Meth is a huge problem across the nation, as highlighted by the plethora of methamphetamine-related news stories that flood the Internet every day.
This powerful, illegal substance can affect individuals and families in ways they might never suspect, as homes that were former meth labs are now being made available to the public. So-called “meth houses” may be offered at a steal of a price, but they aren’t necessarily every flipper’s or homeowner’s cup of tea.
Understanding the Issues with Meth Houses
While the meth and hardware used to produce it might be long gone from a house, the toxins that were used as part of the meth-creation process will always remain. These substances embed themselves into the walls, carpet, air ducts and even the ceiling. Not only can these dangerous substances linger for years, but they can cause serious illnesses to the inhabitants – or even the rehabbers – of a property that was formerly a place where methamphetamine was made.
Consequently, people cannot hope to purchase a former meth lab and simply move in. To be certain that the structure is safe, steps have to be taken to remove all the toxic materials from the home. This process is neither efficient, nor is it cheap; it can cost up to $25,000 to comprehensively rehab a home (or much more) and properly dispose of biowaste.
Three Considerations Before Rehabing a Meth House
Aside from the necessity of cleaning a place where meth was produced, it’s important to consider some other factors, including:
- How you will find the right people to thoroughly clean and properly dispose of the materials. Many companies may claim to have the inside scoop on fixing meth homes, but that doesn’t mean they do. Be very careful; if you sell a known meth house and it isn’t healthy, you could be sued if the new owners become ill.
- It may be tough to re-sell your investment because you will have to disclose it was a meth house to any potential investors. While some families feel comfortable living in this type of residence after it has been gutted and cleaned, others will not.
- Some meth houses are located in neighborhoods where non-meth homes are tough to sell. If this is the case, you may be better off turning your former meth house into a rental property. You’ll still have to get a clean bill of health, but you won’t have to worry about trying to woo buyers who would rather not purchase this type of home. Plus, in some states, landlords do not have to disclose that their rental properties were meth houses.
Two Rehab Options
If you do decide to purchase and rehab a meth house, your costs will vary depending on how you decide to clean out the biowaste.
The less expensive option is to hire an experienced professional to clean the air ducts and wipe down every surface with a special meth cleaner. Make sure to test every room and the garage to confirm that all biowaste has been removed.
The second way to rehab a meth house is to completely gut the home. You will still want to do a detailed cleaning with a special meth cleaner before you gut the home. Flipping a meth home can be very profitable and new home owners will like that it is brand new inside.
Should you be tempted to invest your money in a meth house, it may be best to talk to other buyers who have expertise in this arena. That way, you can ensure that the process will go as smoothly as possible, and you won’t spend more time than is necessary making the property inhabitable and safe.