Buying a Former Grow-Op – Abbotsford, BC

Abbotsford, BC – When it comes to purchasing a former grow-op home, mortgage financing can be tricky. Here are five important facts you should know in advance:

  1. Fewer lenders will finance former grow-ops.

Credit unions seem to be a little more lenient when it comes to securing a mortgage, but we would still recommend using a seasoned Abbotsford mortgage broker, or one in your local area who is familiar with the process as financing will be very limited and there are several requirements that need to be met before the lender even considers financing.

  1. Expect to pay a higher interest rate and/or fees to the lender or brokerage.

From a lender’s perspective, there are risks associated to lending on any property, especially one that was used as a previous grow-op. There is also a significant amount of administrative work to be done on files such as these, therefore the lender/brokerage will often charge a fee to offset staffing costs and related administrative costs.

You can also expect to pay a higher interest rate (as much as 2% greater). Risk for the lender increases drastically when it comes to financing a former grow-op. For the lender to have a sense of security they will often inflate the interest rate to provide some sort of cushioning should the mortgagor (borrower) default on the mortgage.

  1. Have extra cash set aside, as costs can exceed $10,000+.

Majority of lenders/banks will require a copy of a remediation report. What this means is that you as the potential buyer will need to hire a company that specializes in testing different aspects of the former grow-op. These companies look at things such as air quality, moisture, mold, electrical etc. Once the inspection is complete, they will provide a document which is referred to as the “remediation report”. This type of inspection can be costly and is only one step out of many others that you’ll need to complete.

  1. If the grow-op home was illegal and resulted in a filed police report, re-occupancy will need to be reinstated by the city.

Lenders/banks will also require proof that “occupancy” was reinstated. If the grow-op of interest was illegal and resulted in a report being filed, the city will then remove what is called “occupancy” from the home’s title. What this means is that it is no longer legal for someone to physically reside in that home unless the occupancy is reinstated. To reinstate occupancy, you will have to file a request through the city and they too will often ask for a remediation report.

  1. Patience and determination will be very important when it comes to buying your former grow-op home.

Expect the unexpected, it’s likely that there will be bumps throughout this process, so patience is a virtue. In some cases, the former grow-op has not been necessarily “busted” and no report filed. Therefore, occupancy was never removed and when the lender asks for reinstated occupancy, you as the buyer of interest, won’t have anything to provide. This is where these cases become challenging and when your selection in a mortgage specialist becomes crucial.

If you’ve considered buying a former grow-op home and would like more information, give our team a call @ 604-795-2933 or send us an email jordi@brownemortgage.com.

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