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Would you buy a house that smells of fags?

(36 Posts)
Willow108 Fri 04-Mar-16 12:44:35

Just that really.

We are viewing houses at the minute. We saw one yesterday that would be a contender but it really smells badly of cigarette smoke. The house is about 12 years old and I think the current owners have been there (and presumably smoking) all of that time. I detest cigarette smoke and don't know would this go over time? Does anyone have any experience of this? Should we run for the hills?

Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Fri 04-Mar-16 12:46:19

Depends - it will be in the carpet and curtains and wall papers -

A good wash and clean carpets will sort that - wallpaper a bit more work -

If the house is right anything can be sorted

CarcerDun Fri 04-Mar-16 12:48:21

I bought a property that had been smoked in and it didn't smell of smoke. Getting rid of the ingrained tar in every wall and fitting was atrocious. I personally wouldn't touch with a barge pole if it actually smelt of smoke.

CarcerDun Fri 04-Mar-16 12:50:18

...but if you love the place, it can be sorted. Just take into account the work you will need to do when you put in an offer. All carpets and soft furnishings will need changing, walls will need a lot of work.

linspins Fri 04-Mar-16 12:51:05

It depends on how much you love the house, and how much you are thinking of decorating. My brother bought a house like this, and washed carpets and curtains, and painted some walls...but it does still smell every so faintly. Only people not living there can smell it though, cos you get used to the smell of your own house. My brother hasn't properly decorated yet because he is waiting to do major renovations and this will be part of it.
If you are going to have new carpets and paintwork, and your own curtains, I'm sure it will be fine. If you really love the house, go for it.

NoSquirrels Fri 04-Mar-16 12:51:30

Depends on your tolerance. SIL has just bought a house that smokers were in - it wasn't obvious to me when we first looked round as she moved in, but as soon as the heating's been on for a bit and it warms up there's a distinct musty whiff.

As PP said, washing walls & professional cleaning of carpets a must. Possibly price up replacing the carpets entirely. Full redecoration - paint & paper. Don't let them leave their stinky curtains even as a stop-gap!

If you detest cigarette smoke, and it really stinks, then you'll need to pay a lot to get it back to standard so you need to factor that in (both monetary & hassle) to the offer you make.

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Fri 04-Mar-16 12:52:58

My parents bought a house that had previously been smoked in. They've had it 10 years now, and in that time completely redecorated, changed carpets/curtains etc, and it continues to smell of smoke, albeit faintly now. I'd avoid

NickMarlow Fri 04-Mar-16 12:54:04

We did, we were first time buyers and the house (and price) was great apart from that.

It was grim but sortable. We were renting so had a weeks overlap. Stripped wallpaper in the living room, which was the worst room, redeocrated living room, kitchen and main bedroom, washed all the carpets, scrubbed all the surfaces, inside cupboards etc. With all the windows open to air the house, in February!

The worst of the smell was gone before we moved in, but it did take a while to go even after that. With lots of airing the house, cleaning, and plug in air freshener things it did go eventually.

Top tip - cut up an onion and leave it in the worst room!

Bitchrestingface Fri 04-Mar-16 12:57:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bitchrestingface Fri 04-Mar-16 12:59:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Willow108 Fri 04-Mar-16 13:00:40

Thanks for all your posts everyone. They are sort of reassuring and sort of not! It sounds like it will be a lot of hassle and effort to get rid of the smoke residue but good to hear it can be done. The house is quite new and on at a high asking price so its not as if we can do work to it and it will go up in value, it probably won't. For the price it is on at and for a house of its age, it should ideally come without this issue I'm thinking.

Cuttheraisins Fri 04-Mar-16 13:02:57

I would if it was the right house. We usually have everything cleaned when we move forward n anyway and usually have a decorator to clean the walls and paint, so if you calculate that cost into the moving in cost anyway it's no problem.

Willow108 Fri 04-Mar-16 13:03:13

bitchrestingface that is an impressive profit, well done on your hard work! I don't think we could manage to take on a house we have to refurbish, how much of your time did you have to devote to it?

pinkcan Fri 04-Mar-16 13:04:22

You will have to completely gut every room IMO, repaint every wall and ceiling. I wouldn't buy it personally.

NoonAim Fri 04-Mar-16 13:05:04

When I was young, almost all houses used to smell of fags.
We had to scrub the walls and ceilings of our first flat to get the tar off.

Wouldn't do it now, far too much work.

SmellySourdough Fri 04-Mar-16 13:06:23

if it comes from the current occupant, i.e. can be resolved by cleaning/airing, then yes.
if it comes from neighbours (terrace?) then no way!

Willow108 Fri 04-Mar-16 13:17:40

Even hearing the word tar is so off-putting NoonAim

smellysourdough it is a detached house, so it all comes from the current owners.

Bitchrestingface Fri 04-Mar-16 13:35:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeadDreamer Fri 04-Mar-16 13:45:52

No. There are plenty of other houses and it can be quite hard to get rid of all the smell.

Tiggeryoubastard Fri 04-Mar-16 13:52:28

No, wouldn't even consider it. Friends made the mistake and had all the problems above, without a permanent fix. I'd not even complete a viewing on a house that smelt of smoke, I find it repulsive.

StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Fri 04-Mar-16 14:07:35

It would seriously put me off and have an impact on what I'd be willing to pay. We've been looking at houses and even the vaguest whiff of smoke really, really puts me off. Even where people clearly don't smoke in the house, things like cupboards with coats in them often stink of it. And the bedrooms have a whiff of it that must, presumably, be coming from clothes in the wardrobe or the bed sheets picking up smells for people's skin.

I think I might be super-sensitive to the smell of smoke though, because DH doesn't always pick up on it until I point it out.

Bearbehind Fri 04-Mar-16 14:10:33

I think bitchrestingface situation is quite different to yours OP as that house was at least 60 years old and cheap therefore it sounds like it needed rewiring/ re plastering etc regardless of the smell of smoke so all the cost of removing the smell would have been incurred anyway IYSWIM.

In a 12 year old house I wouldn't expect to have to strip the house back to the bones but you will need to to get rid of the smell- it gets everywhere.

If it really stinks, as a minimum you'll need to remove and replace all the carpets and window dressings and scrub and repaint all the walls and woodwork.

Obviously this comes at a price - it's just a case of deciding if it's worth it/ you can afford it.

RatherBeRiding Fri 04-Mar-16 14:14:19

Mu current house reeked of cigarette smoke but there was no tar-ry residue on walls/ceilings (think it had been redecorated to put on the market). I changed the downstairs carpet, washed the curtains and spent a few weeks with plug-in air fresheners in every room, left windows open for as long as I could, sprayed Febreeze on everything. It took a few weeks, but it did work and there was/is absolutely no smell now (apart from dogs, but that's a different story!) grin

Bearbehind Fri 04-Mar-16 14:14:51

Meant to add, all fitted furniture- including the kitchen - will stink too and need to be replaced if you really want to get rid of the smell.

tictactoad Fri 04-Mar-16 14:23:27

We have done it twice. Second time was way worse than the first. Old boy's wife had died eighteen months previously having been a heavy smoker and he chugged a pipe.

We had the windows open for weeks on end (in November) although even then I had a headache every day, got rid of the curtains and eventually the carpet but redecorating was the main solution. The carpet smelt on warm days right up until it went but if I really loved the house I'd do it all again.

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