Buying a home that was once a Grow House has some advantages as they can usually be purchased below market value. Usually the owner has done all necessary work using professionals to ensure that the property is safe for human habitation. However in recent months one of the growing difficulties with purchasing a residence that was once used as a grow house is that there are limited companies that will provide mortgage funding. If you are considering purchasing this type of home, first consult with your Royal LePage Team Realty Representative to ensure that Mortgage Funding will be available.

Grow Houses: Be Aware and Informed!

Information has been edited from an Excerpt By Mark R. Frederick and Denis Rivard

While viewed by many as a “soft drug”, marijuana, and the use of same results in many continued problems for society both in terms of the adverse effects on health and the crime related to the growth and/or trafficking in such substances. It has also affected the marketing of properties that have been used as “grow house” operations.

At one time marijuana was grown traditionally in warmer climates where it obtained the required heat and light to flourish. In Canada, the relatively short and cold growing season is not particularly suitable to widespread growth of the marijuana plant. But enterprising criminals have managed to overcome our geographic shortcomings by “moving indoors” and using buildings and residential houses as “grow houses” for the harvesting of marijuana plants.

How do you turn a residential home into a grow house? Essentially, the grow house is nothing more than a terrarium. It is relatively airtight, is heated, is hooked up to a water supply and has electrical connections allowing for the installation of lighting. Insulation is stuffed into windows which are generally sealed.

More and more transactions are becoming clouded with the stigma of grow house operations. Why should you be concerned about grow houses? Because houses
or warehouses are so suited to grow houses they also are subject to the negative effects that result from these operations. The typical grow house has been rented to people who pay the rent in advance and have little contact with the landlords.
The humidity of a grow house operation leads to structural damage and the growth of moulds in plaster and drywall. Some grow houses are established with the set up of hundreds of potted plants. Other criminals, less enterprising, actually spread soil on the floors causing damage to the floors and joists. Other criminals cut holes in floors to pass through electrical cables to hook up lighting systems and water hoses. They avoid detection by by-passing the hydro hook-up to receive unmetered power.

Then there is the stigma associated with purchasing a house that has been used for illegal activity.
The effect is similar to having a house with UFFI insulation. There may be nothing actually wrong with the house, but it nonetheless has associations with what people consider dangerous.

The main issues arising out the purchase of a grow house property will relate to mould and structural damage.

Consult your Royal LePage Sales Representative before considering buying a home that has been previously used as a Grow House.