July 18, 2012

Who wants to buy a meth lab?

This site has made a number of jokes about homes that could have been meth labs but probably weren’t.  But what if you could buy a real one?  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Cam for following up on our recent guide to NOT buying a meth lab.

San Jose, CA 95135


120715-sanfelipe-hallwayBEDS:  4
SQ. FT.:  3,200
$/SQ. FT.:  $375
LOT SIZE:  1.72 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COMMUNITY:  Evergreen
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81205455
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  155 days

Now is the time to buy this small ranch in the prestigious Evergreen Hills area. New entrance bridge makes a statement. Perfect for the horse-lover (tack room, barn and fencing) or person interested in exploring the possibility of subdivision. Lots of extras including BBQ area, dog run/kennel, covered patio and a hot tub.

120715-sanfelipe-fireplaceHere’s what Cam had to say about this um, very unique (snort) property:

Found this just after the meth lab post.

Pending soon? Agent even included photos of the chemical stains!

The link is to a Redfin forums discussion which links to this property, and also points out the same address is on the DEA seizure list.  The home was seized in August, 2010.  So it’s a pretty safe bet that this house is the real thing.  Except this is interesting as it went into foreclosure the previous February.

120715-sanfelipe-hottubYup, it’s an REO.  And you know what that means, right?  It means the seller (also known as the bank) doesn’t know squat about anything that happened in this house.

Check out the fireplace! More importantly, check out the chemical stains next to the fireplace! No wonder they didn’t dare show us what was cooking in the kitchen.

This reminds us of that huge meth lab bust in March (not this one, in an apartment, like for RENTERS).  We don’t know if this house was seized because the police were tracking down a stolen iPad and hit the jackpot, or if the bank deliberately planted some “bath salts” in the hot tub because they really wanted SOMEONE to take it off their hands.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

14 Responses to “Who wants to buy a meth lab?”

  1. SEA Says:

    “The value is in the land”

    “Prices can only go up, no matter how much you pay”

  2. nomadic Says:

    Last sold in 2005 for $2.1M


  3. CB Says:

    Probably go for 950K. At which point hopefully someone with children doesn’t let their excitement get the better of them. Everyone has the occasional mishap when purchasing cars, houses, etc. But signing on to live in a chem lab is pretty bad.

  4. Real Estater Says:

    Here’s some food for thought: Suppose you can buy a house at a super price (20% or more below market), would you be stopped by any of the following:

    1. The house was a meth lab
    2. The house was a murder scene
    3. The last 3 owners all went broke

  5. Real Estater Says:

    Here’s a good one from our friend Bob:

    10 Worst States to Live in During Retirement

    >>6. Tennessee
    Crime rate: 4,271.2 per 100,000
    Percentage of retirees living below poverty: 9.7
    Life expectancy: 76.2

  6. nomadic Says:

    House 20% below market. Today’s house @$1.2M? Or if that’s market, then let’s say $960,000. Then you have to rip off all of the drywall, cabinets, doors, etc. that are chemically contaminated. And who knows what kind of disposal requirements there are for that toxic waste.

    There is no way I’d buy that POS. Murders? “Bad luck?” Who cares? That’s superstition. Chemical residue is not the boogeyman, it’s shit that can seriously harm people.

  7. herpderp Says:

    Or like these poor schmoes up here in Seattle-land:

  8. herpderp Says:

    Who, for those too lazy to click, bought a house and didn’t realize until it started to poison them that it was a meth lab. It cost them $185,000 smackeroos to completely re-build it.

    In closing, I don’t care HOW great a deal that house is – OMG 20% OFF LET ME WHIP OUT MY CHECKBOOK – if it’s going to make me sick and require extensive work just to make it habitable.

  9. Divasm Says:

    Look at that crazy lot – super long and removed from the street, perfect for your meth lab needs. My question is this though – why buy a house for $2.1mil just to turn it into a meth house? Do you think they rented it because they needed money? That doesn’t make sense because who rents for $4K/month and then turns it into a meth house?

    What’s the story here? They realized their house was underwater and were unemployed so they decided to change careers? Work from home doing something they loved?

  10. madhaus Says:

    You heard of Breaking Bad. This is Breathing (Underwater) Bad.

  11. Crissa Says:

    Actually, I did buy a house where the last… five owners went broke. The last guy had a heart attack.

  12. SEA Says:

    “Suppose you can buy a house at a super price (20% or more below market)”

    What seller sells 20% below market?

  13. SEA Says:

    In regards to #4 asking about buying a home where the last 3 owners went broke, I suggested this same question back in March 2011.

    “In regards to multiple foreclosures, are some homes cursed?”

    Personally when I see a very high turnover rate home, I avoid it.

    Taking an RBA approach, we all know that there are no such problems in the RBA, so if you see the problems listed in #4, you know that your problems will begin soon after you close the deal. And what RBA home is discounted 20%?

  14. Crissa Says:

    It generally shows evidence of financial stress. And financial stress means a home isn’t being updated or maintained, or has something expensive wrong with it causing the financial stress.

    In our case, one guy bought it at the peak, and crashed; another bought the forclosure and claimed ailment; previous two fought over the property but it had alot of red flags on it, and whoever sold it to the guy at peak fixed some of the flags -but the guy did the rest. I have a book of printouts from the county about previous red flags on the property. And I crawled under and through it before buying it, and was willing to go 10% higher than I eventually got it at. And I’m below 80% equity now, tho I bought with an FHA.

    I saw many houses, a few better than this but most had as many or more glaring or hidden faults. So it didn’t seem like it would bankrupt me. And I was the only one in the neighborhood not to have a branch through their roof in the storm last fall…

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