When you're buying a house, there's always the possibility that you'll find an old grow house on your search. Unfortunately, the signs can be very hard to spot. Before a grow house goes on the market, it should be extensively renovated to correct the problems, but sometimes the only corrections are cosmetic.
Here are some common signs that the house you're interested in may have been a grow op:
- A tampered electrical panel and exterior meter
- Fireplace alterations
- An unusual amount of venting on the roof
- Mould spots in corners of rooms
- Fresh paint and/or condensation around windows
Like usual, always make sure to get a home inspection before you finalize the deal on any house you're buying. Although an inspector cannot guarantee that a house was never a grow op, most trusted home inspectors have enough experience to notice the signs. You can also contact your local police department to find out if they have ever dismantled grow ops at a specific address.
Here are some of the dangers that result from a grow house:
- Fire and electrocution
- Booby traps
- Toxic mould and chemical fumes
- Potential violence if the house is well-known by drug dealers
- Environmental damage
Check out this YouTube video from CBC's "Marketplace" on a grow op bust in Brampton.
Another benefit to using a REALTOR is that we are obligated to disclose the fact that a house is a grow op if we're aware of it; buying privately gives you no guarantee on anything!
Good luck, and always ask lots of questions!!!