Should I Use My House to Finance a New Car?

According to Kelley Blue Book, the average price for a light vehicle in the United States was almost $38,000 in March 2020. Of course, the sticker price will depend on whether you want a small economy car, a luxury midsize sedan, an SUV or something in between. But the total you pay for a vehicle also depends on a number of other factors if you’re taking out a car loan.

Get the 4-1-1 on financing a car so you can make the best decision for your next vehicle purchase.

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Decide Whether to Finance a Car

Whether or not you should finance your next vehicle purchase is a personal decision. Most people finance because they don’t have an extra $20,000 to $50,000 they want to part with. But if you have the cash, paying for the car outright is the most economical way to purchase it.

For most people, deciding whether to finance a car comes down to a few considerations:

  • Do you need the vehicle enough to warrant making a monthly payment on it for several years?
  • Does the monthly payment work within your personal budget?
  • Is the deal, including the interest rate, appropriate?

Factors to Consider When Financing a Car

Obviously, the first thing to consider is whether you can afford the vehicle. But to understand that, you need to consider a few factors.

  • Total purchase price. Total purchase price is the biggest impact on how much you’ll pay for the car. It includes the price of the car plus any add-ons that you’re financing. Depending on the state and your own preferences, that might include extra options on the vehicle, taxes and other fees and warranty coverage.
  • Interest rate, or APR. The interest rate is typically the second biggest factor in how much you’ll pay overall for a car you finance. APR sounds complex, but the most important thing is that the higher it is, the more you pay over time. Consider a $30,000 car loan for five years with an interest rate of 6%—you pay a total of $34,799 for the vehicle. That same loan with a rate of 9% means you pay $37,365 for the car.
  • The terms. A loan term refers to the length of time you have to pay off the loan. The longer you extend terms, the less your monthly payment is. But the faster you pay off the loan, the less interest you pay overall. Edmunds notes that the current average for car loans is 72 months, or six years, but it recommends no more than five years for those who can make the payments work.

It’s important to consider the practical side of your vehicle purchase. If you take out a car loan for eight years, is your car going to still be in good working order by the time you get to the last few years? If you’re not careful, you could be making a large monthly payment while you’re also paying for car repairs on an older car.

Buying a Car with No Credit

You can buy a car anytime if you have the cash for the purchase. If you have no credit or bad credit, your options for financing a car might be limited. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a car loan without credit.

Many banks and lenders are willing to work with people with limited credit histories. Your interest rate will likely be higher than someone with excellent credit can command, though. And you might be limited on how much you can borrow, so you probably shouldn’t start looking at luxury SUVs. One tip for increasing your chances is to put as much cash down as you can when you buy the car.

If you can’t get a car loan on your own, you might consider a cosigner. There are pros and cons to asking someone else to sign on your loan, but it can get you into the credit game when the door is otherwise barred.

Personal Loans v. Car Loans: Which One Is Better?

Many people wonder if they should use a personal loan to buy a car or if there is really any difference between these types of financing. While technically a car loan is a loan you take out personally, it’s not the same thing as a personal loan.

Personal loans are usually unsecured loans offered over relatively short-term periods. The funds you get from a personal loan can typically be used for a variety of purposes and, in some cases, that might include buying a car. There are some great reasons to use a personal loan to buy a car:

  • If you’re buying a car from a private seller, a personal loan can hasten the process.
  • Traditional auto loans typically require full coverage insurance for the vehicle. A personal loan and liability insurance may be less expensive.
  • Lenders typically aren’t interested in financing cars that aren’t in driving shape, so if you’re buying a project car to work on in your garage during your downtime, a personal loan may be the better option.

But personal loans aren’t necessarily tied to the car like an auto loan is. That means the lender doesn’t necessarily have the ability to repossess the car if you stop paying the loan. Since that increases the risk for the lender, they may charge a higher interest rate on the loan than you’d find with a traditional auto loan. Personal loans typically have shorter terms and lower limits than auto loans as well, potentially making it more difficult for you to afford a car using a personal loan.

