an important financial metric that shows the proportion of your monthly debt payments (including mortgage payments) to your gross monthly income. Lenders generally prefer a DTI of 43% or less, but some may consider higher DTIs for circumstances. It's worth noting that if your student loan payments constitute a significant portion of your monthly debt payments, this might affect your eligibility for a mortgage.
  • Credit Score: Your credit score mirrors your credit history and current finances. Achieving a higher credit score can greatly increase your chances for a mortgage with favorable conditions, whereas a lower score could pose challenges for approval. Did you know that consistently paying off your student loans can positively improve your credit score?
  • Payment History: Did you know that lenders take a close look at your student loan payment history? When you consistently make on-time payments, you showcase your financial responsibility and enhance your credibility as a borrower. Make your payments on time and show lenders that you're a reliable borrower!
  • Loan Type: With several mortgage options available, it's essential to understand their requirements. Some programs allow for higher DTIs or lower credit scores, while others require bigger down payments. Trust a professional lender with the expertise to help you make the right choice that aligns with your unique needs.

Discover How to Qualify for a Mortgage with Student Loan Debt with These Simple Steps:

  1. Clearing all your debt payments on time, settling credit card balances, and curbing new debt can significantly raise your credit score.
  2. Taking steps to consolidate or refinance your student loans could potentially lower your monthly payments and enhance your debt-to-income ratio (DTI).
  3. Accumulating a sizeable lump sum can come in handy to counterbalance any future debt-to-income ratio issues with lenders.
  4. 4. Get expert guidance from a mortgage lender to make an informed decision about your financing options and secure the perfect loan tailored to your requirements.

Owning a home is still possible, even with student loan debt. By gaining awareness regarding the impact of your debt on your financial status and making efforts to enhance your credit score and DTI, you can boost your likelihood of being qualified for a mortgage.

Posted in Buying a Home
June 5, 2023

Picture-Perfect: Preparing Your Home for Professional Real Estate Photos

Preparing your home for fantastic real estate photos is essential in the digital age of homebuying. With online platforms playing a significant role in the process, professional real estate photos are often the first impression potential buyers have of your home. To make sure your property stands out and captures the attention of potential buyers, we've got valuable tips on how to meticulously prepare your home before the professional photographer arrives.

1. Clean and Declutter: Your first task is to start with a thorough cleaning. Make sure every surface is dust-free, windows are spotless, and mirrors are polished for a dazzling look. Make sure you remove any personal items that you do not want seen in your photos, such as photos, any excess furniture, and knick-knacks to declutter each room. Clear off your countertops, shelves, and tables to create an open and spacious feel, allowing buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.

2. Stage with Purpose: Consider staging your home to enhance its appeal. Arrange furniture in an inviting and functional manner, ensuring each room showcases its intended purpose. Use neutral colors and tasteful décor to create a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to a wide range of buyers.

3. Maximize Natural Light: Utilizing natural light in real estate photography is a game-changer. By simply opening curtains, blinds, and shades, you can let ample sunlight flood into each room, creating a visually stunning effect. Consider replacing heavy drapes with sheer, light-colored curtains to enhance the natural light shining through. The result is a bright and inviting photo that will capture your audience's attention.

4. Highlight Architectural Features: Draw attention to the unique architectural elements of your home. Showcase beautiful crown molding, exposed brick walls, or intricate ceiling designs. Ensure these features are well-lit and easily visible in the photographs.

5. Spruce-up your exterior: Don't neglect your home's exterior! It is crucial to make a great first impression for potential buyers. To create an inviting entrance, trim the lawn, prune shrubs, and add colorful flowers. Remove any visible clutter, like garden tools, hoses, and children's toys. Consider power washing the exterior surfaces for a fresh and clean look. Don't forget to move your cars out of the driveway before the photographer arrives, so your home can shine in its exterior photos.

