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would you buy this house?


HollyDay
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I'm allergic to cats.  Can't visit people's homes who have cats. 

 

We have found a  house we really like in our price range that is the size and location we want.  This is no easy task.  We have looked over a year.  The bedrooms have carpet but the rest of the house is tile or wood.  This house has dogs, which I'm not allergic to that live outside.  The doggie door of the house we are looking at is attached to the garage and the dogs do not come into the house.  (My dogs do live in our house by the way).  

 

After walking through the house and yard, we told the realtor to draw up papers and we went back through the house with him to lock up and turn off lights.  Sitting on the riding lawn mower seat in the garage was a big black and white cat.  I've asked for clarification about where the cat lives....indoor or outdoor.  So, perfect house or not?  Do we buy it or not?

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I'd say yes. It would be impossible to rule out every house where a cat crossed the threshhold. I once left my door open and a neighborhood cat just walked right in. I've never even owned a cat! If the garage has a doggie door, then eventually a smart critter will figure out how to use it.

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Did you have any kind of allergic reaction while you were in the house?  I am highly allergic to cats, and all I need to do is walk into a house and I'll start reacting.   The fact that it was in the garage is a little concerning to me, but if I didn't experience any problems inside, I would assume it's outdoors.  Could be a neighborhood stray that was curious and found the doggie door. 

 

One of the first things I would do though, is get rid of the doggie door. 

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Seconding the advice above. If you didn't have problems while inside the house, you're probably ok. Get rid of the doggie door, and it should remain ok.

 

If you do think it'll be a problem, consider what it would take to "de-cat" the house: would a good, professional cleaning on the carpets be enough, or would they need to be replaced? Can you afford either option? Are the current owners leaving the curtains or other fabrics, or taking them away? If all the soft surfaces (curtains, carpets) are leaving or being cleaned really well, then that should be enough to deal with the problem even if the cat did go in the house from time to time, right? (Of course this is coming from someone with no allergies, so I'm making the assumption that hard surfaces, given a basic cleaning, shouldn't be a problem.)

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IF it turns out the cat lives in the house (and I certainly hope that isn't the case), then would replacing the carpets be enough to enable you to live there?

 

Editing: between the time I started to reply to you (and got distracted with something else) and finished my reply, I see that others have addressed the issue much more thoroughly. Carry on... :D

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I am severely allergic to cats (eyes swell shut, severe asthma, the works,) and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase the house. If this truly is the house, just make a duct flush and deep clean (carpets especially) part of the contract. If there was no smell, no sign of litter boxes or toys, and you haven't experienced any reaction on your visits to the home, that should be enough. I do understand your reluctance, though.

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What I have found out so far is that the carpets need to be replaced and the walls need to be thoroughly washed with hot water containing a "de-cat" solution.  And I can't be the one to do this.  Someone else will have to go in after the carpets are gone and wash down the walls prior to new carpet going in.  Can we afford it?  hmmmmm.......time wise...no.  Dh just doesn't have enough time off to do both: move us into the new house and preclean the new house.  Since I also can't lift tables, sofas, and dressers, I need dh to be avaiable for that task.  If it were just a matter of cleaning the new house, I could do that, but de-cat cleaning, I can't do. 

 

Also, this house has gone up in price.  The original price, we would have some reserves that would allow us to hire help.  But, if we buy at the newer, higher price, then our reserves are less. 

 

Why can't it be easier?  Moving is never easy, but really, must it be this hard?

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If you didn't react when you walked through, and there is a dog door into the garage, and you didn't see any evidence of a cat litter box or the like inside the house (or smell cat smells), then the cat probably just wandered in the dog door.  We have neighbor cats wander through our yard and get into our garage fairly often.  The owners should be willing to disclose if they have a cat, and whether that cat has access to the inside of the house.  Explain it is a medical necessity to know, if you haven't already.  

 

And I would walk through the house again.  Take your time, too.  In fact, I always take at least two, sometimes multiple walk-throughs when DH and I are looking to buy a house.  Sometimes DH and I miss something the first or even second time around.  If you walk through again and still have no reaction, and the owner swears they have no cats, I would consider offering on the home and hiring a professional to clean the ducts anyway, just in case.  Perhaps you could try to include that in the contract and make it an owner expense?  You say the carpets need replacing.  Do you mean just if they had a cat or they need replacing anyway?   IF they need replacing anyway, were you planning on doing that?  Or just living with it for the time being?  

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did you have any symptoms when you were walking through the house?  how much expsoure does it take for you to become symptomatic?  and how bad are your symptoms?

 

I'd probably go ahead, as you didn't even realize there was a cat until you saw it in the garage.  carpet can be replaced if needed, and wood floors resealed,

 

 

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Yes.  I am severely allergic to most cats (not all as there are rare - very rare - exceptions, such as the cat we rescued).  Typically I cannot even enter a room in which the cat has been.  

 

When we purchased our previous house, the owner had five cats.  I had to walk through with a mask on just to see the house.  After we closed and before we moved in, I (was just me as others were packing and loading trucks) went through and vacuumed and cleaned (used my large Hoover carpet cleaner) all the carpets thoroughly.  I didn't wash walls as I didn't have time, but I did vacuum all the floor boards, window sills, hard flooring (mopped), cabinets, and any other crack and crevice. I also replaced the A/C's air filter.  Once moved in, I vacuumed every other day.  I did set up air purifiers in most of the living spaces (had them already - Florida was tough on me with allergies).

 

At any rate, it didn't bother me.  Hopefully it won't bother you.  If you have many options of houses you really love, you could just find something else.  If this is the ideal house, it should be doable.  I won't promise you that it won't bother you, but if you (or family) work on it before moving in while the house is empty, it may never be a problem.  I hope it works out for you.

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