Kirby Chan's Blog

A Real Estate Sales Representative Serving Greater Toronto. Search MLS Listings, Find Homes For Sale and Sell Your Home.

How To Spot Marijuana Grow Houses

Leave a comment

When you go house hunting you should be looking for more than “For Sale” signs. Other signs you should be alert to are indications the house you are considering may have been a former grow op.

With so much at stake, take advantage of the experience and knowledge of a registered real estate salesperson.

As a salesperson, I am obligated to disclose any material facts about a property or its history that I am aware of that could affect my client’s decision to buy. I can also provide a Seller Property Information Statement if one exists.

Grow ops can be hard to spot after an operation has been dismantled, particularly if the house’s grow-op history is several buyers in the past. Mould/Mold especially can be difficult to detect.

They may look like any other home on the surface, but grow ops undergo a number of renovations. Although they usually require extensive repair, former grow houses are just as likely to be given only cosmetic alterations to hide the real damage before being put up for sale.

You should give serious consideration to having a home inspected to reduce the possibility of buying a home that has been cosmetically renovated.

In some circumstances, you may also want to consider having a professional engineer check for possible structural damage.

In addition to working with a professional home inspector, you can also look for these “Top Ten” signs that a home may have been used as a grow op:

  • Mould/Mold in corners where the walls and ceilings meet
  • Unusual number of roof vents or signs of roof vents
  • Fresh paint on window frames to cover damage caused by the high levels of humidity
  • Painted concrete floors in the basement with circular marks where pots once stood
  • Evidence of tampering with the electric meter (damaged or broken seals) or the ground around it
  • Unusual or modified wiring on the exterior of the house
  • Brownish stains on the underside of beams or arches that bleed down a wall
  • Concrete masonry patches, or alterations on the inside of the garage
  • Patterns of screw holes on the walls
  • Fire place alterations
  • Denting on front doors (from police ramming the door)

Please note that the “top ten” signs listed above are only some of the signs that a property has been used as a grow op. For a more detailed look at Grow Houses please refer to this Toronto Police Grow House Page.

You can also check with the Toronto Police if a house was ever used as a grow-op . Below I have provided some links for a list of busted grow houses. However, please remember that not all grow houses have been busted and therefore not all grow houses are on the list.

York Region Police 2002 – 2005 Grow-Ops
Toronto Police Service – 2005-6 Scarborough grow houses

Durham Region Police 2006 Grow-Ops

Scarborough 2005 Grow-ops
*NEW RCMP’s New Marijuana Grow Initiative

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about “How To Spot Marijuana Grow Houses”, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.


Author: Kirby Chan

I am a Real Estate Sales Representative servicing the Greater Toronto Area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s