6. Pay Attention to Details: Small details can make your real estate photography stand out. Ensure that all light bulbs are functional, replacing any that are burnt out. Eliminate off-putting electrical cords, tuck away pet toys and bowls, and straighten picture frames and artwork. Remember to switch off all ceiling fans and lower the toilet seats. Keep an eye out for minor repairs or touch-ups in each room for a faultless final display.

When it comes to selling your home, first impressions are everything. That is why it's crucial to prepare your home for professional real estate photos that will capture the attention of potential buyers. With these easy-to-follow tips, you can create a visually stunning and inviting space that will stand out in online listings. By investing time and effort into preparing your home for professional photography, you will significantly increase your chances of attracting interest from buyers and securing a successful sale.

Posted in Selling Your Home
June 4, 2023

Mortgage Rates Are Up, Number of Home Sales Are Down, Prices Are Resilient

Mortgage rates have reached a seven-month high, causing a slowdown in the housing market. With limited listings available, potential homebuyers are waiting for rates to decline and more homes to enter the market before making a move. However, the limited inventory has a silver lining for sellers as it supports higher prices for the homes they do list.

Compared to the same period last year, pending home sales have dropped by 17% during the four weeks ending on May 28, marking one of the largest declines since the beginning of the year. This decline is particularly significant because pending sales were already decreasing last year when mortgage rates surged past 5%.

Indicators of homebuying demand, such as mortgage-purchase applications have dipped in earlier stages of the house hunting process. Both measures are down approximately 7% compared to the previous month. However, the Demand Index has seen a 1% increase from the previous year, representing the first annual upswing in over a year. It is important to note that this measure was rapidly declining a year ago due to rising rates.

Over the past month, homebuying demand has decreased due to elevated mortgage rates and a scarcity of available homes. Weekly rates have hit their highest level since November, reaching an average of 6.79%. This has made homeownership unaffordable for many, as the typical monthly housing payment for U.S. buyers reached a record high of $2,651, an increase of approximately $350 from a year ago.

Limited inventory also contributes to the decline in sales, with new listings dropping by 23% compared to the previous year, and the total number of homes for sale decreasing by 3%. These figures mark the second annual decline in 12 months, with the first occurring in the preceding four-week period when they fell by 0.2%. Despite the limited supply, the median U.S. sale price has only declined by 1.9% year over year, the smallest decrease in two months.

Some buyers are submitting all-cash offers, while others have temporarily paused their search, waiting for mortgage rates to decrease and more listings to enter the market. Financially astute buyers are taking advantage of mortgage-rate buydowns or planning to refinance in the future. Despite the challenges, the limited listings have a positive aspect as they maintain higher prices, benefiting sellers who can still achieve favorable prices.

Key indicators of national homebuying activity in the country's 50 most populous markets are as follows:

  • For the week ending June 1, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.79%, the largest weekly increase since October, and the highest rate since November. On May 31, the daily average stood at 6.88%.
  • During the week ending May 26, mortgage-purchase applications decreased by 3% compared to the previous week (seasonally adjusted), and were down 31% from the previous year.
  • Google searches for "homes for sale" were down 12% from the previous month during the week ending May 27th
  • The average sale-to-list price ratio, which measures how close homes are selling to their final asking prices, was 99.7%. That’s the highest level since August but is down from 102.5% a year earlier.
  • The monthly mortgage payment on the median-asking-price home hit a record high of $2,651 at a 6.79% mortgage rate, the current weekly average. That’s up 15% ($348) from a year earlier.
  • Pending home sales were down 17% year over year, the second-biggest decline since January. The biggest was a week earlier, when pending sales declined 17.1%.
  • Touring activity as of May 29 was up 2% from the start of the year, compared with a 6% increase at the same time last year, according to home tour technology company ShowingTime.

Now that the debt ceiling has been raised and the risk of the United States going into default is no longer over the markets, we should start to see stabilization in the bond market and it is expected that interest rates should drop a bit.  Some analysts from the Mortgage Bankers Association expect that the 30 year fixed rate will be back down to the mid 5's by the end of the year. 

