Everybody is aware of the 5 senses - taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing, but are surprised to learn that smell is often the sense that is most overlooked sense when viewing a home. Humans' sense of smell are not our primary sense like a dogs, but can be a great guide to issues that may be in the home. By paying attention to your sense of smell when you go through a home may help you select that perfect home!
Your sense of smell can be vital in the following areas:
Dank Smells in the Basement - this is can be an indicator of water issues in the basement, sewer drainage issues. These smells magnify in the summer as the weather warms and smells waft a little stronger. The smell is similar to that or a washing machine that has had a wet load in the drum for too long. If you smell that right away in the basement - there may be cause for concern!
New paint - Most people appreciate the smell of new paint as it shows that renovations have recently been completed. However, I have also seen it be used as a way to mask other issues in the home, such as unpleasant cooking stain smells, fire damage, pet stains, or stains brought on from smoking in the home. Don't be tricked by this!
Sinks - Sinks smelling rotten or like food could be an indicator of something as simple as a minor clog somewhere along the drainage line to something more serious like a clogged drainage system due to oils, food, or human waste . Over time these clogs can result in a dangerous and expensive backup of the system.
Natural gas - few things strike fear into a home owner like the faint smell of natural gas in a home. Naturally odorless, natural gas has an additive put into it so that people can be alerted by their nose when there might be a leak. Be extra careful if there are older furnaces or hot water tanks in the home - your nose may be the first step in discovering an issue in those very important mechanical systems.
Outside or neighbor smells - especially in winter, this could be an indicator that there are issues with weatherproofing. If the smell appears to be coming from a common wall , then that is also an indicator of gaps between your neighbor and your spaces. You should not know what your neighbor is cooking every night!
Be careful - your sense of smell can trick you also - especially in a vacant home that hasn't been lived in for awhile. That's because the air hasn't been circulating in the home and it usually emits a stale smell that is unpleasant and can be a concern when you view it. This is especially true in the summer time, when the heat from the outdoors magnifies any stale, stagnant air in a home.
Remember to use your nose when home shopping to make sure you don't let your sense of smell be overlooked when viewing a home!