Home Inspections

How do I tell if a house is a "meth home"?

Sadly, meth is always in the news. Here is a little helpful information and a few links to help potential home buyers and/or homeowners sort out the hype from the truth.

The U.S. Justice Department maintains a website of homes that are suspected to potentially be meth homes.

The Justice Department’s website contains a list of addresses – searchable by state – of some locations where law enforcement agencies reported they found chemicals or other items that indicated the presence of either clandestine drug laboratories or dumpsites.

The Arizona State Board of Technical Registration also maintains a list of meth lab homes.

The Arizona Attorney General’s office posts this information about meth labs and meth homes on their website.
As of July 1, 2003, those who sell property are required by Arizona law to inform prospective buyers if a property has been used to manufacture methamphetamine, ecstasy or LSD. They are also required to hire a drug laboratory site remediation firm that is registered with the State Board of Technical Registration, pursuant to A.R.S. § 32-122.03, to remediate the property of residual contamination. Until the site is properly cleaned, it is unlawful for any person other than the owner, landlord or manager to enter the property (see A.R.S. § 12-1000). Clean-up requirements and an approved list of drug remediation firms can be found at the Arizona State Board of Technical Registration. The owner is liable for the costs incurred to remediate the property of residual contamination, even if the owner had no knowledge of the criminal activity at the property.

CNN.com reports on a Pennsylvania couple who bought a meth home without knowing it.
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More Thoughts on REDC Auctions

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post about the upcoming June 13-14 REDC auction of bank owned foreclosure homes.

Most auction houses don’t use the Arizona Association of Realtors’ (AAR) purchase contract form. They’re national corporations; they use their own forms.

REDC doesn’t publish their purchase contract online. However, I’ve seen other auction companies’ purchase contracts, and noticed that many of the buyer’s rights under the AAR contract are not in the auction contracts.

Most importantly, the AAR purchase contract gives buyers the right to cancel the purchase and receive a full earnest money refund if:

  1. the property doesn’t appraise for at least the purchase price

  2. the buyer isn’t approved for financing

  3. the buyer doesn’t like what s/he found during the home inspection period

Most auction houses don’t allow buyers these rights, known as “contingencies”.

Simply put, if the house doesn’t appraise for the winning bid amount, you must buy it anyway or forfeit your earnest money. Your mortgage lender denied you a loan? Oh that’s too bad. Will that be cash or cashier’s check? Oh, you don’t have the cash to buy the house? Ooooh. Well, we’re just gonna have to take your earnest money.  Better luck next time.

A Great Deal?

Two tips if you’re considering attending the REDC auction on June 13:

1) Consider the cost of the marketing fee the auction house adds to your purchase price.

At the REDC auction on June 13, a 5% marketing fee is added to the winning bid. That means the house must be at least 5% below prevailing market prices before it’s worth it to have bought at the auction.

2) Do a thorough home inspection before the auction, including a contractor’s estimate for repairs and a Realtor’s or appraiser’s estimation of value.

Know exactly what you’re buying. Does the roof leak? Does the A/C work? How about the water heater? Does the house have termites? Foundation damage? Slab leaks?

The old saying “you get what you pay for” has been around long enough to get old because it’s often true.

I’ll be attending the June 14 auction. If you’d like to attend with me, call or email.

602-999-8831 or Heather@ThePhoenixAgents.com

REDC Auction

REDC is one of the biggest home auction houses in the country and they’re advertising their upcoming June 13-14 Phoenix area auction heavily on local cable TV channels.

Here’s a few things you should know if you’re thinking about attending.

Access and Inspections

  • You can tour the homes and do inspections before the auction but not after

  • Open House dates for the Phoenix area are May 30, June 6 and June 7

  • Heather’s note: it’s nearly 100% certain that Realtors will be holding these open houses, fishing for unrepresented buyers, so be ready to say No or bring your own Realtor to the open house

  • It probably goes without saying that REDC probably won’t be happy if you do your home inspection during the Open House (but many homes are on Realtor's lockboxes so you can hire a Realtor to get you into the homes at time other than the Open House)

Attending The Auction

  • You have to bring $5,000 cash or cashier’s check to enter

  • You can bring your own Realtor to the auction and REDC will pay him/her a 1% commission

  • If you win a property at auction you must put down a 5% earnest money deposit that day

  • You cannot attend the auction for someone else (no assigning winning bids)

The Money

  • You can finance your home purchase

  • REDC’s lenders are on site but you don’t have to use them

  • If you use your own lender, you must purchase the home even if you’re turned down for a mortgage (no financing contingency)

  • You must close on the purchase within 30 days of the auction

  • Heather’s Note: Lenders a swamped with buyers lately so you might not be able to close within 30 days; start working with a lender before the auction

The Fine Print

  • REDC adds 5% to your winning bid to cover their marketing expenses (if you win a house for $200,000, they’ll add 5% - or $10,000 – to make total purchase price $210,000)

  • The 5% fee is added to your purchase price whether you use your own Realtor or not

  • REDC’s website says they usually auction 25 to 30 properties per hour (i.e. you’ll have 2 minutes, total, to decide whether you want to bid on each home, and how much

  • If you “win” the house at the auction your purchase is non-cancellable

If you want to read the complete FAQ for this auction you can find it on REDC's website. A few more thoughts on auctions tomorrow…

I’ll be attending the June 14 auction. If you’d like to attend with me, call or email.

602-999-8831 or Heather@ThePhoenixAgents.com