Ugly Real Estate Story Demonstrates the Importance of a Home Inspection

Real Estate Agent with Re/Max Ultimate Realty Inc. Brokerage

Recently a very ugly real estate story demonstrated the importance of a home inspection when buying houses for sale in Toronto or Mississauga real estate for sale.

After several months of searching for a home and a few disappointments along the way a young couple found what they thought was their dream home.

An offer conditional upon a home inspection was arrived at after some negotiation.

Since the house was only 6 years old everyone including the sellers expected the home inspection to be merely a formality revealing no major deficiencies.

Big surprises for all were to follow!

The inspection started on the exterior with no major problems found.

Moving to the interior things started to unravel slowly but steadily.

Meter readings in the house revealed higher than normal humidity levels in the house.

It was discovered that a part had been removed from the humidifier attached to the furnace resulting in it running constantly.

Further inspection in the basement led to the discovery of hooks screwed into the ceiling beams.

This looked innocent enough but the quantity of hooks led to some head shaking as to what may have hung on them.

 A hole punched in the wall under the circuit breaker box along with a water hook up in an unusual place led to suspicions that the house may have been used for the growth of illegal drugs.

A fertilizer stain was uncovered by a weak attempt to try to hide it by partially painting the floor with grey paint.

Further evidence was found where a metal flange had been removed and a secondary exhaust created and run up through a main floor closet to a second floor bedroom closet and up to the attic.

Inspection of the attic found mould above the spot where the secondary exhaust had been.

Although the house did not appear on any law enforcement list as being a grow-op house it was the strong opinion of the home inspector that illegal drugs had been manufactured in the house at some point.

While there was definitely mould in the attic there were no visible signs of it in the basement.

This is where a thermal imaging home inspection would have been invaluable.

Using an infra red camera a thermal imaging inspection would have revealed the presence of mould or spores if they were in fact there.

The buyers naturally decided to walk away from the home.

The sellers, a nice couple with 3 young children who did not fit the stereotype of drug dealers were shocked and dismayed.

Dismayed because they were the original owners of the house and of course swore no knowledge of these events.

Looking back to when they purchased the house from the builder, they had been unable to close on time because they had not yet sold the previous house they lived in.

The builder offered to delay the closing if they agreed to allow renting the house for a 6-9 month period giving them time to sell their previous home.

The speculation is that during this rental period the house was used for illegal drug growth.

The buyers are happy that their investment in a home inspection likely saved saved them thousands of future dollars and certainly a great deal of headache.

So the next time you are being pressured to delete the home inspection clause or are tempted to not include one for fear of losing the house......think again.

If you feel disappointed remember this ugly real estate story.

You'll soon get over it.

John Lavin is a full time realtor with 25 years experience helping buyers and sellers of homes, condominiums and investment properties in Mississauga and Toronto.If you are looking for Toronto Condominium Listings or Mississauga Condos For Sale why not put my 25 years of experience to work for you.

Comments (2)

Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning John, thanks for sharing the experience, drug houses are a major problem here.

Jan 03, 2011 03:13 AM
Sally Weatherley
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

John - What a shocking story.  This speaks volumes on the importance of a good home inspection.  I feel so sorry for all involved. 

Jan 03, 2011 03:24 AM