Most people interested in buying a grow-op house will do their research online to get more information. Many blogs and articles, mostly from Realtors, are against these purchases. Why? Because they don’t know or understand the proper procedure for a grow-op remediation.
My professional view on purchasing these homes is that, in most cases, you’re better off after remediation has been performed, than any other house on the market today. When you purchase a former grow-op, a remediated grow-op, you know all inspections and testing have been completed and passed extensive health inspections.
Many older homes are renovated and brought up to date to be sold. If a contractor or home owner doesn’t understand what is required to remove mould, you have no idea of what could be behind the walls of your newly purchased home. Yikes!
I know of someone in the past whom like many, have purchased an older homes with the purpose of fixing it up and re selling them for a profit. This particular house was filled with mould and most likely asbestos. Not knowing any better, he has fully gutted and fixed the problems that caused the water damage issues but did not completely remove and rectified the mould growth. He re-built and sold his newly up to date home with a huge profit in his pocket and did not have to disclose that the roof was damaged in the past because in his mind, he has rectified the problem (Not).
Can you imagine buying a house with your life savings only to discover there was a leak in the upstairs bathroom at some time in the past!? Or discovering the water hose in the ice maker fridge bust or the dish washer was leaking and there is now hidden mould in the ceiling and walls. Now what is the cost to remediate?
Realtors also state in their blogs and articles that “there are no guidelines” to remediate a former grow-op house, when in fact, the City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services have strict guidelines when it comes to remediations and extremely strict quality testing that must be followed. All inspections must be completed, all invoices and receipts for cleaning, disposal etc. must be submitted to Alberta Health Services and final Indoor Air Quality test results submitted and reviewed before Alberta Health Services will conduct a re-inspection of the property, then, a General Trade Entry will be issued to re-build the property to living condition.
The only real down side is that the Executive Order (Notice of Health Hazard) placed on the property by the Regional Health Authority was registered at that time with the Land Titles Office. Even after the property has been fully remediated, tested and inspected and the Order lifted by The Regional Health Authority. The once registered order, can always be discovered with the Land Title Office, even if it’s a completely remediated grow-op. A stigma that can linger on the property for a few years after.
When selling a grow-op property, it is not legally enforced but is strongly recommended that these homes be disclosed at time of sale. Most likely a new buyer will always find out about the grow-op one way or the other, so it’s better to be up front before they find out from a neighbour. This isn’t always fair to the seller, who has done all of the necessary work and has paid the cost of for a remediated grow-op. What is legally enforced is if the seller is aware of material defect such as structural damage or any conditions (mould) that may be hazardous to one’s health. The unfortunate part about this is that most do-it-yourself renovations with mould are not disclosed at the time of sale.
As a specialized grow-op remediation contractor, I can tell you that each property under goes numerous inspections at various stages of the remediation to a rough total of 9 different inspections. As well, structural engineers, master electricians, master gas fitters and master plumbers involvement. All remediation contractors must be approved by the City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services before any entry letters or permits are issued.
These properties that have been completed by us are extremely clean, air quality tested and inspected. Going through the proper procedures (guidelines), testing and inspections, you can rest assured that your property has been rectified properly and with a clean bill of health. So please, consider my experience in this field, do your research before buying any home, former remediation or not and remember your options are endless!