Pubdate: Mon, 25 Aug 2008
Source: Barrie Advance, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Janis Ramsay


Open concept living.

Upscale community.

Four spacious bedrooms and more than 2,600 square feet of finished 
living space.

Many upgrades inside, shows well.

Price has been reduced

Sounds like your dream home? Think again.

Months ago, there was mould growing in the basement, on the floor and 
walls, and the hydro was cut off. Police busted down the door to this 
beauty because it housed a marijuana grow-op.

A local real estate agent, who asked not to be identified, says 
buying a house that contained a marijuana grow-op can still mean 
buying a dream home.

"Once a home is used for the growth or manufacture of illegal 
substances, the homeowner must disclose," he said.

It's a question right on the Seller Property Information Statement. 
The real estate agent and lawyer must also disclose that information.

The problem with selling a former grow-op home is that it's a 
challenge. "It's a trade off. It's a better price than it would be 
ordinarily, but once it's got a clean bill of health, in my opinion, 
there should be nothing wrong with the house."

Even if everything has been cleaned up, some buyers are still afraid 
to move in. Their fears aren't usually based in reality, said the Realtor.

"When we speak to grow-ops for marijuana, the initial problem is 
mould. It falls into five or six categories, and the most benign is 
black forest mold, which is the most common one as well."

The toxic grey and white moulds can be quite harmful, but they aren't 
common in Canada because of the climate, he said.

To remediate a home that was a grow-op, anything that was touching 
the mould must be removed.

"You have to remove all the material and the source of the dampness, 
which is either a leak or watering equipment. All the drywall has to 
be hauled out, all the insulation, and old flooring has to be 
removed. Then the home has to be scrubbed with a type of bleach, 
dried, then cleaned with detergent."

Next is a mould inhibitor. The City of Barrie will inspect the home, 
and if approved, it's back on the market.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart