People who smoke often start by engaging in the habit outside, but they eventually end up smoking inside of their homes for convenience sake or to avoid bad weather. Because of this, there are plenty of smoked-in homes -- and eventually they end up in the real estate listings.
Buying a smoked-in home can be a bargain if you know what you're doing. The owners must often lower their price to entice buyers, as many are turned off by the yellowed walls and stale smell of cigarette smoke. Is buying a smoked-in home on the cheap a good choice for you? Consider these factors in making your decision.
The home will be a health hazard until you do something about the smoke.
Smoked-in homes don't just look and smell unattractive. They also present a health hazard. The tobacco residue that clings to the walls, carpets, and other surfaces can actually off-gas, releasing what is known as "third hand smoke." While inhaling this substance may not be as bad as smoking a cigarette yourself, it is still unhealthy as the third hand smoke contains the same carcinogens as first hand smoke. Over time, inhaling it increases your risk of lung cancer, liver problems, and heart disease. If you have allergies, you may also find being in a smoked-in home intolerable.
It's not just the walls that need painting.
Of course, the goal is to rehab the home so that there is no longer any evidence that a smoker lived there. However, this tends to be a lot harder than you might assume. Before you paint the walls, you'll need to coat them in a special primer to seal in the smoke residue. Otherwise, the residue will seep right through the paint, emitting the same third hand smoke.
And it's not just the walls that need painting. Any carpet must be ripped up, and the floor beneath may need to be sealed or replaced completely. Any ceiling tiles will need to be replaced, or you'll need to paint a hard-surface ceiling with the same sealer you use on the walls.
The costs of all these projects can really add up. And in some cases, completely sealing in the smoke may not even be possible, depending on the home's layout. To ensure you don't end up over your head financially, consider having a contractor give you an estimate for smoke-sealing a home before you make an offer to the owner.
Welcome to my website. My name is Larry Silva, and I want to talk a bit about private mortgage insurance. You may have heard the term PMI mentioned when you were in the process of purchasing real estate. When I first heard my lender talking about PMI, I was very confused. It was my realtor who sat me down and explained what private mortgage insurance was and when someone is required to purchase it. He told me that PMI is not lifelong insurance; it can be cancelled when the mortgage principal balance reaches a certain point. Once it was explained to me, private mortgage insurance was no longer a mystery or a confusing concept. I would like to pass on what I learned and hope that you find it to be of value.