One family in Oregon ended up with a Freddie Mac meth house, which was unknown to both the organization and the new homeowners. It was determined that the house was used as a meth lab after they tested residue. The family is driving a petition to require that all government-sponsored homes be tested for residue before being sold on the market.
The Hankins family thought they had a good deal when they bought a foreclosed home in Klamath Falls, less than 20 miles north of the California border. A realtor showed them the home, which was sold through HomeSteps, a listing service for Freddie Mac. They purchased it for $36,500.
Jonathan Hankins, 32, and his wife, Beth, 29, started renovating the property in early June and moved into the two-bedroom 850-square-foot home before the end of the month.
After three weeks of living in their home, however, they started having severe headaches. Their 2-year old son also became sick, past the point of being just a moody toddler.
“We mostly experienced extreme dry mouth and had mouth sores, making it extremely painful to even drink water,” Hankins said.
The family moved out of their home and stayed with Beth’s parents for six weeks before renting a property 10 blocks away from their home.
“We like to keep an eye out on it,” Beth, a nurse, said of their property.
The Hankins were not sure why they were sick until neighbors told them they suspected the home may have been a former illegal methamphetamine drug lab.
Home Testing Results
The couple said they contacted contractors who advised them to have the home tested for meth residue. They bought a kit for $50 and swabbed their home. After submitting their results to a lab, they learned that they had 38 micrograms of methamphetamine residue. The Oregon Health Authority’s minimum to require a homeowner to clean up their home is 0.5 micrograms per square foot.
The family contacted Freddie Mac, trying to get answers about why they were not informed about the home’s history. The problem is the local authorities did not contact the Oregon Health Authority, as is customary, because there were no recent drug-related enforcement actions related to the home.