TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Scattered across Tippecanoe County are 128 blue dots. Each of those dots represents a home where meth was once cooking.
“It’s becoming a bigger problem, people moving into houses that have had meth labs in them and are contaminated,” said Indiana State Police Trooper Wesley Ennis.
Thanks to a new Indiana state website, that information is now available with the click of a mouse.
Ennis said meth suppression teams from across the Hoosier state helped compile the statistics over the last several years.
“We’re trying to educate people on what they’re moving into, whether it’s a rental property or a whether it’s a house they’re looking to buy,” said Ennis.
Broker and real estate owner Cathy Russell agrees with state police, it’s something residents deserve to know. However, she said trying to resell those homes may be difficult.
“I do think it will affect the value of the property from a standpoint of stigma,” said Russell. “Also, you’re going to have a lot of extra inspections because people are going to want to know what was done to mitigate the problem.”
If you don’t plan on moving into a new home anytime soon, Russell said you’re still not in the clear. Even living in the same neighborhood could be impacting your property value.
“If you see a cluster of three houses in one general area, it’s definitely going to make you say — going to make somebody say — that side of town is dangerous, or whatever,” said Russell.
She said real estate agents are now required to inform buyers if the home they’re interested in once housed a meth lab. However, Ennis said only meth labs reported to state police are included in the statistics, which means many more are still left unreported.
“Unfortunately, we don’t find all the meth labs out there,” said Ennis. “If we could, we would.”
Ennis suggests hiring a professional to come inspect the home you’re interested in buying for possible meth residue.
To view the map and statistics of homes with former meth labs, click here.
Ennis said once a home is professionally cleaned for meth residue, it will be removed from the website.