Homeowners learn too late they purchased a former illegal marijuana grow-operation

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston family told Eyewitness News they discovered that their dream home used to be an illegal grow house. Marijuana plants filled the house instead of furniture.

The Nguyen family said they moved onto the property in 2015 when their 4-year-old son soon fell ill. During renovations, they told ABC13 they uncovered mold and termites.

"It's an absolute nightmare to think that you bought the right home to raise your family in," said Gabrielle Nguyen. "And then shortly have to go through doctor visits, hospitalizations, and moving in and out."

Nguyen said they discovered the house used to be a grow house in 2012. Her attorney, George Edwards III, said the seller should have disclosed the home's history. He said water penetration led to a mold infestation. They filed a lawsuit against the seller, agent, and real estate company.

"Everything about this house when they looked at it seemed like a dream but when they found out the facts about this house, nothing about the house got you high," Edwards said.

The seller's attorney, Mitchell Katine, said he plans on asking a judge to dismiss the case. He said the buyer's inspection report warned about elevated moisture levels. The buyer asked for a credit instead of calling in a professional.

"The buyers assumed the risk of this house. It was an as-is transaction," said Katine. "They knew there were elevated moisture levels. Instead of checking it out, they decided to take $6,000. Our clients have been wrongfully sued. They should not have been sued."

Katine said under Texas law a seller must disclose if a property had been used to manufacture methamphetamine. They do not need to disclose if a property was once a grow house.
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