Saturday, November 17, 2012

Are Grow Ops the new 'fixer-upers'? Another property more than 40% below assessed value

Years ago, before real estate became speculative investments, homes were considered 'money-pits' - a dark void that sucked all your money.

And a starter home was the quintessential money pit.

As our market turns, and properties languish on the market, will former grow-ops become the new vehicle for those wishing to enter the market on the cheap and improve the home through renovations?

I say this because with properties languishing, those less desirable properties are really starting to slash their asking prices in order to find a buyer - any buyer.

The last is the above pictured 5 bedroom 3,854 square foot house.  Located in Maple Ridge at 24243 - 101a Avenue the assessed value of the home is $530,000.

But the home is a former grow op and there is some fire damage.

In the past this property would have long ago been snapped up.

But in the new reality that is the Lower Mainland market, the house sits unloved and unwanted by speculators.

And because of that the asking price continues to drop.

This week another reduction brings the asking price down to $299,900... or 43% below assessed value.

Is it a stretch to imagine it selling for $265,000 or less? (that would be 50% below assessed value). Or even $200,000 - $250,000?

At the start of 2012 that suggestion would have seemed completely outrageous, even for a fire-damaged former grow-op.

Now it's all about "how low will it go."


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  1. My partner and I put an offer on a home in Courtney BC about a year ago. After going back and forth a few times there was acceptance of the offer. Then we got the property disclosure and it was indicated that pot had been grown on the property. It turns out that they had a permit from health Canada and had grown some pot plants in the garage. This for me was not a problem as there was no damage done to the garage only improvements, such as insulation, vapour barrier and electrical done by an electrician. The problem is in getting a mortgage and insurance for the property. None of the big banks will approve so you have to go through a private lender. Then none of the insurance companies will insure it. When the insurance company found out what had gone on they cancelled the sellers insurance leaving her in tears. She later managed to renegotiate but they would not insure the garage. We found out later that she had all the infrastructure put in place remediated and then an engineer sign off on it. That did not matter. Once it is on the property disclosure there is nothing in place to have it removed. There really is no way to deal with buying a property where pot has been grown. And there are thousands of medical licenses in this province! There is no differentiation between legal and illegal. Any sellers are basically waiting for a cash deal or try to hide any evidence of a grow room and not put it on the disclosure statement. One thought I had was what if you had a grow room because you liked to grow tomatoes and cucumbers would you have to prove to the home inspector that it wasn't used to grow pot?

  2. So this house having been a grow-op was/is likely owned by a specker/flipper. I have no sympathy for anyone who by their own greed gets into a situation like this. Anyone "owning" more than one house is just driving up property prices for the rest of society.

  3. Grow-ops make a lot of tax free money so they made back this house and more. They can sell at a loss. Back in the day, they made tax free money and they sold their "primary" resident at a profit!!!!!

    1. So you are advocating growing an illegal substance and tax evasion. Thus creating gang activity, crime, and shortchanging honest Canadians from tax revenue used to fund health care and other social service initiatives. All the while creating higher housing costs and taxes on the backs of honest Canadian families who scrape by to make ends meet. I have two words for you: SCUMBAG Parasite!

    2. Wow, you read that all from this anonymous post above yours?!?

      You must be one of the poor house dwellers that needs to sell to make an honest buck. No harm in that but I sure didn't read that in the post....maybe you need to go read a love story.

      The post is stating what was fact, and you can't change facts or numbers - can you??