How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Where have all the grow houses gone?

Friday, February 11, 2022

Yesterday we inspected a mobile home in a seniors-only community. The site sloped down to a small lake, and our homebuyer loved the way a large oak tree in the backyard framed a picture-perfect view of the water from her kitchen window. But there was a suprise under the kitchen. 

    The steep slope of the land created a taller than usual crawl space under the back half of the home that contained the remnants of a former marijuana grow operation: shallow beds filled with potting soil, hoses and sprinklers, extension cords for lights, and even drying racks off to the side. Oh, and the air conditioner for the home was twice as big as normal. 

    It was definitely a small-time operation, but looked to be quite efficient. Although the younger generation finds it hard to believe, grandma likes to get high too, and the former owners probably had plenty of customers in the neighborhood.

    This was a nostalgic moment for us because we used to see them often. The last former grow house we inspected was maybe eight years ago. They were usually foreclosures with holes drilled through the floor for the water to run out, and lots of mold and wood rot. The most memorable one was down a dirt road, with two 4-ton air conditioners behind the two-bedroom house—under a shed roof to keep them hidden from helicopter eyes. And the county sheriff lived next door.

    Legalization of “medical” marijuana in Florida has put an end to all this. The legal stuff is cheaper and more potent. But it was an era comparable to bootleggers, moonshine, and revenuers that seems romantic in retrospect. We kind of miss it.

    You may also want to read our article from those bygone years: Should I buy a house that is a former marijuana grow house?

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