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    Throughout the pandemic, people across the country have been moving out of city centers into more suburban neighborhoods in pursuit of more space, now that so many are working from home. Record prices with low inventory means that buyers are becoming more desperate to secure a home, with many foregoing their previous ‘red lines’ in order to secure a deal. However, according to a survey by Rehabs.com, there appears to be one type of property that few potential buyers are unwilling to compromise on: former drug houses. 

   The survey of 3,300 found that property-buyers in Kentucky would expect a 43% discount to purchase a property that used to be a meth lab - equivalent to $60,656 based on average property prices in Kentucky.

   Indeed, those seeking a discount on a former meth lab, or those unwilling to purchase altogether have good reason to do so: the presence of ‘crystal meth’ can lead to serious health issues if property contamination occurs. It is an extremely potent drug which contains harmful chemicals such as acids, bases, metals, organic chemicals and chemical salts. Even the slightest amount of exposure can lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and breathing difficulties. The combination of chemicals used during the production of clandestine methamphetamine can permeate a structure’s walls, ceilings, air ducts and carpeting. 

    When it comes to buying a property that was a former meth lab, there are a variety of different factors that should be considered such as safety, local crime and health concerns. The poll also found that more than 1 in 4 (26%) respondents admit they would worry about the social stigma from friends and family. Additionally, more than half (67%) of respondents admit they would avoid visiting friends and family if these loved ones lived in a neighborhood where there were known drug houses.

   However, it appears social stigma is less of a concern than cleanliness according to the survey. More than half (59%) say the cost of proper cleaning would be the main worry if they decided to buy a property that was once a drug house. A third (33%) would be most concerned about other meth labs operating in the neighborhood.

   Lastly, if it were discovered that if their new property turned out to be a former drug house, more than half (59%) say they would immediately pull out of the property deal.

   These clandestine labs might be closer to home than you may think – a study by Rehabs.com analyzed the thousands of meth lab busts and seizures across the nation, tracking geographical and chronological trends of the resurgent threat, and mapped this information based on the last decade of data so that potential buyers can see how close they would live to a former meth lab: https://www.rehabs.com/explore/neighborhood-drug-dens/

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