Smoking Destroy's Your House Value and Worth!
If all the evidence and health warnings haven't scared you in to quitting smoking, maybe the damage to your home's value might work. And yes, I can speak to this, being a former smoker of almost 2 packs a day for 30 years. Today is one full week of not smoking and it feels great! Seems to be a trend lately, my business partner Greg Hancock also a two pack a day smoker has been free of the habit now for 38 days having quite on January 22. I don't mind saying it's hard, but entirely worth it.
House Value; Evidence of Smoking's Effect on Worth
Some recent events have compiled to give one pause about whether the real estate industry — and, of course, consumers — might want to take a longer, harder look when it comes to the buying or selling of smokers' homes. Too, you may want to get more familiar with a new, all to real and frightening term "third-hand smoke."
A recent study of Ontario Canada real estate agents suggests that smoking can actually significantly damage a house and drastically reduce the value by thousands. Pollsters found in talking with expert real estate agents that having a regular smoker in a home can reduce the property's value by 20 percent on average. Ouch! The poll was commissioned by pharmaceutical manufacturing giant Pfizer, Canada.
"About 44 percent of the agents surveyed said smoking will reduce a home's value by some measure. Of these, one-third said the reduced value may range from 10 to 19 percent; another one-third said it could lower the value by 20 to 29 percent." - Chicago Tribune News on the Pfizer, Canada survey. "That is, of course, if the homes find buyers at all. A whopping 88 percent of the agents said that in any case, it's more difficult to sell homes where the residents are smokers."
Of course, pungent smells of any kind — smoke, spices, pet odor, mildew and mold, some chemicals (not the cleaning type) even a homeowner's profound affection for garlic can affect a home's sale price, though there's no solid formula for appraisers to reference or adhere to regarding these conditions. While the appraiser may give a decent value, on the market buyers may walk on by, "no thank you" until a drastic price drop well below market value makes it worth it. Even smoking only in the garage creates unpleasant experience for potential non-smoker buyers. You walk into the garage and it's positively overwhelming if you're a non-smoker.
Real Estate Effected by "Third-Hand Smoke"
People in general have become familiar with the concept of second-hand smoke, knowing there are serious risks, even if they don't know what those risks are. Second hand cigarette smoke is mix of exhaled smoke and the other toxic ilk that enters your atmosphere from off the end of a lit cigarette. Health effects aside, it' manifested as a serious concern in the real estate world especially regarding apartment and condo buildings where residents find themselves inadvertently inhaling it via shared ventilation and heating systems and seepage through walls. Some landlords, including some of the nation's largest ones, have banned smoking because of it.
People are developing a similar familiarity with third-hand smoke, a term that now makes its way into common usage in the real estate world and consumers. Third-hand smoke is what lingers after second-hand smoke has dissipated, the noxious residue of cigarette gases and particles that settles on carpets, drapes, dust and other surfaces of a room. There are various schools of thought about the real impact on health and house value with third-hand smoke. Disturb the carpet or drapes, you're releasing some of that toxic poison back into breathable air, as if the smell wasn't bad enough.
Third-hand smoke odor is nearly impossible to be rid of. I was just in a totally rehabbed ex-smokers house, and new ceiling stucco, fresh paint, new carpet and window treatments and the home still reeked of cigarettes, just with fresh paint and carpet mixed in. My clients noticed the funk as soon as they walked in the door and said "no thanks".
Third Hand Smoke in The House; Difficult to Eradicate & Dangerous
Recently, researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California claimed that they have shown that third-hand smoke causes significant damage to human cells. It's carcinogenic, they say, and humans can be exposed to it through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.
"Tobacco-specific nitrosamines, a group of the chemical compounds found in third-hand smoke, are among the most potent and health threatening carcinogens there are," Lara Gundel, a Berkeley Lab scientist and co-author of the study, stated "This type of smoking carcinogen bonds and stays on surfaces, and when those surfaces are clothing or carpets, the danger to children is especially serious."
The researchers, whose work was published in the medical journal Mutagenesis, went on to point out that third-hand smoke is extremely difficult to eradicate. If that isn't enough, other studies found nitrosamines and other cigarette carcinogens in dust and on surfaces of rooms more than two months after smokers vacated. Vacuuming, wiping and improved ventilation had little impact on reducing contamination, the Lawrence Berkeley researchers stated. "The best solution, they said, is to substitute materials, such as changing out the carpet and repainting but that won't totally "cure" or remedy the toxic conditions completely."
Remember when homes permeated or overcome with mold became a hot and exploding legal issue? And though the medical effects were very disputed for a long time, now Realtors have to point out potential mold issues on properties, HUD homes and foreclosures have sticker disclaimers in windows citing "potential mold and health risk" verbiage that basically boils down to "enter at your own risk" ....
Sellers in most states have to sign a mold-disclosure form, this in addition to being forthcoming with knowledge of the presence of such health-impacting conditions such radon gas, asbestos and lead paint in the house. One wonders when smoking will make the the list too? Bear in mind, all of this is a serious turn-off for non-smoking buyers, and even some smoking buyers who never smoke inside at all.
Now you'll need to take a deep breath and ponder of all of this, but I recommend not inside a smoker's home.