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Managing Asthma In the Home

by Samia S. Morgan

Improving and maintaining good indoor air quality is key in asthma management and limiting the presence of irritants in the air in your home. Below are a few steps you can take to improve air quality in your home as found in the article Creating an Asthma-Safe Home by KidsHealth.

Improving Air Quality

  • Don’t allow smoking in your home. Quit or smoke outside.
  • Use unscented or non-aerosol varieties of household cleaning products.
  • Verify that all your gas appliances are properly vented outside.
  • Run air conditioning when pollen or mold counts are high or when there are ozone or pollution warnings.
  • Change air conditioning filter regularly.
  • Reducing the Presence of Dust Mites
  • Vacuum and dust regularly.
  • Avoid the use of feather or down pillows or comforters.
  • Wash your children’s bedding in hot water and also dry it on a high setting.
  • Cover mattresses, pillows and box springs with mite-proof covers. Regularly wipe down covers.
  • Remove carpeting in your child’s room.
  • Window coverings in your child’s room should be easily washed or cleaned. Horizontal blinds are not recommended as they accumulate dust on their multiple surfaces.
  • Store children’s books in a room other than his or her bedroom
  • Keep stuffed animals to a minimum. Favorite plush toys should be washed and dried regularly on the hot settings. Placing plush toys in a plastic bag in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours will also kill any dust mites present.
  • Avoid using a humidifier particularly in your child’s room.

Reducing Moisture and Mold

  • Fix leaky pipes, faucets, or roofs. Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Make sure your bathrooms and basement are well ventilated. Install and use exhaust fans to help lower moisture in these areas.
  • If you have any damp closets, clean them thoroughly and leave a 100-watt bulb on all the time to increase the temperature and dry out the air.
  • Run a dehumidifier in the basement or other damp areas. It's important to empty and clean the water pan often.
  • Remove wallpaper and wall-to-wall carpeting from bathrooms and basement rooms.
  • Run the air conditioning (this is especially helpful if you have central air), making sure to change the filter monthly.
  • Avoid houseplants, which may harbor mold in their soil.
  • Clean any visible mold or mildew with a solution that's one part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water. Don't paint or caulk over moldy surfaces without cleaning them first.
  • When painting bathrooms or other damp areas of your house, use anti-mildew paint.
  • If there's visible mold on ceiling tiles, remove and replace them. Also check to see if there's a leaky pipe that may be causing the problem.
  • Replace or wash moldy shower curtains.

Pets in the Home

  • Keep pets outside. If you can't, at least keep them out of your child's bedroom and playroom.
  • Wash and brush your pet every week.
  • Make sure your child doesn't play with or touch your pet and keep him or her away from the litter box if you have a cat.
  • Wash your hands every time you touch your pet.
  • If you have a pet that lives in a cage, keep it in a room that your child doesn't spend time in regularly. Also, have someone other than your child clean the cage daily.

For more detail information and tips how to create an asthma-safe home visit the KidsHealth website and talk with your child’s doctor about their specific triggers.

Many of us have allergies, and children with asthma, and we want to ensure family members live and play in surroundings that won’t aggravate this chronic disease, and this starts at home. When it comes to children, we want to keep them as safe as possible; however the reality is we have little control over conditions outside of our own homes. By beginning with your own home you can implement a few no-cost or low-cost lifestyle changes that will help turn your house into an asthma safe home, for family members suffering from this condition.

Identifying the Triggers Allergens
If you are unsure what triggers are specific to your child, or children, with asthma, please consult your physician, as they will be able to help identify these triggers and advise you in this regard. Some of the more common triggers, allergens, found in our homes include:

Ten Tips To Make Your Small Room Appear Larger

by Samia S. Morgan


 When deciding to sell your home it is important to take the steps necessary to ensure that the rooms in your home are properly “staged” to appeal to prospective buyers. This may harder than expected as we all have rooms in our home that may be on the smaller side and hard to decorate. What can really be done with a small room?


Below is a list of ten tips to help you open up the small spaces in your home to appear larger and inviting to prospective buyers.



  1. The use of light colors such as pastels, neutrals and white are a better alternative to “bright” or dark colors.


  1. For your furniture, rugs, etc. you should select different shades and textures of the one color you select from above.


  1. Lighting is critical when trying to create an illusion of a larger space. Recessed lighting is ideal for smaller spaces. In the event that this option is too costly, torchiere lighting is a viable alternative as the light bounces off the ceiling and back into the room.


  1. Declutter the room.


  1. A light colored floor and ceiling will open up the room and make it appear larger.


  1. Mirrors are a must as they add dimension to the room by reflecting images, light and colors. Mirrors provide a “see through” feel to the room.


  1. Remove large bulky furniture from the room. One or two smaller pieces placed closer to the walls are better than one large piece of furniture in the middle of the room.


  1. Don’t clutter the walls with a collection of pictures. Replace the many pictures with one larger picture or painting.


  1. Take advantage of the view of your yard and bring the outside in by allowing prospective buyers to see out into your flowerbeds or gardens.


  1. Glass tables such as a dining table, end table or coffee table will maintain the “open” and airy feel in a small space.

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right For You?

by Samia S. Morgan

A reverse mortgage provides a way for seniors to borrow against the equity in their home with no repayment due until the homeowner dies, moves or sells. Any remaining equity after repayment goes to the borrower or the estate.

A reverse mortgage may be of benefit if:

  • You need cash assets or income and have no other source available.
  • You are unable or unwilling to sell your house.
  • You do not care what the costs are to get the income or assets you need. (Recent law has helped limit the outrageous costs of reverse mortgages.)
  • You have no concern about which assets are left to your heirs.

    Make sure you thoroughly scrutinize all costs and provisions.

    Other possible solutions to increase income or get to assets are selling the home to family members or establishing a home-equity credit line on the house.

    — Drew Tignanelli, president of the Financial Consulate in Lutherville, Md.

    Yes, if your sources of retirement income (savings, investments, pensions, Social Security) no longer cover your spending. But using the equity in your home should be a last resort after all other resources have been exhausted.

    The payments to the homeowner from a reverse mortgage can be received in the form of a monthly annuity, lump sum or revolving line of credit. Compared with a typical home-equity line of credit, establishing a reverse mortgage carries significant fees, so the decision to obtain one should be extensively evaluated.

    You should make sure it is a reverse mortgage under the Federal Housing Administration Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program so that mortgage insurance will cover the lender if the proceeds from the eventual sale of the home are not sufficient to pay the amount owed.

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    Contact Information

    Photo of Samia S. Morgan, Inc. Real Estate
    Samia S. Morgan, Inc.
    dba Samia Realty Group
    BRE# 00967165
    San Mateo CA 94403