Grow Op

This is Richard Pearce from Guidestar realty. I wanted to discuss grow-ops. Quite often on the Ottawa house repossessions report I send out we'll find one or two properties that have been seized by the RCMP for the growth or manufacture of illegal substances in the house. This can create a lot of damage to any property. Everything from bypassing the hydro panel to steal elecricity to the usual tons of mold and mildew damage that plants and high humidity can do to a house.

So what are the advantages and disadvantages to a property like this? The advantage for someone that is quite handy is that you will pick up a house that is probably in a good location for a very cheap price. The disadvantage of course is all this damage which you are going to have to repair. You are going to have to get rid of any source of mold and a departmental study to prove that the house is clean and then re-apply for an occupancy permit to try to sell or live in the house if that is what you would like to do.

The biggest challenge that I have as a realtor with the properties is not so much the condition they're in - we all expect them to be pretty bad - but the fact that it is really really difficult to get mortgage financing and insurance for a property like this. Quite often you have to have the cash in hand to buy these houses. So they are quite ideal for renovation contractors and fix and flip renovators - that type of thing would be the best.