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Smoking can lower the resale value of your home

Last Updated Jun 1, 2015 at 9:18 am PDT

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Summary

Realtors say smoking can decrease a property’s value by as much as 10 per cent

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – If you are looking for another reason to quit smoking, here’s a good one: a recent survey of BC realtors suggests it can significantly lower the resale value of your home.

Over half of realtors asked say a property’s value is decreased by as much as 10 per cent if the previous owners allowed smoking in the home.

That’s equivalent to almost $130,000 for the average detached house in Vancouver.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation and the BC Lung Association commissioned the study and found it can lower the resale value of a home and make it more difficult to sell,” says Jack Boomer, director of the Clean Air Coalition.

“We found 76 per cent of realtors say the resale of the value is lower if the current owners smoke. Seventy per cent of realtors also believe that prospective buyers are unwilling or less likely to purchase a home if owners have smoked in the home,” he tells News1130.

“It makes the home less attractive,” says Boomer. “Obviously, smell is an issue and a concern. The prospective buyer has to explore looking at a complete repaint of the interior, possibly replace the carpets and, depending on how much smoking was occurring, there are all sorts of costs associated with the cleaning.”

Boomer says smoking neighbours are also an issue in condominiums.

“Because more people are living closer together, it’s an issue. About 62 per cent of people in Greater Vancouver live in congregate housing or some sort of multi-unit dwelling. We know that second-hand smoke is a big problem; its one of the top complaints people have.”

Boomer says that’s why they have created SmokeFreeHousingBC.ca, an online resource for people pushing for smoke-free housing.

“This dispels the common myth among strata owners that adopting a no-smoking bylaw could negatively impact resale values. In fact, these survey results show that nothing could be further from the truth, and that it pays to adopt a no-smoking bylaw.”

While the majority of people who smoke want to quit, Adrienne Bakker with the Heart and Stroke Foundation hopes this gives them even more reason to keep trying.

“We also hope it encourages more homeowners, property managers and Strata councils to make their property 100 per cent smoke-free – inside and out,” she says.

According to the Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS), the BC smoking rate is 11.4 per cent, the lowest in the country.