Steps You Should Follow When Financing a Car

Before you jump in and apply for that car loan, review these six steps you should take first.

1. Check your credit to understand whether you are likely to be approved for a loan. Your credit also plays a huge role in your interest rate. If your credit is too low and your interest rate would be prohibitively high, it might be better to wait until you can build or repair your credit before you get an auto loan. Sign up for ExtraCredit to see 28 of your FICO scores from all three credit bureaus.

2. Research auto loan options to find the ones that are right for you. Avoid applying too many times, as these hard inquiries can drag your credit score down with hard inquiries. The average auto loan interest rate is 27% on 60-month loans (as of April 13, 2020).

3. Get your trade-in appraised. The dealership might give you money toward your trade-in. That reduces the price of the car you purchase, which reduces how much you need to borrow. A few thousand dollars can mean a more affordable loan or even the difference between being approved or not.

4. Get prequalified for a loan online. While most dealers will help you apply for a loan, you’re in a better buying position if you walk into the dealership with funding ready to go. Plus, if you’re prequalified, you have a good idea what you can get approved for, so there are fewer surprises.

5. Buy from a trusted dealer. Unfortunately, there are dealerships and other sellers that prey on people who need a car badly. They may charge high interest or sell you a car that’s not worth the money you pay. No matter your financial situation, always try to work with a dealership that you can trust.

6. Talk to your car insurance company. Different cars will carry different car insurance premiums. Make a call to your insurance company prior to the sale to discuss potential rate changes so you’re not surprised by a higher premium after the fact.

Next to buying a home, buying a car is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life, and you’ll likely do it more than once. Make sure you understand the ins and outs of financing a car before you start the process.


Progressive Insurance Review: Car, Motorcycle, Home

  • Car Insurance

The Progressive Insurance company was founded in the 1930s and currently has a revenue of over $30 billion. It supplies insurance policies to millions of Americans and, in some states, it’s one of the cheapest providers. In this Progressive insurance review, we’ll look at Progressive’s coverage options and rates to see if they’re the right choice for you.

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Progressive Insurance Coverage

Progressive offers all the traditional car insurance options, including bodily injury liability insurance, property damage insurance, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, and underinsured/uninsured motorist cover. Policyholders can also choose from a number of optional add-ons and benefit from a host of other features, including:

Roadside Assistance

​With roadside assistance, you’ll get help when you’re stranded by the side of the road. Roadside assistance will cover you for services such as towing and tire changes, as well as other basic services.

Rental Car Coverage

Adding rental car coverage to your auto insurance policy will ensure your life doesn’t grind to a halt when your car is stolen or in the shop. You will be given a rental car for those few weeks, allowing you to continue your life as normal.

If you have another car or can make alternative arrangements, you can probably skip this.

Gap Insurance

Gap insurance steps in to cover the difference between the insurance payout and the value of the car. It is required when your car is financed and ensures that the full bill is covered, and you’re not left to pay the remainder.

With gap insurance from Progressive, you will get cover for up to 25% of the car’s value.

Custom Parts

A special auto policy addition that pays for custom equipment and parts. If you add anything of high value to your car, it might not be covered elsewhere with traditional insurance policies but will be covered with this addition from Progressive.

Cover for Other Vehicles

Progressive can insure new cars and old cars; sports cars and SUVs. But you can also get insurance for boats, ATVs, motorcycles, and commercial vehicles. In fact, Progressive is considered one of the best insurers of motorbikes and offers extensive and affordable cover.

Claim Free Deductible

If you choose to opt-in to this program, your deductible will drop by $50 every 6 months that you remain claim-free. If you continue to stay safe on the roads and avoid those costly claims, your deductible can go all the way down to zero.

Pet Injury Protection

This feature is offered free of charge to every policyholder with collision coverage. It will pay for vet bills if your pet is injured during a car accident. This is a rare but very welcome addition, as animals are just as exposed as humans during car accidents.


SnapShot is Progressive’s driver monitoring app. It monitors your driving habits and the insurer then uses this information to tweak your premiums. If you’re a safe driver and think you deserve better rates based on your driving habits, sign up for this program. 

SnapShot is offered in 46 states, with the exceptions being California, Alaska, Hawaii, and North Carolina. Similar apps exist with other insurance companies, albeit with different names, including DriveWise from Allstate, DriveSense from Esurance, and DriveEasy from GEICO.

Rideshare Insurance

Rideshare insurance is designed for Uber and Lyft drivers and covers them when they have paying customers in their car. Whether you’re working for these ridesharing companies full time or just doing a few hours a week, it’s worth looking into this coverage.

Other Types of Insurance

Progressive offers homeowner’s insurance that covers your home, garage, and outbuildings. It also offers something known as Progressive HomeQuote, which encourages you to compare Progressive rates with those offered by other providers.

Not only can you take advantage of bundling discounts when getting your home insurance and car insurance together, you can also secure additional homeowners insurance discounts, such as:

  • Alarms and other safety devices designed to reduce the threat of theft and criminality.
  • Getting a quote at least 10 days before your policy ends.
  • Paying the policy upfront.
  • Going paperless.
  • Purchasing a new home or going from a renter to a homeowner.

Progressive Car Insurance Quotes

One of the best features about Progressive is something known as Name Your Price. The idea is simple, you set a price based on your budget and Progressive will tell you how much coverage you can get. It also has a comparison tool that makes it easy to check Progressive’s rates against those offered by other auto insurance companies.

Combine this with Progressive’s mobile app, which is equally feature-rich and helpful, and you have an auto insurance provider that makes it incredibly easy to find affordable coverage to meet your needs. 

Progressive is not quite as cheap as GEICO in the majority of states and for the majority of demographics, but it does have very competitive car insurance rates. What’s more, the nature of insurance and the fact there are so many variables at play, means it’s highly likely that Progressive will have the cheapest rates and the best coverage for some applicants.

Progressive Car Insurance Discounts

You can take advantage of a number of car insurance discounts to bring your insurance rates down and save huge sums across the board. Available discounts include:

Multi-Policy and Multi-Car

Car insurance companies want your business and will do everything they can to get it. Purchase a single auto policy from them and they will encourage you to add additional cars and drivers to the policy. If you own your own home, they may also offer you homeowners insurance.

By accepting these offers, you can save around 30% on your Progressive insurance. You’ll also simplify the application and claims process, as you only have to deal with one company and can familiarize yourself with their process.

Good Student Discount

Many states encourage insurance providers to offer discounts for good students, with these discounts typically offered for drivers who achieve and maintain at least a B average.

Discounts are also offered for students who live on campus and therefore spend less time at home and behind the wheel. These discounts are essential if you have a teen driver on your policy as they are some of the highest risk drivers and are forced to pay a huge premium as a result.

Payment Discounts

By opting to go paperless, paying upfront or using the Auto-Pay feature, policyholders can shave a few percentage points off their car insurance policies. The savings are minor when compared to other discounts, but they are also available to most customers and are easy to acquire.

Progressive Reviews and Claims Satisfaction

According to JD Power, Progressive has a rating of “Above Average” for insurance shopping and for claims satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Progressive also has stacks of great reviews from users and experts alike.

There’s nothing amazing here, nothing to suggest that Progressive is better than most other providers when it comes to customer support, claims, and ease-of-use, but it works both ways, as there’s also nothing to suggest that it’s one of the worst, either.

Bottom Line: Progressive Auto Insurance Review

Whether you’re a safe driver in New York or you have a bad driving history in Kentucky, we recommend comparing Progressive insurance premiums to what other insurers are offering. The more companies you include in your comparison search, the more likely you are to get the best cover at the most affordable price.

What’s more, if you need boat insurance or motorcycle insurance, Progressive should be near the very top of your list of priorities.


