Home that has been smoked in for 20 years
My husband and I recently sold our home and are currently renting and planning to build a new home on some land. Meanwhile, we found a small home that we could pay cash for and have zero mortgage or rent payment while we work on building the house... but, the reason it's so cheap even though it's on acreage with water rights is because it really reeks.
Standing in the driveway, just getting out of the car, the smell hits you. It of course gets stronger the closer you get to the front door. I've read the helpful threads here and elsewhere on ridding a place of smoke (eg: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/disaster/msg071037188413.html). The owner and her husband smoked in it for 20 years, he died a couple of years ago; she still smokes but wants to move. I don't know what classifies a person as a chain smoker, I just know this house has a powerful odor. My husband ran over there to talk to her for just a few minutes the other day. He stood on the porch. When he came home he had to change his clothes and take a shower.
We would tear out all the carpets and replace the vinyl flooring. And as it's a very small two bedroom home we would be okay replacing drywall too. Her ceilings just from our walk through were very stained, so I think we'd just replace them rather than trying to clean & paint.
The kitchen appears to be oak cabinets. I think I'd try to clean them and then paint them if I can't get the smell out.
There isn't a lot of tile in the bathrooms, she's got those drop in fiberglass tub surrounds and vinyl flooring which could be replaced pretty easily. The master bath has carpet in it, even going up around the tub (??!!) which would all be removed and replaced with tile. I'd throw away all the window treatments.
My question is - do you think we'll need to replace insulation as well? Do you think this is crazy? We have never smoked a day in our lives and are pretty sensitive to the smell. The only reason we're considering it is because of the price. The inspector said the house itself is in good shape, it's just the smoke, and the owner knows that and has lowered the price to reflect that. It's been on the market for over a year, and she'd probably go even lower. But I don't want to take advantage, she's a senior citizen and the land is worth something even if the house needs all this work.
We could stay put while we did the repairs so we wouldn't need to live in it right away. I've read conflicting things about the ozone machines, but perhaps if we ran them while we were away, on a timer so they would be off for some time before we returned to do more work?
Anyway, are we completely nuts to be considering this? After we get our home built, we're thinking it could make a nice rental property or we could turn around and sell it for a profit. IF we can get the smoke out. What do you think?