Did you know that according to recent statistics there are about 13,500 grow-op homes in BC? That’s about 1 in every 137 homes.

Last week the Union of B.C. Municipalities gathered to discuss drug homes in British Columbia and the hardships buyers face when selecting a home for sale in BC.

Currently there is no official method to determine if a home has been identified as a drug house in the past and no official process to remediate or bring the home back to current building and safety standards.

As shared in last week’s article in The Province many buyers are left to find out the fate of their home after they move in when the neighbors “kindly” disclose the information. Unfortunately by this time it’s too late. The new homeowners are often left to deal with the financial and health hardships that come with owning and living in a former grow-op.

Problems with Buying a Grow-Op House

There are three primary dangers or issues with living in a former grow-op home:

  1. Structural damage to the building including wiring, foundation and ceiling.
  2. Environmental health concerns such as mould, fungus and remaining toxins.
  3. Uninsurability of the home because of its history.

In addition to these dangers there is the negative stigma of living in a former grow-op home and the constant “What If’s?” that can run through your mind.

Tips to Avoid Buying a Drug House

There are several telltale signs that the home has been used to grow drugs in the past, including:

  • Mould and moisture stains
  • Unsafe wiring
  • Unusual piles of garbage on property
  • Water tank and chimney rerouting
  • Fresh touch-up paint to cover holes in the baseboards
  • New drywall to cover mould

Don’t be afraid to speak with neighbors, check with your local police department or hire a home inspection company experienced in identifying the signs of a drug house.

Your licensed BC realtor also has access to the history of the home. He or she can check if it has changed ownership frequently which may be a red flag that it may have been used for growing drugs or that there is another issue with the home. By law, if the house has officially been identified as a drug house it must be listed as such; your real estate agent can provide you with access to this information.

As a realtor in Surrey, BC I can help you assess potential homes to ensure the saftey of your family and the protection of your investment. If you would like more information on this topic I would be glad to speak with you. Please call me at 778-316-4290 or email me at natasha@natashataylor.ca.