This House is Broken-Bad: How Not to Buy a Meth House

MSN Real Estate

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A few of my friends have recently gone through some trying times after purchasing short-sale (or even normal, every day) homes and ending up with problems beyond what they could have imagined. Meth use and home meth labs are huge problems in the Pacific Northwest — and everywhere else, even for those who move in after the damage is done. Just traces of the hazardous chemicals in the drug can cause harmful effects to the body, especially to small children and pets.

New buyers can find themselves buried in the costs of "fixing" these homes, most of the time after moving in and experiencing tell-tale signs of sickness. Inspectors are not always required to check for meth residue, and it is often hiding in ventilation systems.

If you're looking into buying a home, make sure to read up on this dangerous drug and its effects on health in How to Avoid Buying a Meth House by Marilyn Lewis on MSN Real Estate. Particularly interesting is the idea that all contaminated homes are not necessarily on the lower end of the financial spectrum. "Plenty of labs have been discovered in expensive homes in 'nice' neighborhoods. 'We have processed meth labs in the homes of two different dentists, a public accountant, and an international banker who had a legitimate income of seven figures,' Connell says. He recently tested and found meth in a 'beautiful,' 4,500-square-foot, million-dollar house in downtown Denver."

Knowledge is weapon number one in protecting yourself and your family. Click over to MSN Real Estate to get the facts about identifying meth houses, including myth-busts, tips and links to more information. Happy (healthy) house hunting!

(Image credits: Judy Maria Stepanian/Shutterstock)