The Essential Items To Put On Your First Apartment Kitchen Checklist

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Apartminty Fresh Picks | Lamps For Your Apartment | Light Up Your Life

You may have caught on by now that we absolutely adore all things apartments… the hottest listings, apartment living hacks and of course, apartment decor! While we often collect our favorite things on our Pinterest boards, we thought we’d bring some shoppable inspiration over to the blog in the form of Apartminty Fresh Picks. This week, we’re bringing you all of the essentials you need to put on your first apartment kitchen checklist to make sure you’re fully set up in your first apartment.



  Pots & Pans

  Cooking Knives

  Cooking Utensils

  Cutting Boards

  Oven Mitts

  Dish Towels

  Dish Drying Rack

  Bakeware Set

  Trash & Recycling Bins

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First Apartment Kitchen Essentials Checklist
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First Apartment Kitchen Essentials Checklist
Moving into your first apartment and don’t know where to begin with your shopping? Here are the essentials to put on your first apartment kitchen checklist.
Maddie Coite
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Stretch Your Money Further With This Unique Spending Freeze

You’ve likely heard of people who do a spending freeze for a month.

One month a year, they challenge themselves to only spend a certain amount on groceries, entertainment, and other non-fixed expenses.  This amount is usually well below the amount that they usually spend, and for many people, it’s a struggle.

I’ve done a spending freeze in the past, but not for several years now as my kids are much older and unexpected expenses for kids tend to pop up with surprising regularity.

I recently heard of a variation on the spending freeze that I’m excited to try.  I think this way of doing a spending freeze can have a real impact on my budget without affecting the rest of my family, especially the older kids, too much.

the one week spending fast

the one week spending fast

The One Week Spending Freeze

For one week a month, choose one particular category in your budget, and don’t spend any money in that category for the week.

Choose A Category And Cut The Spending

So, if you normally spend $150 a week on groceries, take one week and just don’t make a trip to the grocery store.  That means you’ll be digging deep into your pantry and freezer and eating what you already have.  You may have some interesting food combos; you may have to rely on frozen veggies and fruit instead of fresh, but it’s only seven days.  Unless you have a barren pantry and freezer, you’ll survive.  You’ll eat up less desirable food that normally gets overlooked, and you’ll save yourself $150.  Over the course of a year, if you do this every month, you’ll shave $1,800 off your grocery bill.

Perhaps the next week, pick a different category.  If you choose cleaning products and you take a week hiatus, maybe you clean with something you have around the house, or maybe you learn how to make your own cleaner thanks to YouTube and some basic cleaning supplies you already have like baking soda and vinegar.

Another category ripe for a one week freeze is the eating out budget. How much could you save if you and everyone in your family just said no to eating out and fast food for one week?

Take a look at entertainment.  Maybe you have a subscription to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon.  What if you just put those subscriptions on hold for one week?  Instead of paying for movies and television shows, try a new approach.  Rent DVDs from the library instead or only watch shows on the Internet that you can get for free.  Watch people on YouTube.  There are plenty of free viewing options.  This may be one category that, after going without for a week, you find is not so difficult to pause your online subscriptions for a month to save $20 to $40.

One Week Spending Freeze – Realistic And Less Painful

The nice thing about these one-week challenges is that they are completely doable.

You’re only fasting from spending in ONE category for ONE week.

Doing this for seven days requires a lot less will power than trying to do it for a month.  And because it’s so much easier, you’re much more likely to succeed and do these challenges more often.

You Decide How Challenging You Want The Month To Be

With the one week spending freeze you decide how challenging you want the month to be.

Maybe you’ll only have one spending freeze in one category for one week a month, or maybe you’ll choose one category a week to have a spending freeze every week.

The first week of the month you’ll have a cleaning products spending freeze, the second week a grocery spending freeze, the third week an eating out spending freeze, and the fourth week an entertainment spending freeze.  Either way you choose, you’ll be saving yourself money, and that can really add up over the course of a month.

Have you had a spending freeze?  If so, do you try to save money on all variable accounts, or do you try to choose one category as I’m suggesting here?  Have you had success with your spending freeze?