This is an excellent time to find the home you are looking for and buy it.  You should be in a good position to refinance within a few months and take advantage of more favorable terms as they become available.  Our local market is still experiencing very low inventory, so we do not expect to see the prices dropping in the near future.  

Home sellers can expect their homes to receive substantial showing traffic if they are marketed aggressively and priced properly.  Although the leading indicators on home searches like Google are down, there are still plenty of qualified Buyers looking for nice homes in the market.  Our local economy remains stronger than the overwhelming majority of the country and it appears that it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.  

Please let us know if you have any questions at all.  We will be happy to answer them for you and help you anyway that we can.

Posted in Market Updates
June 3, 2023

Discover the Advantages and Disadvantages of 55+ Active Adult Communities

If you're considering your senior living options, you may have come across the term "active adult community". These communities are specifically for those over the age of 55 and are often referred to as "age-restricted" or "age-qualified". Keep in mind that at least one resident in the community must be at least 55 years old.

What are the Criteria for an Active Adult Community?

Active adult communities have age requirements, but they're not too different from other residential communities. However, they're designed with a retirement-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle in mind. Keep in mind that there are other senior-friendly communities, such as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), rental retirement communities, and senior apartments.

These communities can consist of single-family houses or multi-family patio homes, condominiums, and townhomes. The units are owned by residents, rather than rented. Additionally, 55 and over communities are usually built close to shopping, restaurants, parks, and other attractions since residents want to enjoy an active lifestyle during their retirement years.

As a homeowner in an active adult community, you're responsible for maintaining the interior of your home, but don't worry about the exterior. The community will take care of it with low-maintenance or maintenance-free options that are covered by your monthly HOA dues. This means you can enjoy your retirement without worrying about yard work or home repairs.

There are no hidden fees in active adult communities, besides your HOA dues and mortgage payments if you have one. Unlike other senior living options, you won't find on-site dining or healthcare services in these communities. However, you will have access to amazing, shared amenities like golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, and clubhouses. Joining an active adult community means staying active and social during your golden years.

The pros and cons

As you explore the diverse senior living choices available, it's crucial to assess the advantages and drawbacks of each option. If an active adult community is on your list, here are some important factors to keep in mind when making your decision.


• Low-or-no-maintenance exteriors: If you're tired of the endless chores that come with maintaining a property, an active adult community may be just what you need. One of the top selling points is the convenience of ditching exterior maintenance like mowing, snow-blowing, raking, and painting. Additionally, downsizing to a smaller interior square-footage is a great way to keep your living space clean and manageable. Find freedom from endless home upkeep and enjoy a more carefree lifestyle in an active adult community.

• Opportunities to make friends with other seniors/retirees: With residents at a similar life stage, having worked hard for years, raised a family, and looking to enjoy retirement, finding common ground and making lasting friendships is effortless. Invest in a relaxed lifestyle, surrounded by like-minded individuals, and watch incredible connections unfold.

• A quiet environment: Active adult communities offer a calm and peaceful lifestyle to residents who are 55 and above. While we welcome the visits of adult children and grandchildren, we kindly request younger visitors to respect the age requirement and maintain a serene atmosphere in the community.

• Amenities: Stay Active and Social in Your Retirement with an Active Adult Community. These communities offer more than just pools and fitness centers - residents organize social events, affinity clubs, and volunteer groups to keep you involved and spry. Enjoy endless opportunities to exercise, socialize, and make new connections in a vibrant community atmosphere.


• Lack of age diversity: Active adult communities typically enforce a minimum age requirement of 55 years old for residents, resulting in a lack of age diversity. This can make it less attractive to live in such a community for some individuals who prefer a more mixed crowd.

