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Grow Ops Are Sold As Homes

Rocky Balboa

New Member
THE relentless demand for real estate in the city has grown into a buyer's boon for people not worried about taking on a special kind of fixer-upper.

The recent sale of a Garden City house that was once home to a large marijuana grow operation shows when it comes to finding a place to live in the city, if it has four walls and a roof on top, many people are willing to pay anything.

A year ago, police raided a home at 42 Envoy Crescent and removed nearly 3,000 growing pot plants worth about $3 million.

The devastation caused by the daily grind of running a drug operation was evident -- cakes of mould plastered the walls and windows, and the interior was destroyed by the "work" underway.

In one room, near to where a photo shows one person slept on a bed at floor level, the carpet and baseboards were thick with black fungus.

The home was listed in "as is" condition at $120,000 -- no prospective buyer was allowed in to see it before they had agreed to buy it.

The home was clearly identified by realtors as a former grow operation.

When people did finally step in the door to take a peek, it was with protective equipment and breathing masks on.

The 2,000-square-foot bungalow sold for $191,000, and 61 people drew up offers for a house they had only seen through pictures on the Internet -- most of the images not being coy about the interior condition.

Listing agent Peter Vasko of Sutton Group Realty said he dealt with more that 1,500 phone calls relating to the sale of the house.

Vasko, who was hired to sell the home by a Toronto-based foreclosure company, said a dearth of homes in the city means people are willing to chance anything to get into a house, no matter what shape it's in.

"Most people had no idea what they were getting involved in," Vasko said of his recent sale.

According to Winnipeg realtor Kimberly Graham, the prevalence of so-called "fix and flip" TV shows focused on home renovations have many people thinking they can flip a money pit into a pile of cash.

Graham, who dealt with a person interested in buying the Envoy Crescent home, said she was shocked at the price it went for.

"I was reeling for about a week -- it's just crazy," she said.

Graham said former grow ops can be fixed up and made livable again, but only after an extensive and expensive process of remediation.

Graham said she didn't know the buyer of the home, but said people who buy homes in rough shape are typically investors looking to make a buck.

Insurers, at least those that will consider insuring a former grow operation, demand that a thorough environmental assessment be done before thinking about issuing a policy.

Kris Moffatt of Niverville Insurance said he knows of three companies that may insure one of these homes, but that each has their own separate criteria for doing so.

Graham said the police listing the addresses of grow op homes on the Internet provides some assurances to buyers they can find out what they may be getting into.

Police call the situation one of "buyer beware," and said they've worked with the Winnipeg Real Estate Board to bring the homes to people's attention.

Winnipeg police Sgt. Kelly Dennison said during his career, he's dismantled "a ton" of grow operations.

They are often so toxic, police have to wear special clothing and equipment such as breathing masks while ripping them apart.

"For the majority of the larger grow ops -- an entire house there for no other purpose than to grow marijuana, there's substantial damage done to the house," he said.

"The larger ones -- the state that house is left in, it's not worth anything," Dennison said.

Grow ops can have real health hazards

What damage does a large grow op typically do to a home?

* Fungal contamination ( mould and mildew from intense condensation )

* Pesticide and fertilizer contamination

* Increased levels of carbon dioxide and carbon oxide

* Foundation walls often drilled through to accommodate changes to electrical wiring

Source: Winnipeg Free Press
Author: James Turner
Copyright: 2008 Winnipeg Free Press
Website: Winnipeg Free Press


New Member
I say... BETTER THEM THAN ME!!! And besides...do you really want to be smok'n moldy weed?
From what I see here on 420....These peeps treat thier grows like thier own children...Only providing the best enviroment in which to nuture thier children. No mold on the baseboards here.

Along the same lines is this story...

ABC News: Marijuana McMansions

The way I see it... Leo is not going to worry about me as long as these insane grow ops are out there. I'm still gonna be a little parinoid, but for all of us who have little grow rooms I say " Relax...Kickback...Take in the splendor, and watch our gardens grow!!!
I love being under the radar...Let's keep it that way:smoke2:


420 Staff
At first I thought this story was more reefer madness. But it really isn't. It's just another sad bi-product of prohibition. If it was completely legal for us to use and grow, these houses wouldn't exist on the scale they do now. I know my dealers would lose my business if this was legal.

And Jackhammermik, be careful--never make the mistake of thinking you are under the radar.

:51: Peace


New Member
You are sooo right Ms. I like being there but I will always think that I am not
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