Saturday, February 05, 2011

Breaking Bad in Noho: my non-experience with a home's meth contamination

My buyer clients are in escrow on a property just outside of Burbank in North Hollywood. It's a flip (address to be revealed later). Through the grapevine, we heard that the former residents were either on drugs, were drug dealers, or something like that. Naturally, we became concerned as we've all been scared by the very real possibility of methamphetamine contamination on a property. Meth contamination is actually even an optional disclosure on the Natural Hazard Disclosure that every California buyer must receive. The sellers had never lived there, had bought it at auction, and knew nothing. I had not experienced the need for this test before, either.

So I went to the internet, fountain of all wisdom, to find meth testing labs here in So. Cal. Easy, right? Cal is a consumer-friendly state and we have inspectors for everything, right? And drugs have been done just about everywhere here, right? But no. Surprisingly, an inspector was hard to find. I had to really drill down on Google to get any info. (Although meth inspectors are easy to find in Utah, of all places, if you're in escrow there.)

But I finally found somebody, and here's where I give a shout-out to a vendor who gave me good info for free. The guy is Steve at and he spent quite awhile on the phone with me. He explained about the different levels of contamination, what his services cost ($400), what to look for, etc. While he didn't discourage my buyer from using his services, he eased my troubled mind when I gave him details about the condition of the house. In the meantime, we learned that the former residents maybe were just weirdos and not addicts/dealers after all. So my buyer decided not to have the test and go forward with the sale.

So thanks, Steve, and may I never need to use your services.

1 comment:

  1. Val | Realtor Postcard Designs5:51 PM

    I'm not really knowledgeable about the subject but, what would the risks have been if the house had traces of the stuff?

    It's great that the inspector was nice enough to give you some information even if you hadn't paid for it. I hope you won't have to need his services either.