The roof was flat–really nice for walking around on.
The first thing I noticed was the strong smell of cigarette smoke and I figured someone must be in the yard smoking–perhaps a neighbor. I walked around the perimeter of the roof performing the inspection, while at the same time keeping an eye out for the smoker.
Alas, there was no one in sight.
As I moved to the center of the roof, to where the chimney was, I noticed that the odor was getting stronger. The odor was actually coming out of the chimney–and nobody was home! I have often noticed household odors coming out of chimneys–cooking odors–perfume–pets. I had never smelled cigarette odors so strong that one would think someone was in the home smoking.
I continued the inspection, noting the yellow stained walls, ceilings, insides of ductwork, and general oppressive odors throughout the home.
I finished the inspection and headed home to work on the report.
The next morning I got a very nice email from my buyer thanking me for the “very comprehensive and impressive” report.
They had decided to back out of the deal because of the pervasive cigarette odors and the fact that her daughter insisted on taking a shower when they got home to “get the smell out of her nose.” Her dad complained of “nausea” and she herself had noticed funny odors in her own house only to discover that it was herself–having picked up the odors from the house on her clothes.
When I left the house–two days later–my jacket still smelled of cigarettes.
Sometimes houses smoke too much.
ps: While the above picture was not from this particular house–the message is still the same.
By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle
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