Homie Highlight: Tahni Harr

Title: Listing Agent

Our selling agents are here day or night to help you get the most out of your home. We wanted to highlight Tahni, whose love of organization and details has really helped her find her niche here at Homie.

Tahni’s Background

Tahini started her journey in real estate while working with a property management company in Utah. She quickly discovered her passion for drafting, negotiating, and executing contracts. She knew that real estate would be a perfect fit for her. She quickly realized that the traditional way of real estate wasn’t for her. That’s when she found Homie, and she found the place to pursue her passion.

Why Homie?

Working for a traditional brokerage made her realize there had to be a better way. She felt the competitive nature cold and unfeeling, she was left feeling like the only reason she was there was to cold call and bother all of her friends and family. Here at Homie, she has been able to grow and flourish in the company culture creating lifelong friends and incredible mentors that have helped show her how best to help her clients . For Thani, Homie was the answer to a broken system. This is a way for sellers to have a great experience, all while keeping the equity in their pockets.

“Owning a home obviously has financial benefits such as equity and tax benefits. Homeownership is also linked to stability, security, wealth, and overall happiness. Furthermore, homeownership plays a key role in building strong, stable communities. I believe everyone should have that opportunity, which is why I work for Homie.” Tahni said.

Join the Disruption

If you want a career you love, want to help change the lives of others, and want to join a company in disrupting the real estate industry, check out careers at Homie!

Want to learn more about what Homie real estate agents do for their clients? Click here.

Read other Homie stories:

Homie Highlight: Dara Evans
Homie Highlight: Janet Espinoza
Homie Highlight: Adrienne Allen
Homie Highlight: Sam Lindros
Homie Highlight: Michael Herrera
Homie Highlight: Wayne Graham
Homie Highlight: Krysten Giordano


How to Afford Living Alone

Young man sitting in living room and budgeting for first apartment Face it: your parents, while so generous for letting you stay, aren’t exactly your ideal roommates. And your other options range from “friends who would be terrible to live with” and “random people on Craigslist that scare you a little.” When it’s finally time to cut the cord and live on your own though, you may wonder, “Can I afford to live on my own?” Check out these tips to find out how you can better prepare for solo apartment living and plan for the costs that you may have overlooked!

Go into it with some savings. Your initial budget may be enough to get you by, but having some extra cash in your back pocket will help out in the case of an emergency. Tires go flat and pants rip. Unexpected expenses are a fact of life.

Check for hidden fees. Apartment pricing varies, especially when it comes to what’s included and what’s not. Ask about fees that may not be included in your rent. For instance, some apartment communities may have you pay a trash fee, parking fee, or application fee in addition to your monthly rent. And if your unit doesn’t come with a washer or dryer, consider the fact that you’ll have to use the complex’s laundry room or head to the nearest laundromat. Keeping these things in mind is a good way to make sure your budget is accurate.

Don’t forget living expenses. While it may seem like all you have to pay for is your apartment, you’ve still gotta eat! And see the city’s sights, go out with friends, etc… Have you accounted for groceries, electricity, water, internet, cable, or a television streaming service? Insert, “Oh yes, I do need to pay for that,” here!

Get your furniture on the cheap. There’s no need to buy brand new furniture for your solo pad. Consider friends and family that are selling their furniture, as well as garage sales and secondhand shops. You can get some great deals without busting the bank. And while you’re doing the math, consider renting furniture too. In the long run, you’ll save money on moving trucks, boxes, and supplies.

Become your own personal chef. Eating out costs more than cooking for yourself. Buying your lunch instead of packing your own costs $2,000 a year on average, says Business Insider. Cooking at home can leave you with more cash in your pocket at the end of the month, but it’s also a skill that you should learn to pick up as an adult. Don’t want to cook for one? Host a potluck and have friends bring food over to spice things up!

Rent a smaller apartment. Your new castle will be fit for royalty no matter what size it is – because you’ll be in it! There’s no need to have an extra room or office, especially when you’re looking for the most affordable route. Keep it simple by renting a studio apartment or one-bedroom apartment.

