Should I buy a house that smells like smoke?
You’ve spent months searching for your dream home, well at this point, it’s more like years. You have saved your pennies, applied for all of the grants, battled it out at auctions only to go home empty-handed. The homebuyer market is brutal. We know this. But imagine finding your dream home, in the perfect location, right across the street from the best schools, far enough from your parent’s place so they can babysit but not too close so that they’re around every other day. It’s in your price range; it’s got the porch swing- BUT… it reeks of cigarette smoke.
This begs the question, is it worth buying a smokers house?
If you’re a non-smoker (or even if you are not), the thought of committing to a house with cigarette smell permeating every corner of the house is less than desirable. So much so that the cigarette stench is even known to reduce the resale price by a staggering 29%. That’s not just because of the smell. The smell is, in fact, an indicator of a much larger issue. That being, third-hand smoke (THS). This can cling to surfaces all over the house, walls, air ducts, curtains, carpets, wood flooring.
But surely, there’s something you can do about it, right?
Here’s what you can do:
- Wash curtains and drapes and replace them if necessary. Odds are, if these curtains have been here a long time, merely cleaning them isn’t going to be enough.
- Clean floors and carpets. Depending on how intense the smell is, you can try starting with more minor fixes, such as a deodorising powder (like baking soda). You can also try steam cleaner for a deeper clean, and if that doesn’t work, it’s time to rip up the carpet and replace them! Flooring such as wood or tiles don’t trap the smell the same way; generally, a good vacuum and a decent floor cleaner will do the trick.
- From the windows to the walls- wash it all! A water/vinegar concentrate mix can work, but we suggest going straight for a professional product to start stripping away that odour and chemicals. Re-painting the walls and ceilings can also help to trap whatever lingers beneath the paint.
- Deep dive clean your HVAC system. This unit has been tackling this smoke for years and will need a thorough cleaning. This means getting a professional in to service them. Ordinarily, we suggest you do this every 3-6 months, but initially, you may need more frequent cleaning/servicing.
If you decide to go for it, get yourself an air filter and prepare to pour in extra costs to initially deal with this issue.