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KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market

Real Estate

Smoking can snuff home value by 20 percent

A recent study of real estate agents in Ontario, Canada, found that homes where owners smoked for an extended period can reduce the home's resale value by 20 percent.

The study was commissioned by Pfizer Canada, a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Selling the home can pose quite the challenge too. Eighty-eight percent of the agents surveyed say that it's more difficult to sell a home where the residents were smokers.

The health effects from breathing in second-hand smoke has also led to more landlords banning smoking. Some tenants have complained they are inadvertently inhaling smoke from shared ventilation and heating systems and seepage through the walls.

Agents say there's another form of after-affect from smoking that more in the real estate industry are taking note of - third-hand smoke. That's the smoke that lingers after the second-hand smoke has cleared out. It can settle on carpets, drapes, dust, and other areas of a room.

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California recently published a study in a medical journal that claims that they've shown third-hand smoke can damage human cells and is a carcinogen that can affect people's health. The study says it found third-hand smoke in dust and on surfaces of rooms more than two months after the former homeowners had moved out.

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