Possible Meth House...Should I Run or Buy?

10 Replies

I have a very interesting situation developing and I am wondering what I should do next.

I have had my eye on a home that has been vacant for just over a year.  The lawn is being mowed but clearly there is no one living there.  I found the owners information on the Tax System but there is no phone number and their home address is listed as the house address. 

This morning I did a Google Search on their names and found out in May of 2009 the people who own the home were arrested for cooking Meth in the house.  Damn.

Should I run or should I keep pursuing the house.

As a side note it has a great covered patio and I was considering moving my family into the house for a year or two until we can upgrade.  

I am just stopped in my tracks at this point.

Run, Run, Run...... I think it is next to impossible to get the trace meth out of the house wherever they were cooking it. I would do research, but from what I know the house will never be safe again as it is now in the walls and ceiling and cracks and crevices. 

Bryan, I was intrigued to see if you meant Should I run or buy (meth).  I definitely wouldn't move my family into a house where meth had been cooked up.  A lot of times those houses have to be razed because of the health hazards.  I suggest you move on.  Even if you did buy it, you would have to disclose to buyers what you knew about the meth.  Others may disagree but the hassle factor seems high on this one.

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I would definitely get some testing done on the property, I also feel it necessary to say that I always see people run from these property because they were "cooking meth" when in reality its bad....but not that bad. But again....beware. 

The DEA has a data base you can check addresses to verify, but I'm not sure how up to date it is. Also isn't that something that has to be disclosed when selling/renting the property. If so, it could create some major head aches for you! I'd think twice, bec. I know professional clean up and remediation and extremely pricey.

There are some state laws regarding stigmatized property you might need to research as well. I know here in Colorado you are required to disclose if a home was used for Meth production when you sell it. It's treated much like the lead paint disclosure. If you don't disclose to the buyers the deal is void and you/your agent could be in trouble as the seller. 

I assume you can protect yourself by using meth-residue-detecting kits and doing due-diligence before you buy, but is there any sort of insurance that can offer some level of protection in case one of your tenants decides to go Breaking Bad and cook meth in your rent house after they rent it from you?  Or are you always just gambling that you won't end up with an uninhabitable property when they leave?

RUN!  If the remediation is not done properly and you rent or sell it and they get sick the liability is on you.  In TN there is an address search that will stick with the property forever and be available to future buyers as public knowlegde


Depending on the severity of the lab even the studs could be toxic and need to be removed.  

Thank you for the help y'all.  The owners are in jail so it might be hard to move on it anyway.  I will keep you posted if they even reply to my inquiry.  I will probably pass on it unless I get it at some ridiculous price.

Oh an one more update the property is not on the Tennessee registry of contaminated properties.  I will be sure to call and confirm if it ever comes to that and get all the information.

Write to them in jail, ask them who there attorney is and see if you can make them an offer or to them directly. This is your opportunity, also see if the house was taken away from them as well. Sometimes government agencies take the house away from them after a case like this.