One of the things we like to do in this blog is share some of the lessons we are learning as we develop this real estate rehabbing business. Every property seems to bring us new lessons…one of these days, we’re gonna be so wise our heads will hurt. We hope.
And we’ve learned a new one as we have the Ash House on the market: Don’t Become Nose Blind! It turns out that we lost out on a potential sale because the new buyer was just sure that there was a moldy smell in the house. That’s interesting, because, well, there isn’t any mold in the house. Anything that even slightly looked like it MIGHT be moldy was removed and replaced. There are whole new walls in that house!
But yeah, there is indeed a smell. We’d been in it so many times that we were used to the odor. It just smelled like the Ash House to us. It’s the fireplace. You see, the very interesting elderly woman who lived there the previous 50 years decided to not use the heater at some point, and only heated the house with firewood. Hence, ashes. Also, hence, lots of deposits of woody precipitate (or whatever you call the little particles of smoke) on probably every surface in the house.
Now, we did pressure wash all the floors (the brick floor twice), remove all the carpet, paint all the walls and ceilings with a deodorizing primer, replace every single window, etc. Hmm, there’s something missing on this list. Can you figure it out?
Well, what about the surfaces of the house that you can’t see? Can you just imagine what’s up that chimney, for example? We sure should have! And hey, how about those air conditioning ducts, the ones that are pushing all that nice cool air through the house? There’s a very high chance that the elderly woman didn’t clean them out any time recently, judging from the lack of home maintenance she exhibited in all other areas. Yup. We should have put those items on our original estimate.
You can rest assured that getting the hidden areas of a house as clean and beautiful as the visible ones will be on our to-do lists for future renovations. Our future project manager has been notified, and our current project managers are fixing this now. If you are in this business, you might want to consider this a lesson you won’t have to learn the hard way in the future.
A chimney sweep is coming on Friday and we’re going to get the ducts cleaned. That will, we hope, finally get all the ashes out of the Ash House, so it will be ready for a new family!