Quick turnaround for a former meth-contaminated house in Hamilton
A Hamilton house that has been renovated after being decontaminated of methamphetamine now has a hefty price tag.
The Pukete home at 1 Titoki Place is back on the market, having sold at auction on March 29, 2017.
New owners Steve and Vicki Hardwick bought the three-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a double garage for $410,000 at a Lodge Real Estate auction with the intention of quickly doing it up and selling it on.
It has been 65 days from the day of sale to when the property was relisted on Trade Me - once again under Lodge Real Estate.
A makeover has seen the asking price increased by at least $189,000 - the listing specifies inquiries over $599,000.
The Ministry of Health's recommended benchmark for a clean-up is 0.5 micrograms per 100 square centimetres, for where the drug had been manufactured, 1.5 micrograms where the drug had only been used in a carpeted area, and 2 micrograms where it had been used in an uncarpeted area.
Massey University environmental chemistry senior lecturer Nick Kim believes that almost all cases where meth has been detected is residue, like that which is left on the wall when someone smokes tobacco. In those cases, it is well down the low end of the risk spectrum.
Kim said that the large seizures that are being caught at our borders are probably more of an indication that, proportionally, more of our meth is being imported from overseas than manufactured here.
He thinks black mould poses more health risk than meth.
"The risk associated with traces of the meth on walls? I would put them at the same level as risks associated with traces of fly spray or environmental tobacco smoke. They are low and unquantifiable in reality. You can't really attach a health risk to it, so you can't say above this level, this harm is going to occur.
"Whereas black mould? That is known to cause health effects. Mould can give off volatile organic compounds which people can inhale, so unlike meth on a wall - which you would have to touch in the first place and then it has to be absorbed through the skin or transferred to the mouth - even then the traces are absolutely tiny.
"With mould, potentially, if there is a lot of it, people could get ill. They could inhale spores, could inhale organic compounds coming off the mould. Admittedly, some types of mould are worse than others.
"But cold, damp houses or even warm, damp houses where mould might grow - mould would definitely be more of a risk in my mind than traces of meth."
Quotable Valuation general manager Richard Allen acknowledges it makes sense for a rehabilitated meth house to attract a larger sale price.
"They know when they purchase the property they're going to have to rehabilitate the property, which is going to take some time. Also, add to the cost that sometimes they would have to do an entirely new kitchen or bathroom. And during that period, the market may have increased significantly," Allen said.
Also, if the owners are going to the length of rehabilitating the affected area, they will most likely renovate the entire house to a higher standard than what they bought it for.
"I personally don't see why there would be a discount if it had been previously contaminated and then it had all been renewed."