Meth Houses – The Signs

Yesterday, we talked about the dangers posed by meth houses. It’s a real threat. As real estate agents we must disclose what we know about the property, including information regarding properties being meth houses. But we don’t always know what properties have been meth houses. So, here are some suggestions on identifying meth houses.

Meth Houses – The Signs

There are a number of things that can help you to identify meth houses. The first is to just talk to neighbors and local law enforcement agencies, and ask. Another place to look is by looking at the DEA’s (Drug Enforcement Administration) site and looking to see what is being reported on (it’s not a complete and comprehensive list and does not guarantee your home as not having been one of the meth houses in your area). Another thing you can do is keep an eye out for the normal every day items used in meth houses to create the methamphetamine. These items include salt, empty pop bottles, cold-pills, paint thinner, lighter fluid, drain cleaners, and lithium ion batteries.

Your body can also help you piece together the clues as to whether or not the property was a meth house. Do your eyes and nose burn when you enter into the property? Do you smell ammonia, acetone, or urine? Do you see chemical stains in the bathtub or sinks? Do you see propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue? These are all signs that the property may have been used as a meth house. If you are really uncertain about a house being a meth house, you can purchase self tests (not extremely accurate but a good indicator) for about $50 – $75 dollars. This then can help you decide if you want to spend the money on a more professional test.

One of the reasons we are adament about using a buyer’s agent is to make sure that you have someone who knows this kind of information and can help you spot meth houses. We recommend setting up a buyer’s consultation, talking with a buyer’s agent, and making sure you know what you are getting into. Meth house remediation can be as little as $5,000 and can be upwards of $10,000 or more. Using a buyer’s agent can save you the headache of the cleanup costs.


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