Think you’re ready to head out on your own? We hope so! Choosing a small apartment, like a studio, is one of the best ways to afford life on your own. Use to find your first studio apartment and you could earn up to $200 in rewards! That’s $200 towards your first month of groceries – because yes, you do need to eat!


How to Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Bathroom

Mold growths on the walls, ceiling or shower curtain of the average bathroom are an all too common (not to mention disgusting) reality.

Although it can grow anywhere in the home, the bathroom is prime real estate because mold thrives in moist areas with lots of humidity.

So, while those steamy showers might be making you look nice and squeaky clean, it’s actually doing the opposite for your bathroom.

Although most people in good health don’t react badly to a little bit of indoor mold, it’s still possible to suffer adverse effects, like sore throat, chronic cough, sinus and nasal congestion, eye irritation and even skin rash. This happens because spores break off of the mold and get inhaled unknowingly. So, unless you enjoy your morning shower with a side of fungus, it’s probably a good idea to tackle the mold issue before it gets completely out of hand.

Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to banish the fungus from your space and kill bathroom mold once and for all.

1. Cut off mold at the source

It won’t matter how clean the bathroom is if there’s a water leak issue causing the mold to form. Check the space for water leaks in likely places, like pipes under the sink, faucets and the roof/ceiling. Once fixed, that should mitigate most of the threat of mold coming back uninvited.

2. Towel dry potentially moldy surfaces

Corners, crevices and shower curtains often collect water and refuse to let go. Leave the bathroom as dry as possible by toweling off mold-prone surfaces until they shine. It might sound like a pain, but it’s an excellent preventive measure and really doesn’t take long once you get used to it.

3. Make use of bathroom vents

Those bathroom vents are suited to do more than just remove unpleasant smells from the area. In fact, they suck out all the extra humidity post-steamy shower, so be sure to run them during and/or after you towel off for a while.

bathroom ventbathroom vent

4. Nix the carpet

Most bathrooms are tiled nowadays, but if yours is one of the few that remain carpeted, you should ask your property manager to rip up that mold haven and replace it with something that’s easier to clean and less likely to harbor fungi. Replace with floor mats that are easy-peasy to wash and dry, should they become soaked or dirty.

5. Limit bath and shower products

Ever picked up an old shampoo bottle or children’s bath toy, only to find an impressively disgusting colony of mold? Extra items give mold lots of space to hide under, behind and around, so toss anything that’s not totally necessary, and store what you do need in a caddy or on shelves that drain and dry out easily.

6. Keep the humidity low

Humidity levels more than 50 to 60 percent turn any space into a breeding ground for unwanted mold. Either spring for a higher air-conditioning bill by cranking it up a notch or place a dehumidifier in the area to do damage control.


Scrubbing mold away

Mold won’t just magically disappear if the humidity or other issues are fixed — it’ll still need to be cleaned up. Just make sure to do so safely to avoid mold spores in the respiratory system.

  • First, never scrub at mold with a dry brush because those spores will take flight. Instead, use plain old household vinegar to do the trick. Add white vinegar to a spray bottle and spritz the moldy areas liberally. Wait an hour and then clean the area with a towel and hot water.
  • Then, adequately dry the surface to prevent a mold reemergence. Sometimes vinegar doesn’t pack enough punch to totally kill bathroom mold. If that’s the case, move on to plan B, but keep the vinegar spray bottle around for regular treatments, as it’s ace at preventing mold growth.
  • The next option is to create a solution using baking soda and bleach to remove difficult mold stains. To do so, mix one cup of baking soda with one teaspoon of liquid soap. Then, add hot water until it forms a paste. Separately, mix two parts water with one part bleach and combine in a spray bottle with the baking soda mixture.
  • Spray the problem area with the solution and let it soak in. After it dries, spray again and start scrubbing with a brush. Rinse and inspect, then repeat if necessary.

Be proactive with mold

Mold might be sneaky, but people are smarter. All it takes to keep this nasty nuisance at bay is a little bit of well-timed prevention with the occasional bit of elbow grease for good measure.