Author Topic: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA  (Read 2060 times)

Roland of Gilead

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Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« on: February 15, 2017, 07:32:03 PM »
We are rethinking the idea of buying a lot of land in eastern Washington and instead buy a cheap small fixer upper around the coast of Western Washington (cheap areas like Westport up to Forks (vampires!) and across to Sequim).

That area is known for high drug use or drug trafficking for some strange reason...even as far as a bust in Hoquiam of a Mexican cartel operating out of a neighborhood.  In that case actually they kept the house and yard well maintained so as not to draw attention...good neighbors!

Should we be afraid of buying a house that has been used in meth production, or is there a reliable cheap way to determine this?   If it were discovered, is the best way then to run away fast?

I know a lot of you buy cheap properties to rent so must have some experience with these things.

We are talking about buying a place under $100k or so.  Cash, no loan.

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 08:16:24 PM »
My coworker bought a house a couple of years ago that tested positive for meth, probably just use, not manufacture. Took almost 8 months to get through the cleanup and purchase. I would run screaming from anything used for manufacture. That shit is extremely toxic. IIRC, her agent told her there might be a problem, so she had the house tested. It's probably something you'd have to request in addition to a standard home inspection.

FWIW, we have friends who live in Hoquiam on 14 acres, and while they've made the best of it, they've had some horrible neighbors, including dealers and meth labs. Between that and the amount of precip they get, I would have gone stark raving mad.




Roland of Gilead

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 08:27:01 PM »
Yes, the meth is bad pretty much all over Washington but evidently really bad in that area.  I don't understand why meth users want to be in such a miserable rainy area unless the rain drives them to meth?

We have lived in Washington 20 years now and the rain doesn't bother us and I love the mountains and sailing.   It is not affordable to live anywhere near Seattle or the other major cities so we were trying to look into very rural or small city areas since we don't need to commute.

Why do people have to screw up all of the nice areas of the USA?

Stachless

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 10:17:11 PM »
I'd NEVER do this...what price are you putting are your family's safety?    Meth users (sorry to sterotype!) tend to be desperate, unpredictable and irrational folks...AND full of energy.  This is a bad combination and should be avoided at all costs!

I'd move into the Pot Smoking District instead.  Good luck!

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2017, 07:36:17 AM »
The question is how bad is it and is it bad in all areas of the coast, which stretches from Oregon all the way around into the strait.

Maybe it is like the stories about Mexico, where half the people say it is a fine place to FIRE and the other half say you will be kidnapped by drug cartels.

Dusty Dog Ranch

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2017, 05:25:56 PM »
We were in Seattle from 1993 to 2011. We looked all over the state for our land; well, anywhere within 5 hours of Seattle. Looked at lots of places on the peninsula, but we could get so much more land for the same price over here, plus we saw a lot sketchy places that looked pretty meth-y. We would have been ok with staying on the gray-and-green wet side, but I have enjoyed having winter again and some more sunshine. We bought our property based on the ecosystem as much as anything- ponderosa pine forest with scattered wetlands. We like the west side too, but after almost 6 years over here, the forests there feel way too dense! Of course there is less of a wildfire concern, but we're mitigating for that. I'd be happy to tell you more about our neck of the woods, aka the largest county in WA, via PM if you'd like. If it's ocean sailing you're after, then probably not though, huh? :-)

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2017, 06:56:31 PM »
The east side of the cascades is still an option but right now we are looking at Sequim (pronounced See-que-uhm...just kidding...Skwim)

Evidently Sequim is in such a rain shadow that it gets about the same amount of rain as Los Angeles, about 16 inches.  Amazing.   Just 40 miles away and they get 150 inches of rain.  Sunshine in Sequim too.

Meth might not be as bad there as down around Hoquiam and not as many sparkly vampires as Forks.

I think we are going to go there in the RV and stay for a month and look around a bit.   May build something instead of buying....we like second empire style.

Perhaps build a 3bd 2 bath modern version of this 1860s house in Vancouver, WA:



« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 07:02:41 PM by Roland of Gilead »

aasdfadsf

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2017, 09:19:46 PM »
Don't know anything about meth homes, but I did buy a HUD home as an investment. Turned out to be a very good investment. As things turned out, the home didn't have the water turned on because of a problem with the main valve into the house, which was an easy fix, but HUD isn't allowed to do it or let anyone else go in to do it. And because of that, it was impossible for anyone to buy it on credit. No water means no inspector will sign off on it, which means no lender will finance it. HUD homes are supposed to be offered up first to would-be owner-occupiers, who can get a sweet deal on it. Only after no one takes advantage of a specified buying period can investors bid on it. Anyway, I had to scrape together cash to buy it because I couldn't get it financed either. But because no one else was bidding on it, I got it at the lowest price they'd let it go for.

And, funny story, while I think the whole inefficient government bureaucracy stereotype is way overblown...holy hell. HUD did everything they could to live up to that stereotype. At one point I had to re-sign all of the documentation at the last minute because it had originally been signed in black ink. They required blue ink. Seriously.

All that said, I think HUD homes are a potentially good steal, especially if there is some minor problem that keeps everyone else away from it. Just make sure to have a blue pen.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 09:24:01 PM by aasdfadsf »

Blatant

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 07:50:03 PM »
As a bit of an aside, I don't doubt there's a significant meth problem as described. However, I would seriously doubt any home you're interested in has been used to manufacture meth. There is basically no commercial methamphetamine production done in the US over the last several years.

A steady supply of high-quality, increasingly cheap meth from super-labs in Mexico (where pseudo-ephedrine is easily procured), makes trying to produce meth here a waste of time.

Sigh, more good jobs lost south of the border ...

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2017, 11:12:30 AM »
They have a list in Washington by county of how many meth labs are currently on record (once they have been cleaned they are removed from the list).   It wasn't a lot but several of the counties had quite a few.  The list might be a bit old, like from 2012.  I know they made the p-ephedrine harder to obtain in the past decade, but there are still smurfs.

I wonder if the smoking of meth leaves enough residue to be a big concern or if perhaps it sort of has a half-life that is short enough such that you don't have to worry much living in the house (assuming you replace carpets, curtains, and paint the walls).

Telecaster

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Re: Buying a fixer upper or HUD home in Meth, WA
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2017, 02:39:23 PM »
The county health department should have a list of meth labs, which they call clandestine drug labs, or CDLs.  Once the country clears the structure for occupation, the building is removed from the CDL list.