• Younger family members will not be able to take advantage of your investment: If you view your active adult community residence as a real estate investment, it's essential to note that family members under 55 won't have access to the property without a senior present. Keep this important detail in mind as you make decisions about your investment.

• Care services are not included: Need assisted living or healthcare services? Active adult communities don't offer those as part of your HOA fee nor do they have on-site healthcare facilities. However, some communities have agreements with homecare providers if you decide to arrange for in-home care. Otherwise, living in these communities is essentially like aging at home.

Though not all-encompassing, this list of pros and cons can serve as a starting point for considerations about active adult communities. Keep in mind that some of these attributes may be relevant to other retirement communities as well. For instance, CCRCs are likely to offer amenities and social events that promote wellness. Meanwhile, it's worth noting that independent living rental communities and senior living apartments may not include healthcare services in their monthly fees. Customize your list based on your unique needs and preferences.

Is an active-adult community right for you?

As the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement age, active adult communities are gaining popularity across America. Rather than seeing themselves as "old folks," these new retirees seek an exciting and engaging lifestyle. By freeing residents of exterior home maintenance chores, they have more time to enjoy their retirement years and pursue their passions.

However, there is an important consideration to keep in mind: active adult communities do not offer healthcare services. If you prioritize having access to on-campus long-term or nursing care services, then a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) may be a better option for you. Choose the right senior living option that matches your preferred lifestyle and meets your healthcare needs.

Posted in Buying a Home
June 2, 2023

"Unlocking Success: Essential Keys for First-Time Homebuyers"

Buying your first home can be a life-changing decision and an exciting milestone. However, as a first-time homebuyer, you may face some challenges in today's market, as highlighted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Tight inventory, rising home prices and rents, and mounting student debt loads have made it more difficult to enter the housing market.

Don't let that deter you! If you are determined to own your own home, there are two key things you should keep in mind that can help make your dreams a reality.

Exploring First-Time Homebuyer Programs

Paying for the upfront expenses of homeownership can be daunting, but there's good news for first-time buyers. Both public and private programs exist to help reduce your financial burden. These initiatives offer lower mortgage rates, down payment assistance, and tax incentives. With their help, you can own your dream home without putting down a large sum upfront.

Did you know that state and local governments offer programs to help with down payments or closing costs for first-time homebuyers? Bankrate confirms that these programs often include low-interest-rate loans, deferred loans, or even forgivable loans (also known as grants). Take advantage of these opportunities by contacting your state's housing authority and checking out resources like Down Payment Resource.

Types of Mortgages

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Debunking Down Payment Myths

Benefits and Drawbacks of VA Mortgages

The Supply of Homes for Sale Is Low, So Explore Every Possibility

Ready to buy a home but cannot find anything that meets your needs? In today's sellers' market, it is tough to find the right fit. That is why you should consider condos or townhomes. These options are often more affordable than single-family homes and may just be the perfect solution. Plus, you will enjoy benefits like low maintenance costs and more. Condos come with the added perk of external maintenance being covered by the association, including landscaping, pool care, and more. Keep your options open and consider these housing types in your search for the perfect home.

Finding success in the homebuying process can be overwhelming, especially for beginners. That is why it is essential to work with a reliable real estate agent like Scott Smolen.  He will guide you through every step of the process, from educating you about homebuying to coaching you on making an offer in a competitive market. Trust us to help you understand your local area and find options that suit your preferences. With our assistance, your dream home is within reach.

The Home Buying Process with Scott

Posted in Buying a Home
June 1, 2023

The Pros and Cons of Having a Swimming Pool at Home: Does It Add Value in Maryland?

Swimming pools are a luxurious addition to any home, offering a refreshing oasis and a fun place for family and friends to gather. However, the decision to install a swimming pool comes with both advantages and disadvantages that homeowners should carefully consider. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of having a swimming pool at home and whether it truly adds value to your property.

