Auburn

Could that home for sale have housed a meth lab?

Could that home for sale have housed a meth lab? »Play Video
SEATTLE -- The Drug Enforcement Administration has created a list of homes across the state that once used to make the dangerous and deadly drug methamphetamine.

But some homes on the list are for sale without records revealing that sordid history.

"Test -- don't go into a home ownership just being ignorant," said real estate appraiser Richard Hager. "If it's a foreclosure house, get it tested for meth."

Hager says he's seeing some homes on the market contaminated with toxic waste left behind from chemical used to make the dangerous drugs.

"The cooking process uses some very potent chemicals, and the molecules are so small they penetrate through paint and through sheet rock, carpet and wood underneath," Hager said.

Hager says this is happening in some foreclosed properties, and the bankers and buyers are unaware.

"Here in Seattle it could be Magnolia, Queen Anne, (Bellevue), Medina -- more than likely it's farther out, it's where the houses are separated."

And because records on foreclosed properties can be scarce, buyers are purchasing the properties unsuspectingly. Hager says testing the property for contamination in advance is critical.

"Once it's discovered that these are meth houses, you're aware of it, you the seller have to disclose it to the next buyer and I have a funny suspicion that your house will be less than your mortgage at that point," Hager said.

The DEA has determined approximately 300 properties in Pierce and King Counties have been used as meth laboratories.