Looking a house .... with strong smoke odor

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wrote:

I bought a 20yr old house from the only owners.
Wall to wall wallpaper..
They *did* get new carpet installed from lowes..
the smoke left outlines around the paintings, clocks, candles, etc.
I am slowly removing the wallpaper and painting..
2 coats of Oil base kilz (white pigment) -> then 2 coats of behr flat paint.. good as new no smoke smell..
I did get the vents cleaned and the carpet fumegated..
Helped ALOT!!!
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Thanks to all who answered. I think the best thing is to not consider that house. We did find another house, but this one has a musty oder apparently coming from the basement. I have noticed this in many houses in this area which is Franklin, NC. Now I have to look at what can be done with this new problem. This house had land with was perfect.
Joe wrote:

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I don't understand this modern approach to homebuying. Buyers demand "showroom perfect" in the house, down to the room colors of their choice.
I've seen folks turn down a $150,000 purchase because it needed a $200 water heater.
Whatever happened to buying a home "as is" Assuming it's the right neighborhood, the right price, and there's no major structural problems.....
We always bought a home knowing we'd be painting, landscaping, and doing some maintenance.
????

<rj>
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You see that all the time on those real estate shows like Sell This House. Oh! I don't like this shade of green paint! Amazes me every time. Hello, is the house laid out the way you like, is it where you want to live, blah blah, those are things you look for. A paint color? Give me a break.

Stupid people everywhere.

Exactly. Man, I never would have bought my house, rooms were painted pumpking orange and bright yellow. Not my thing. One room had canvas walls with a dark brown animal print. But the in ground pool was new and everything else was in working order. Couple of cans of paint and the crazy colors were gone. Like magic.
nancy
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90% want move in condition, and are usually buying the absolute most home they can afford. its a now generation, thats why credit cards tend to get out of control:(
having spent every last dime they dont have money for even minor repairs and demand showroom perfect.
I sold a home less than 3 years ago it was a nightmare, home was 60 years old buyer inspector wanted it to meet todays code in all respects.....
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Unfortunately that is a common and serious problem. Buildings are supposed to be inspected according to the codes that were in effect during construction or major renovation.
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<RJ> wrote:

Sure but a house that was trashed by smokers might be a lot more expensive to remediate than the usual paint job/simple maintenance type projects.
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wrote:

I don't think it's the buyers that started the change. I think its that the sellers started making the mistake of taking the realtor's advice too seriously. And the realtor doesn't care if it costs you $3,000 raise the price of the house by $1,000 and sell it to the third buyer instead of the 9th.
And as long as a significant fraction of home-sellers are willing to cater to the slightest dumb-ass whim of the "average" buyer, that's what said buyer is going to ask for.
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Goedjn wrote:

actually fix most things, however, if I find obvious defects in the house, I should be able to reduce the price by the amount needed to fix the problem.
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I know! There is a home buying show on TV where the buyers walk from room to room and make comments on the decorating. It's crazy. Why don't they go look at a brand new house!

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Yes, you can get rid of the "fairly strong smoking smell" -- hotels and convention centers do it regularly and effectively. If it were me, I'd use the odor removal problem as a method of negotiating down the price, rather than getting the current owner to do the cleaning work, for a lot of reasons -- among them, the current owner is not goping to be sensitive to the problem, will look for the least expensive way out, etc., plus since the odor strength is subjective, I don't know how you'd write a contract that stipulates the odor has to be removed before closing. The person that has to be satisfied with the results should be the one paying the bill.
I'd try for either a price reduction, or a rebate ($2K? $5K?) to you to have the work done. I would also spend some time with the manager of a 4 or 5 star hotel and get the specifics on what they do to remove smoke odors from their rooms (either meeeting rooms or no-smoking rooms that have been used by smokers.) As others have suggested, also contact a cleaning company such as Servpro that handles clean-up after fires. You may want to hire them to do the smoke smell removal. Regards --
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