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Why do people avoid purchasing homes that were used as meth labs?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2021 | Real Estate Law

There is currently not enough inventory on the residential real estate market. Buyers need to be aggressive in order to convince a seller to accept their offer. Finding a property with a reasonable price tag but in need of some sweat equity could be a great opportunity for would-be investors and first-time homeowners alike.

Lower-cost homes often have something significantly wrong with them. Issues with the structure itself or with improper use of the building could diminish its value and require investment by a new owner. That is the case with homes that were previously used to manufacture methamphetamine (meth).

Meth labs smell terrible and often lead to crime in the community. It isn’t just the negative reputation that drags down the price of a home associated with meth production. It is also the cost of making a home safely habitable again after dangerous chemical contamination.

It costs thousands of dollars to clean up meth production residue

The chemicals used to produce meth in the various stages in the cooking process can cause severe contamination of a property. There can be surface contamination throughout the house that requires multiple kinds of chemical treatment.

Depending on the size of the home and the scale of the meth production, remediation could cost anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to over $200,000. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to precisely predict the cost of chemical remediation, as professionals may not know the extent of the damage until they begin working.

If you intend to knowingly purchase a home that previously housed a meth lab, you will want to be careful about how you structure your offer and ensure that the price that you offer reflects the extreme expense involved in making the house safe again.