This California house may seem like any other ordinary home, albeit one that would set you back $1.55m. It is in a safe neighbourhood and has a pool, six bedrooms, four-bathrooms, and is 2,743 square feet.
But its previous owners allegedly used the San Jose home’s garage as a methamphetamine lab, which is still contaminated.
The house was listed for sale in mid-October. It last sold for $1.51 million in March 2021, according to Redfin.
But John Pagliassotti, a real estate consultant based in Newport Beach, told The Washington Post the costs associated with the cleaning process, as well as the safety risks will lower the property’s value.
He said the cleaning process could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and take months, and meth residue could still be in the air conditioning and heating system, inside the walls or on the lawn, making the house unsafe.
The home is currently boarded and surrounded by a metal fence, with signs surrounding the property warning people of hazardous substances and toxic chemicals, according to KRON4.
The listing does not include photos of the home’s interior.
A spokesman for Santa Clara County’s health department said no one will be able to enter the house until it is decontaminated, The Washington Post reported.
Once the house is decontaminated, it will be turned over to the new buyer in its current state, Keller Williams Realty said.
The property’s previous owner, 36-year-old Peter Karasev, was arrested in March on multiple charges related to the alleged meth lab.
A complaint filed by the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office against Mr Karasev in March showed detectives discovered a meth lab and meth in the garage while searching the house.
A detective also found a glass tube containing meth in the house, according to the complaint.
Mr Karasev reportedly told detectives he used meth to replace Adderall because of an Adderall shortage, the complaint shows.
He is being held at the Elmwood Correctional Complex in Milpitas without bail.
Contaminated properties can be legally sold in California, although they cannot be entered until they are decontaminated.
Homeowners must hire a certified hygienist and contractor to clean properties contaminated by meth, according to the Department of Environmental Health website.
The website also says that anyone who enters a contaminated property can be fined up to $5,000, meaning the buyer would have to purchase the San Jose home without looking at the inside.
“If you were my buyer, I would tell you I’ll find you a different opportunity,” Zaid Hanna, who owns a San Jose real estate agency, told The Washington Post.