While January signals fitness, dieting, and physical and mental wellness, we thought it would be fun to look at the health of our homes, where we raise our kids, spend time with family, and find refuge every day. Tori McGee calls herself “a holistic realtor,” and believes real estate is the next frontier that will be radically transformed by the wellness movement. “Our homes, communities, and surrounding environment directly affect our daily behaviors and lifestyles, and together these determine up to 80–90 percent of our health outcomes,” she says.
When she lists a property or shows homes to clients, she has a checklist a mile long. Determining whether a home is “clean” means looking for power lines, testing with a EMF Meter (measuring ambient electromagnetic fields), and looking for water leaks and musty smells. Tori’s inspection vendors test for radon levels, mold/air quality, septic or sewer scopes, and superfund sites requiring long-term response to clean up hazardous material contaminations.
We asked Tori how, in the current market, buyers have the luxury of asking more questions before putting in an offer. “I always reach out to the listing agent to find out what the seller's needs are. We have had to make a few adjustments to our offer and timelines, we will not forfeit a quality home inspection even in a competitive market,” says Tori, founder of Non-Toxic Georgia.
Homeowners can make small changes before listing, she says.
“Start with removing the plug-ins and toxic air freshener or candles. Use essential oils with a diffuser, or air purifiers,” she says. "Make repairs prior to listing, fix water leaks rotten wood, and address any mold or high radon levels. Switch from toxic pesticides for lawn care and bug control to a nontoxic local company and clean carpets wisely."
We talked to A4 Carpet Cleaning to find out how they tackle dirt naturally. “Your first line of defense is to vacuum your carpets regularly using a HEPA filtered vacuum with good suction,” says owner Timothy M. Lom. “Regular vacuuming and professional cleaning keeps carpet fibers from getting dull so your carpet will stay cleaner and look brighter longer.” His company uses anti-redeposition agents that help repel soil from the fiber to keep the fiber cleaner longer. “All solutions are non-toxic, soap and residue-free with no VOCs, making them green-friendly as well as child and pet safe!”
Leading the way, Tori believes real estate is the next frontier that will be radically transformed by the wellness movement. "Since our homes are typically our most important personal investment and expenditure, it is only logical that they should also be an investment in our health and wellbeing. I work hard with families that best fit their concerns."