Advantages of Having a Swimming Pool:

1. Recreation and Relaxation: A swimming pool provides an excellent opportunity for leisure activities, exercise, and relaxation. Whether you're hosting pool parties, engaging in water sports, or simply enjoying a peaceful swim, the pool becomes a focal point for outdoor entertainment.

2. Health and Fitness: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and improves cardiovascular fitness. Having a pool at home allows for regular workouts and promotes a healthy lifestyle, making it especially beneficial for those with joint problems or injuries.

3. Privacy and Convenience: Owning a private pool offers the advantage of exclusivity and convenience. You have control over cleanliness, scheduling, and access, without the need to travel to public pools or pay membership fees.

4. Aesthetic Appeal: A well-designed swimming pool can enhance the overall aesthetics of your home and backyard. It adds a touch of luxury and elegance, potentially increasing curb appeal and making your property more attractive to potential buyers.

Disadvantages of Having a Swimming Pool:

1. High Initial and Maintenance Costs: Building a swimming pool is a significant investment that involves construction expenses, permits, landscaping, and equipment installation. Furthermore, ongoing maintenance costs, including chemicals, water treatment, and repairs, can be substantial and require regular attention.

2. Safety Concerns: Pools pose safety risks, particularly for households with children or pets. Accidental drowning is a significant concern, even with safety measures in place. Maintaining proper pool fencing, alarms, and supervision is crucial to mitigate these risks.

3. Limited Usage and Seasonality: Depending on your geographical location, a pool may have a limited usage window due to seasonal variations. In colder climates, pools often remain unused for several months, making the investment less worthwhile for some homeowners.

4. Potential for Higher Insurance Costs: Swimming pools are viewed as an increased liability by insurance companies. Adding a pool to your property could lead to higher insurance premiums to cover potential risks and accidents.

Does a Swimming Pool Add Value to Your Home in Maryland?

The question of whether a swimming pool adds value to your home is subjective and context dependent. While a well-maintained and visually appealing pool may increase the overall desirability of your property, it may not always translate into a significant financial return on investment. Factors such as location, local market trends, and buyer preferences play a crucial role in determining the added value.

In some cases, a pool may attract potential buyers seeking a luxurious outdoor space for entertainment and relaxation. However, other buyers may view a pool as a maintenance burden or a potential hazard, thereby reducing the pool's perceived value. Ultimately, the value added by a swimming pool can vary widely, and it's advisable to consult with a real estate professional like Scott Smolen before making a decision based solely on potential monetary gains.

Owning a swimming pool at home offers numerous advantages, including recreation, health benefits, convenience, and enhanced aesthetics. However, it is important to consider the disadvantages such as high costs, safety concerns, limited usage, and potential insurance implications. When it comes to the value added by a swimming pool, it's crucial to evaluate local market dynamics and buyer preferences to make an informed decision. Ultimately, the decision to have a swimming pool should align with your personal lifestyle, preferences, and long-term financial goals.

Posted in Home Improvements
May 31, 2023

Leverage your equity for your benefit!

Did you know that as a homeowner, even though home prices have moderated over the last year, many of you still have an impressive amount of equity? But what is equity exactly? Simply put, it is the difference between the market value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage. Over time, your equity grows thanks to price appreciation and mortgage payments, as explained by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Let's make sure you know exactly what your home is worth, and how your equity is growing.

How Your Equity Can Help You Achieve Your Goals

Did you know that the equity you have built up over time can benefit you when you decide to sell your current home? Maybe you need more space or a smaller home - whatever the case may be, your equity can be a powerful tool in helping you make your next move. In fact, it may even cover your down payment! You might be surprised by how much equity you have - a recent survey by reveals that many homeowners estimate a significant amount. Do not miss out on the advantages of your hard work - tap into your equity and make your next move with confidence.

