Before you’re sold on a home’s granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, you should know that a previous owner might have cooked up a lot more in the basement, bedrooms or even the family room.
There may be some stigma attached to buying or owning a home that was formerly used as a grow-opthat could affect the resale; quick repairs made to cover up damage that occurred in the marijuana growing process may leave the home unsafe. But how can you identify if this might have been the case?
Ask your realtor
It’s important to work with a registered broker or salesperson because they are obligated to disclose any material fact about a property they are aware of that could affect a person’s decision to buy. That includes if they know the house is a former grow-op.
Recognize the signs
However, warning signs can be tough to spot. The best way to protect yourself is to have the property inspected by a qualified home inspector, engineer or contractor who is better able to identify potential structural damage, modified wiring and other tell-tale signs of a former grow-op.
Here are some signs you can look for when considering a home purchase:
- Mould in corners where the walls and ceilings meet
- Unusual number of roof vents or signs of roof vents
- Fresh paint on window frames to cover damage caused by high levels of humidity
- Painted concrete floors in the basement with circular marks where pots once stood
- Evidence of tampering with the electric meter (damaged or broken seals) or the ground around it
- Patterns of screw holes on the walls
To find a home inspector, consult with your broker or salesperson or a friend who has used one in the past. You can also refer to the websites of Canadian Association of Home & Property Inspectors and the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors.
RECO – Is your dream home a former grow-op?
RECO – Marijuana grow houses: what are the signs?
The Real Estate Council of Ontario is the regulator responsible for protecting consumers in real estate transactions and providing the information you need about identifying grow-ops.
Contact the Merenda Real Estate Group today for all your real estate needs. With our 20+ years of industry knowledge and a client-forward approach, we’ll get you the results you want and the experience you deserve.