Insurance Issues for a Former "Grow-Op"

We have been looking at a house to purchase that had a "grow-op" in the crawl space. The operation lasted approximately from June to November '04. Would getting insurance be a problem? Do we need a qualified engineer to provide air quality/mould present report?

Answer:

This is a situation that I've been hearing more of lately. When a "grow-op" is discovered, the house normally is taken over by the state or province as part of the "proceeds of the crime". Once this happens, the home will eventually be sold, and the new owner will have to deal with the issues that arise from the grow-op.

Whether required for insurance purposes or not, I would certainly get a home inspection, including a qualified engineer to check for air quality and mould. (The home inspector would not do this level of check for you; you'll need a qualified professional for that.) I would ensure that the home inspection included a close check of all the wood in the area where the grow-op was; high moisture could cause the wood to rot, and could set you up for structural problems later.

This could definitely cause a problem for insurance, without a "clean bill of health" by both a home inspector and an engineer. Don't skimp on this, since potential problems with the home could make you "high risk" and cause you and your home to become uninsurable. However, if you can present a good case to your insurer, you should be okay.
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