Jeff MacKinnon

Honest, hard working and thorough

Would you buy a home where legal pot was grown?

Among all the countless reports and stories published within the past week about the legalization of marijuana in Canada, one in particular caught my eye because I'm a realtor.

It dealt with a poll regarding selling a home where legal marijuana was grown. Often polls aren't accurate, but let's for a minute assume this one is legit.

Huffington Post reported on a Zoocasa poll that suggested 52 per cent of Canadians would be less likely to consider buying a home in which legal marijuana was grown.

The poll maintains that Baby Boomers (54 to 72) and Gen Xers (38-53) were more likely than Millennials (22 to 37) to skip buying a house where mariijuana was grown. As of of Oct. 17, you can grow up to four marijuana plants in your home.

So, given this information and the likelihood that one day you or your descendants will be selling your property, would it be wise to think twice about growing marijuana in your home even though, as proponents argue, a small amount isn't likely to damage your home?

Consider that realtors are now going to include in purchase contracts a term that will ask whether the seller has ever grown marijuana in the home. If the answer is yes, how many buyers are going to move on to another property? According to this poll, plenty.

I'll even be asking the listing realtor when I book a showing. If they shy away from an answer, I'll pass that on to my clients.

As a buyer's realtor, I'd ask my clients that if the seller admits to growing four plants at a time, what's the likelihood  they actually had more than that going at once. After all, no one is going to be watching anymore. Who will really know how green their thumb actually is or what's been going on in their basement.

As well, if they grew pot in their home, what's the likelihood that they also sat on their couch and smoked it?

For those who argue that it's not a big deal — that marijuana doesn't leave a smell or get into the walls — ask yourself why someone would buy a smoker's house when there are plenty of attractive properties available where no one had previously smoked or grown marijuana. 

I've only had one client tell me they didn't care that a place we were considering was a smoker's house and that person also didn't buy the condo in question and it was eventually taken off the market and continued as a rental.

According to this poll three in 10 millenials believe that growing marijuana in a home lowers the resale value. To me that's a significant number.

If you are marketing your home to a younger buyer, if this poll is correct you are going to lose a healthy chunk of your market if you have grown marijuana in your home. If you are marketing to everyone, again if this poll is remotely accurate more than half of your potential market is going to stay away.

If you are a marijuana user who plans to grow your own pot, you need to sit down and have a relaxing puff on your  deck and think hard about beginning your in-home gardening project.

No one knows how all this is going to turn out in terms of real estate so maybe wait til some of the answers are made clear.

I guess, from a realtor's perspective, my buyer could get a smokin' good deal if they buy from a weed afficionado.

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