Recent CoreLogic data confirms that homeowners can feel confident about the equity they have built up over time. Despite localized home price fluctuations in late 2022, the average American homeowner still possesses approximately $270,000 in equity - an increase of nearly $90,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. According to CoreLogic's Chief Economist, Selma Hepp, this uptick is a positive sign for homeowners who can capitalize on this opportunity now.

Bottom Line

As a homeowner, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that you have a considerable amount of equity at your disposal. By seeking the guidance of a real estate agent, you can precisely calculate your equity and unlock its potential to aid in the purchase of your next dream home.

Posted in Market Updates
May 30, 2023

How Owning a Home Helps Protect Against Inflation

Are you feeling the pinch of high inflation on your everyday expenses like groceries and gas? As a renter, you may also be dealing with rising rent prices. With the added uncertainty of a possible recession, you may be questioning whether buying a home is still a wise choice. The good news is that it is! Here is why you should consider purchasing a home despite these challenges.

Did you know that homeownership can protect you from the rising costs of inflation? According to Freddie Mac, buying a home not only allows you to build equity, but a fixed-rate mortgage can also provide long-term stability for your monthly housing costs. Unlike volatile rent prices that tend to increase with time and inflation, a fixed-rate mortgage offers predictability over the life of the mortgage (typically 15 to 30 years). It is important to keep your housing payment stable as the cost of most other expenses rises.

A fixed-rate mortgage shields you from potential rent increases. As inflation rates continue to soar, there is a possibility that your landlord may increase rent charges upon your lease's renewal to counteract the impact of inflation. A recent survey showed that 73% of property managers plan to increase rents for tenants over the next two years. However, owning a home offers a significant advantage of having a predictable monthly payment despite economic uncertainties. Renters, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to rising costs and don't enjoy the same benefits as homeowners.

In times of high inflation, having a stable housing payment becomes crucial. Begin your journey to homeownership by connecting with Scott today for valuable information about starting your search for a new home.

Posted in Market Updates
May 29, 2023

Reflecting on Memorial Day: Honoring the Sacrifices of Our Heroes


Memorial Day is a day of remembrance, a time when we come together as a nation to honor and pay tribute to the brave men and women who have selflessly given their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is a solemn occasion that provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon the sacrifices made by these heroes and express our deepest gratitude for their unwavering dedication to our country. In this blog, we will delve into the significance of Memorial Day, its historical roots, and how we can commemorate this day with respect and reverence.

The Origins of Memorial Day:

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day dates back to the aftermath of the American Civil War. In the wake of the immense loss of life during the conflict, communities across the nation began to hold ceremonies to honor fallen soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers and flags. The first official observance of Memorial Day took place on May 30, 1868, when General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, proclaimed it as a day to pay tribute to the fallen.

A Time for Remembrance:

Memorial Day holds deep significance as it allows us to remember and reflect upon the sacrifices of those who have fought and died to protect the freedoms we cherish. It serves as a reminder that the liberties we enjoy today have been safeguarded by the courage and dedication of countless servicemen and servicewomen throughout history. Memorial Day provides an opportunity to honor their memory and acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe to these fallen heroes.

Commemorating Memorial Day:

There are several meaningful ways to commemorate Memorial Day and show our appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Visiting Memorials and Cemeteries: Take the time to visit local memorials and cemeteries where fallen soldiers are laid to rest. Pay your respects by placing flowers or flags on their graves. Reflect on their sacrifice and the impact they have had on our nation.
  2. Participating in Parades and Ceremonies: Many communities organize parades and ceremonies to honor the fallen. Attend these events and show your support for the military community. It is an opportunity to connect with veterans, service members, and their families.
  3. Engaging in Acts of Service: Dedicate some time on Memorial Day to volunteer or engage in acts of service that benefit veterans and their families. Consider supporting organizations that provide support and assistance to those who have served.
  4. Observing a Moment of Silence: At 3:00 PM local time, join others across the country in observing a moment of silence. This tradition, known as the National Moment of Remembrance, is a powerful way to collectively honor and remember those who have fallen.
  5. Educating the Next Generation: Teach younger generations about the importance of Memorial Day and the sacrifices made by our military. Share stories, read books, or watch documentaries that highlight the valor and heroism of our fallen soldiers.


