If the price being offered for that dream home seems a steal, better make sure no one was committing crimes there.
That's the painful lesson that Jonathan and Beth Hankins learned after buying a foreclosed fixer-upper in Klamath Falls, Ore., for the rock bottom price of $36,000.
"We said, 'It needs a little bit of love, but it's got good bones,'" Jonathan Hankins told Yahoo! News. "We just had no idea that those bones were poisonous."
The couple moved in this past summer, and almost immediately, Beth, an ER nurse, had breathing problems while Jonathan got migraine-like headaches and their 2-year-old son, Ezra, developed mouth sores.
"He couldn't even drink water without being in pain," said Jonathan, 32, told the website.
No, the house wasn't haunted. The answer was even scarier: It was a former meth lab, something a neighbor mentioned in passing while they were planning to see a doctor to figure out their strange ailments.
"We bought a meth lab by accident," Hankins told The Huffington Post.
After using a testing kit, the couple learned that their dream home was contaminated by methamphetamine and other chemicals more than 80 times the legal limit, iScienceTimes.com reported.
Freddie Mac, which foreclosed on the house, told the couple they had to screen for asbestos and lead, but did not warn about any drug activity. Not that it would have any difference, Jonathan told Yahoo! News, because methamphetamine is an invisible toxin.
Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German said the company was unaware the house was a meth lab.
"Had we known, we would have disclosed it," he told The Huffington Post.
Oregon law requires homeowners to disclose if the home was used for production of meth, but only if that was verified by the Oregon Health Authority. The problem with that rule is that it will likely only happen in a case handled by law enforcement, if sellers are honest, and the financial institutions involved know about the house’s history, HeraldAndNews.com reported.
Hankins is trying to prevent other homeowners from his situation via a petition drive on Change.org asking that banks and other financial firms be forbidden from selling meth-contaminated homes.
UPDATE: This new version of this story includes comments from Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German.
This Oklahoma woman was sentenced to 25 years after smuggling not only meth in her butt, but also a gun in her vagina. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/10/christie-harris-hid-gun-in-vagina-meth-in-butt-sentenced_n_3574436.html" target="_blank">Read the whole story here. </a>
This Florida woman was allegedly caught with a hypodermic needle stowed away in her anus. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/01/alexis-clancey-hides-needle-in-butt_n_2789700.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news&ir=Weird%20News">Read the whole story here. </a>
Priscilla Pena and Michelle Blassingale were arrested at JFK Airport after arriving from the Dominican Republic in late January. Drug-sniffing dogs allegedly detected something. Authorities said Pena had seven kilos of cocaine in silver plastic, wrapped around her butt like a disposable diaper.
Rasoul Speight, 32, is facing a narcotics charge after New Jersey cops yesterday discovered a whopping 100 bags of heroin hidden in his anus.
Bellamy allegedly hid 36 vials of crack cocaine in her vagina to stay out of police custody. But officers noticed that the Philadelphia woman was walking funny, and she admitted to her hiding place. "The woman says, 'I have crack up in my vagina,' and she pushed out 36 vials of crack cocaine that were in a bag," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said. "Thank God the lady didn't have a snake or a crocodile, or we'd really have been in trouble."
Pot Found In Frozen Carrots
42 packages of marijuana were found stashed inside boxes of carrots on the back of a truck trying to pass through the Otay Mesa cargo facility.
Crack, Pot Found In Man's Prosthetic Leg
Jose Santiago is accused of hiding 2.5 grams of crack cocaine and 2.8 grams of marijuana inside his prosthetic leg.
Kiana Howell and Makeeba Grahama
Kiana Howell (L) and Makeeba Graham (R) are accused of attempting to smuggle cocaine from Guyana into the U.S. in their hair.
Harvey is accused of stuffing clothes shoes and a watch worth a combined $450 <a href="http://blogs.tcpalm.com/off_the_beat_will_greenlee_blog/2012/09/byron-harvey-apparently-had-a.html" target="_hplink">in his pants.</a> He also allegedly had several pills stuffed in his pants that he claimed were not his.
Cocaine Bricks In XBox
Carlos Valenzuela, 42, was pulled over by El Paso authorities for a traffic violation, but the routine stop led to the discovery of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/07/cocaine-in-xbox-carlos-valenzuela_n_1495223.html#s=946270" target="_hplink">two large bricks of cocaine inside an XBox 360.</a>
Man Allegedly Ties 89 Bags Of Drugs To Penis
A traffic violation by Ray Woods, 23, caught the attention of Pennsylvania police, who then discovered Woods was packing something quite large: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/89-bags-of-heroin-tied-to-penis_n_1420733.html" target="_hplink">89 bags of heroin and cocaine tied to his penis.</a>
Cocaine Found In Tampon Box
Cindy Davidson of Salt Lake City found quite a surprise when she opened a box of tampons she purchased: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/cocaine-tampons-accidenta_n_1477321.html" target="_hplink">cocaine wrapped in cellophane.</a>
Crack Found In Suspect's Butt
Florida police not afraid to get their hands dirty <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/17/police-find-crack-in-butt_n_1285604.html" target="_hplink">discovered crack in the butt</a> of 28-year-old Ramon Blair.
Idaho Mechanic Finds $40,000 Of Cocaine In 82-Year-Old Woman's Car
An Idaho mechanic <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/idaho-mechanic-discovers-cocaine_n_1506071.html?ref=drugs" target="_hplink">found 1.16 pounds of cocaine</a> -- that's more than $40,000 worth on the street -- inside the engine compartment of a car belonging to an 82-year-old woman.