Amarillo, TX - A foreclosed home can seem like too good of a deal to pass up.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency estimates as many as 2.5 million homes across the country may be contaminated with methamphetamine. An Oregon man found out the foreclosed home he and his family moved into was one of them.
The Texas Real Estate Commission requires sellers to disclose if a home was a former meth lab, but excludes properties acquired through a trustee's deed, such as a foreclosure. So far this year, more than 400 foreclosed homes have been on the market.
"It stands to reason that when you purchase a home you don't often know the history of the people who lived there before you. So, certainly it could have happened and I'm sure it has at some point in time," Cindi Bulla, Amarillo Association of Realtors chairman says.
Bulla also says home inspections prior to closing is the best way to protect yourself.
"Most buyers have the opportunity to put in their contract a period of time during which they can have that home inspected. And they need to have it inspected for all the things they would consider a risk to their family once they move in it," Bulla says.
We spoke with the owner of Bio-Klenz in Amarillo today who explained just how dangerous living in a home with meth residue can be.
"You're getting respiratory problems, you know if it's not caught soon enough you're getting respiratory diseases from it. You can get skin irritations and rashes, and boils from it," Brandon Barber, Bio-Klenz owner says.
Barber went on to say it is a long costly process to rid a home of high levels of residue and agrees testing your home is important.
"I mean it's your family, it's your investment. Take the time to do a little research," Barber says.
According to Barber, there are signs of a former meth lab such as discoloration on walls and ceilings in concentrated areas. You can call police to have your home tested if you suspect it was a former lab.