Memorial Day serves as a poignant reminder of the tremendous sacrifices made by our brave servicemen and servicewomen. It is a day to honor their memory, express our gratitude, and reflect upon the freedoms we enjoy today. By commemorating Memorial Day with respect and reverence, we ensure that the legacy of these heroes lives on and that their sacrifices are never forgotten. Let us come together as a nation, united in remembrance, and carry their spirit with us throughout the year.

Posted in Uncategorized
May 28, 2023

Understanding Radon Gas in Homes: Importance of Testing

Are you familiar with the dangers of radon gas? This invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas can seep into your home undetected, posing serious health risks for you and your family. Our blog post aims to shed light on radon gas, discussing what it is, its potential dangers, and why it is essential for every homeowner or possible home buyer to test for this silent threat.

What is radon gas?

Radon is formed by the natural decay of uranium in soil, rocks, and water. As radon gas is released from the ground, it can enter buildings through cracks in the foundation, gaps in walls, or openings around utility pipes. Once inside a home, radon can accumulate to high levels, putting occupants at risk of exposure.

Why test for radon?

1. Invisible and Odorless: One of the primary reasons to test for radon is that it cannot be detected by our senses. Unlike other potential hazards, such as mold or carbon monoxide, radon gas is invisible and odorless. The only way to know if radon levels in your home are elevated is through testing.

2. Prevalence: Radon is a widespread issue and can be found in homes across the globe. It is not limited to certain geographical areas or specific types of homes. Testing is the only way to determine if your home is affected by elevated radon levels.

3. Health Protection: Testing for radon is essential for the well-being of your family. By identifying elevated radon levels, you can take appropriate measures to mitigate the problem, reducing the health risks associated with long-term exposure.

4. Mitigation Options: If elevated radon levels are detected, there are effective mitigation techniques available to reduce radon concentrations in your home. These measures typically involve sealing entry points and installing ventilation systems to redirect radon gas safely away from living spaces.

5. Property Value: Radon testing and mitigation can have a positive impact on your property value. If you plan to sell your home in the future, having a radon mitigation system in place or providing proof of low radon levels can be an attractive selling point for potential buyers.

How do you test for radon?

Discovering whether there are harmful levels of radon in your home can be done through either short-term or long-term testing. Short-term testing provides a peek into radon levels for 2-7 days, while long-term testing - usually 90 days or more - presents a more accurate representation of yearly average concentrations. Radon testing can be done professionally or on your own with do-it-yourself kits that are available in stores or online. Just ensure that you select a testing kit that is authorized by the appropriate radon measurement authorities.

How do you mitigate radon gas?

Radon gas is a serious issue, but fortunately there are several ways to prevent it from accumulating in your home. The type of foundation your house has will determine the radon mitigation system that is used. This can include a basement, slab-on-grade, or crawl space construction, and sometimes a combination of these.

There are generally three types of mitigation systems that are used: sub-slab, sub-membrane, and water extraction. These can be either active or passive systems, with most using a fan to remove the radon gas from the soil. However, passive systems use the chimney effect to release the gas into the environment.

All these systems use suction or depressurization to remove the radon gas before it enters your home. The cost of these systems varies depending on your home's needs, including the size of the building, the amount of radon gas present, and the soil type. Usually, average homes can have these systems installed in a day, with costs ranging from $500 to $2500.

Ensure the safety and well-being of your family by testing for radon gas in your home. Radon is a silent threat that can lead to severe health implications, including lung cancer. Testing for radon allows you to identify any elevated levels and take appropriate measures to mitigate the issue. Do not ignore the importance of radon testing and prioritize the health of your household by protecting yourself from this invisible danger.

Posted in Home Tips