Home Selling in Denver>Question Details

Brandy, Home Buyer in Denver, CO

Can I trade a former meth lab home in Denver for something different?

Asked by Brandy, Denver, CO Mon Aug 17, 2009

My fiance and I closed on our first home on June 12th, however we have made a horrible discovery about our new home being a former meth lab. We were just searching our address one day on the net to see the google street view, and found a PDF document from the North Metro Task Force website. The PDW document stated that our home used to be a meth lab back in 2004. It was identified as Lab #28, and was confirmed to be clean. I understand that it was verified as all cleaned up, but I still would not have bought this house if I would have known what it used to be. I have 2 young sons, and I wish I could move out. I feel betrayed, and stuck at the same time. I also heard that former meth homes, can lower the value of the home. We paid the full price for it, and was not given a disclosure about it being a former meth lab. Is their anything at all I can do about this? Can I sell or trade this house for another? Or am I stuck with this huge regret for years?? Please help

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Daniel,

Thank you for the link. I found this statement in the article provided:

(Existing laws require agents for the seller to disclose known safety hazards. But because the new rule exempts sellers from disclosing that the property once housed a meth lab if they have cleaned the property according to state standards, Cowperthwaite says a seller who cleaned his property may not wish to mention its past. Yet the agent could be liable to a buyer who later learns the history).

The last sentence their states, "Yet the agent could be liable to a buyer who later learns the history." What does that mean?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Brandy

Unfortunately the way the new contract is written you have a time period to check if it was a meth lab before you close. Colorado law also now says that if the home was cleaned up to meet the state standards then the seller does not have to disclose the fact. Here is an article from the Denver post back in 2007 that sheds some light on the subject.

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_5139261

Sorry you are in this situation, you should be able to sell this house without any issues just like the seller sold it to you.

Take care,

Daniel Herron
Keller Williams Realty
720-323-9178 cell
danielherron@kw.com
Web Reference: http://www.HerronsHomes.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Me too.. Thanks everyone for all the advice. I hope this works out for the best interest of my family.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Best of luck, Brandy; hope it all turns out for you.
Chuck Strauss
CStrauss@kw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Thank you for the update.
Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Okay, so here is what I found out today. I called the Tri County Health Department which is the jurisdiction for the address. They informed me that they have no documentation on the house at all. My house is found in the 2004 PDF located here: http://www.nmtf.us/methlablocations/methlablocations.htm - However, Tri County has no record of the clean up. I am going to take this to an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Brandy, This Question is a Great One. I do agree with Terrell on the last question.
If you use a Realtor or the Realtor that listed the knew or knows the home was a "meth Lab" must disclose the fact that the home was a "meth Lab".
Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Hi Brandy -

I'm very sorry you've found yourself in this situation.

What that means (your most recent question) is that the broker who had the listing when you bought the house, and potentially the agent who represented you as well (assuming these were two different people) MAY have some liability in all this IF either or both knew of the history, but didn't tell you.

A couple other comments:

First, many aspects of how this situation is handled have changed since 2004.
Second, while the other statements about the property being cleaned up are true, my understanding is that there isn't actually a 'standard' or measurement applied. So - The house may have been scrubbed down with 409 - or it may have gotten all new walls and floors - or maybe it was somewhere in between. BUT - there isn't any state agency that comes out and somehow 'certifies' is as being clean. I've heard some supposed experts say that the only way to really 'clean' a meth house is to tear it down - but that's probably an over-reaction.

So - I agree with the other suggestions that you need to talk to an attorney (soon), and you might also want to call the county health department. I seem to recall that they have the ability to come out and test the house somehow (air samples, wall board samples - something like that) to see if there is any residual contamination. If there isn't, then at least you can sleep at night knowing the risk to you and your family may not be that great. If there still IS contamination, then you can assess how great the risk really is, and this will also give you more ammunition in talking to the attorney.

Regardless of the results, you might want to move anyway, if only because you might never again be completely comfortable there. However - try not to make this an emotional decision, particularly if the house tests clean.

Please let me know if I can help in any other way - getting you new comps for the area or whatever.

...and good luck...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Brandy,
The other Answers are correct. I think you are in the home and might think about selling it.
Although the Law says if it is "cleaned Up" to Colorado Standards there is still "ethics" involved.
If you decide to disclose or not think about how you feel and if you want the new buyer to go through what you have.
Good Luck,
Brian
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
As stated previously, the seller does not have to disclose that the home was a meth lab if it was cleaned to Colorado standards. The good news, I guess, is that you don't have to disclose this either, should you decide to sell the property.
Good luck
Chuck Strauss
Keller Williams DTC
CStrauss@kw.com
720-318-7598
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Abraham,

Unfortunately, it was not stated on the disclosure I signed. Nothing at all stating that it used to be a former meth lab. The disclosure did say "As Is" but I think we should have been informed about the meth part at least.. Thanks for you advice, I just feel so stressed out about this whole thing :(
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
Brandy,
Was there ever a sellers disclosure? If so, and it was not on there, I would contact your attorney about this one.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 17, 2009
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