House-hunters in Plymouth would be put off by evidence of smoking, report finds
NEARLY 70 per cent of people in Plymouth would be put off buying a house where there is evidence of smoking, a report has revealed.
New research reveals lighting up indoors can drastically affect the value of your house.
The statistics come out of a survey of 823 house-hunters in the region commissioned by Smokefree South West to find out how smoking affects the buying process.
It revealed that 69 per cent of those surveyed in Plymouth would be put off making an offer on a house where smoking has affected the interior of the property, leading to discoloured walls and smelly carpets. Regionally the figure for the South West was 57 per cent.
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Of those Plymouth house-hunters who would offer on a "smoking house", more than 26 per cent said they would take more than £10k off the asking price to compensate for work to clear the house of smoking damage.
43 per cent would expect a discount of £5,000 to 10,000, and more than 31 per cent would lower their offer by up to £5,000.
The average discount expected by house-hunters in Plymouth responding to the survey was £9,350. The average figure for the South West region as a whole was £10,540.
Of those surveyed, 45 per cent said the cost of removing the smell of smoking would be the factor most likely to put them off moving into a new home. A further 21 per cent were worried about the cost of repainting the walls while 17 per cent had health concerns about third-degree smoke captured in second-hand carpets.
Meanwhile nearly 40 per cent gave evidence of smoking damage as their biggest reason not to buy a property.
And of those surveyed who were smokers themselves, 34 per cent said they would prefer to buy a home which had not been smoked in.
Fiona Andrews, director of Smokefree South West, said: "This research shows a smoke free home is good for your wealth as well as your health.
"In these hard recessionary times we all want to get the best possible price when selling our homes. The findings of this new research are particularly tough on smokers, showing that in line with the very popular smoke free restaurants, pubs and workplaces, the general public now expect the new homes they buy to smell fresh and clean too.
"However there is some good, practical help at hand on how to not only make your home fully smoke free but keep the value up too.
"Clear evidence has shown that toxic chemicals from second-hand smoke can linger on everything from sofas to carpets and toys, for months after a cigarette has been extinguished. Invisible to the naked eye, these toxins can harm the health of families and in particular very young children with their developing immune systems and respiratory organs, as they swallow twice as much household dust as adults.
"Because these poisonous chemicals are smaller than dust particles, just opening a window or standing in the kitchen by an open door isn't enough. That's why our South West campaign recommends 'Smoke Outside' – meaning right outside."
Smokefree South West, which campaigns to reduce smoking rates in the region, is urging smokers across the South West to smoke outside their homes.
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