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Drugs & Real Estate Value: How to Tell When There's A Grow-Op Next Door

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By : Rachel Vanderveen    99 or more times read
There is nothing worse than having a grow op next door, on your block, or even in your neighbourhood. These abused and forgotten homes pull down not only neighbourhood morale, but also real estate values. It isn't just the beat-up, shady neighbourhoods in Calgary that house these illegal operations. These homes are popping up in neighbourhoods that are quiet and family-friendly in an effort to go undetected for longer.

Illegal drug houses pull down real estate values because they are almost always listed for far cheaper than the clean and non-stigmatized house next door, which means that the grow-op listing could be used to compare to your home when you sell. In addition, they add the perception to the block and to the neighbourhood that the streets aren't safe or that criminal activity is prevalent. Buyers are keenly aware that grow ops, meth labs, and other drug manufacturing facilities can emit poisonous gases as part of the production process.

Fires and electrocution are other problems that result from grow ops, since many drug manufacturers steal electricity from neighbours or from the city by using faulty-wire bypass systems which are almost never safe to use. There are some who say that it's not a question of if these units will catch fire; it's a question of when. All in all, we're talking about a community feeling that doesn't exactly impress potential buyers.

In order to make sure your home stays as valuable as it can, according to market conditions, you need to be able to recognize the signs of a grow op and not be afraid to report it. The best medicine is always to know your neighbours, so you can feel confident on your own street, but in this day and age that's not always possible. When that fails, take a look at the list below to see if that weird home on your block might be a grow-op.

    -Home has posted signs such as "Beware of Dog" all around the property in an effort to keep nosey neighbours away.
  • The exterior appearance of the home looks unkept. Snow is left unshovelled or grass uncut. Mail piles up in the mail box.

  • Sounds of electrical humming can be heard. Often times you'll hear sounds of construction.

  • Condensation may collect in the windows.

  • Homeowners can be seen carrying growing paraphernalia into the home. Things such as soil, fans, paint cans and the like are good indicators.

  • Windows are covered up at all times in order to hide what is happening inside.

  • Homeowners are never around and when they are they avoid contact with you and your neighbours.

  • Roof will have less snow on it than everyone else because of the heat in the home. Especially around the venting areas.

If you think that you may have a grow-op or other drug lab in your area, don't be afraid to call it in to Crime Stoppers. Police take these issues very seriously and handle your tip with the utmost confidentiality. Remember, the drugs you get off the street today might otherwise have been offered to your child tomorrow!
Partners in life, love, and work, Rachel and Clint Vanderveen are Calgary real estate agents who understand their clients and make every effort to meet all their clients' real estate needs. Visit for cutting-edge advice on Calgary homes and condos for sale or to learn more about these committed Christian real estate agents.

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