Marijuana Legalization & Real Estate.

by Pete Belcastro
I have found the topic of marijuana legalization to be the topic so far of 2015.  People are talking and not all of it is accurate.  We’ll leave it to the politicians to figure out the legal parts of the law, but when it comes to real estate, that’s a whole other story.
Last week I attended a continuing ed class sponsored by the Oregon Association of Realtors on marijuana legalization and real estate.  The focus of this particular class was on home inspections and how to tell is a home was used as a “grow house.”  And after seeing photographs of grow houses, its doesn’t matter what it may look like from the outside.  Grow houses are all around us.
Let’s say you’re found a house you want to make an offer.  The house inspection could turn up that the property was a grow house.  This can happen by the way, in rentals or pre owned homes.   The inspection can locate tell tale signs of a grow house.
Some of these signs include tampering with the electricity.  Smart growers install a separate electric panel but those who steal electricity can damage the panels and other electric infrastructure.  Another is the attic.  An inspector will know if venting at a grow house was sent to the attic in which mold may very well be present and lots of it.
Look for holes in the foundation as growers will damage it getting water lines or electric lines into the house.   Overall, I did learn that damage from a growers house is not as bad as one might think.  If that’s true make sure you know the signs of a grow house and whether or not you want to own it.
Knowledge is important in this case and a buyer needs to be aware of these potential hazards when buying a home.  Legalization of marijuana is the new normal in Oregon and we’re just learning how it will effect real estate.  What do you think?  Will it be more positive or more negative for real estate and the buying and selling property?  Legalization begins July 1, 2015 and we’ll start to go down this new road together.

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