When Bad Homes Happen To Good People

Jon Real Estate Leave a Comment

Catching up on some reading over the Thanksgiving weekend, I came across an article about a Philadelphia couple that recently bought a home with some significant issues.  Turns out that their “”dream house”” was in fact a former “”meth house””.   Nothing funky had turned up in the home inspection so it wasn’t until they moved in that they started to feel the effects of the narcocized home.

How could this have been avoided?  OurMethHouse, a website dedicated to the subject, provides the following tips to home buyers.  It sort of reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy’s “”You Know You’re A Redneck”” routine.  In his spirit, I present to you: “”You Know You Might Be Buying A Meth House When…””:

* Unusual, strong odors (like cat urine, ether, ammonia, acetone or other chemicals).

* Renters who pay their landlords in cash. (Most drug dealers trade exclusively in cash.)

* Lots of traffic – people coming and going at unusual times. There may be little traffic during the day, but at night the activity increases dramatically.

* Excessive trash including large amounts of items such as: antifreeze containers, lantern fuel cans, red chemically stained coffee filters, drain cleaner and duct tape.

* Unusual amounts of clear glass containers being brought into the home.

* Windows blacked out or covered by aluminum foil, plywood, sheets, blankets, etc.

* Secretive / protective area surrounding the residence (like video cameras, alarm systems, guard dogs, reinforced doors, electrified fencing).

* Persons exiting the structure to smoke

* Little traffic during the day, but high traffic at late hours; including different vehicles arriving and staying for short periods of time.

* Little or no mail, furniture, visible trash and no newspaper delivery.

Of course, some of these criteria apply to thousands of non-meth lab homes out there, but if you find yourself checking off multiple attributes, you may want to have the home tested for narcotics.  A quick peak at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Clandestine Laboratory Registry might not hurt either.

The granite countertops and wooded lot might be eye catching, but if your dream home is a “”meth house””, you definitely want to know prior to closing.

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