Red Flags for Grow Houses

Posted by Nicholas Searle ot 08:43 AM

A grow house is a home that has been converted into a marijuana operation. Grow-ops are still illegal, even though Canada has legalized certain types of marijuana. Grow houses can exist in any type of home or neighborhood but larger homes in quiet areas with unfinished basements are often preferred.

If you are looking to buy a house but you are not sure if the house has been a grow house or not, you can also protect yourself by adding a seller’s warranty in your offer that the home was not used to grow marijuana. Typically, these types of warranties only cover the period of the seller’s ownership and occupancy. Find out how long the seller has been living there.

No matter what response the seller provides, it’s advisable to conduct independent research into the property’s past. This could include a simple online search of the address or obtaining other public records regarding the property.

Warning signs of a Grow-op 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.

Tell-tale signs of a Grow-Op are;

Mould in corners where the walls and ceilings meet

Painted concrete floors in the basement, with circular marks of where pots once were

Evidence of tampering with the electric meter or the ground around it

Evidence of windows and doors having been sealed

Indications that landscaping has not been consistently maintained

Unusual or modified wiring on the exterior of the house

Brownish stains around the soffit (eaves) that bleed down along the siding

Concrete masonry patches, or alterations on the inside of the garage

Patterns of screw holes on the walls

Alteration of fire places

Denting on front doors (from police ramming the door!)

Remember that you can always contact your local police department for more information or specific concerns. Your neighbour might also be a good source as well.



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