Tips from experts: How to figure out if a home you’re trying to buy was once a grow house
Probably one of the most surprising facts about pot grows and home buying is that a seller doesn’t need to disclose that the house ever had marijuana growing inside of it – all because owning the plant is technically legal in the state.
The DEA says it’s finding more illegal grow homes in the Denver Metro area since they started tracking the issue more closely in 2014. To make way for pot, the DEA said growers can change things like electrical wiring, plumbing and the HVAC system.
Some questions and answers that were asked to Matt Leprino with Colorado Association of REALTORS®:
1.) Can you tell before buying if there was an illegal pot grow that damaged homes?
Leprino said in some cases yes you can in others it’s hard to tell.
It can depend on the size of the grow.
Leprino, Rose and the DEA said sometimes people like to cover the tracks.
2.) How often are damaged homes detected?
Leprino said he hasn’t noticed an uptick as he has dealt with homes that used to be grow houses, but it’s not very often.
3.) Why isn’t it obvious or made public that a home was once a grow house?
Leprino said a seller doesn’t have to disclose that information because home grows are legal for up to 12 plants for recreational use. Leprino said it’s also not disclosed even if the owner or tenant went beyond the legal limit.
He did mention sometimes the home owner may not know what was going on if their tenants were illegally growing marijuana and they never got caught.
4.) Are there are any signs potential buyers can look out for to indicate there was a grow that could have caused damage?
Leprino said if there are sinks in unusual places, like in the basement without a wet bar, that could be a sign too as well as mold.
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