The popularity of the TV series “Breaking Bad” revived Americans’ concern over the proximity of methamphetamine laboratories (meth labs) that may exist in their neighborhood, or even a lab once set up in the house they are considering purchasing.
Episode after episode we witnessed relationship struggles, health issues, and homes and neighborhoods on the brink of collapse. And while there have been stricter regulations and more arrests, meth lab statistics are still alarming:
- Since 2004 the DEA has reported 24,484 total meth labs in the U.S. with a valid property address, while Housefax.com reports 52,798 meth lab property addresses.
- Only a little over half of U.S. states require disclosure of a former meth lab (with varying laws). (The Scripps Howard News Service)
- A former meth lab significantly lowers not only the property value but also residential home listings in surrounding blocks by as much as 20%. (Joshua Congdon-Hohman)
- The decline in property values persists for at least 2 years. (Joshua Congdon-Hohman)
- Nearly 20% of all labs are found as a result of a fire or explosion. (Joshua Congdon-Hohman)
- Professional meth house cleanup contractors estimate that about 90% of meth houses are never uncovered, and their tenants will likely never know about their homes’ toxicity.
- Clean up costs can easily exceed $30,000 to make the home healthy again. (California Drug Enforcement Agency)
- Upon moving into a meth house, people have experienced short-term health problems ranging from migraines and respiratory difficulties to skin irritation and burns. (2009 study in Toxicological Sciences)
- Hospitals have noticed an uptick in meth burn cases. It costs around $230,000 to treat a meth lab burn victim. (Mother Jones)
- It takes about 15 minutes to “shake and bake” a batch of meth in a plastic bottle using ingredients you may already have lying around the house. (Huffington Post)
- Meth use cost the U.S. economy around $23.4 billion in 2005. (RAND Corporation study)
Housefax has access to millions of records that can affect property and home values, including meth lab activity and other environmental hazards. Run a free Housefax Report and know before you buy.