GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - To most people, owning a home is part of the American Dream, but for one family it's become a living nightmare.
Heather and Brian Vanorder found out the home they recently bought was used to make methamphetamine. Now, the home feels more like a prison, one they say is hiding dark secrets within its walls.
The Vanorders believe they were lied to about renovations done to their home, a cover up of chemicals left behind from methamphetamine once cooked and smoked in their home, threatening their financial and physical well being.
Heather has a history of Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis and is fearful the chemicals will hurt her family in the future.
Located on Straight Ave. NW, the Vanorders moved into their home a month ago; looking forward to living closer to family. However, shortly after they bought the house, a man living in the upstairs unit of their duplex told them some surprising news about the previous owner.
"He was one hundred percent sure they cooked meth in there and that he helped the seller cover it up," said Heather Vanorder.
That conversation was caught on tape, and the homeowners shared the recording with FOX 17. In it, the former upstairs tenant admits to helping the former owner renovate the kitchen and bedroom to cover up the drug activity.
The family has had two separate tests run in the kitchen and bedroom, both showing levels of methamphetamine much higher that what the EPA allows.
"You see it in the movies, you watch 'Breaking Bad,' but you get into a house with it, it’s like, what do I do?" said Brian Vanorder.
"We bought a meth house, said Heather, "I don’t even have words anymore."
Heather and Brian are now forced to live out of their moving boxes, afraid of contaminating anything coming into contact with the house.
"It’s scary and I don’t want to live in fear or be sick," said Heather.
Believe it or not, there's no law requiring a seller to disclose former drug activity or other crimes. A short paragraph in the seller's disclosure agreement asks for information on any "environmental contamination," to the home. It's a rule easily sidestepped, as the Vanorders' believe was the case here.
We reached out to the previous owner and asked him about the six years he lived in the home. He declined to issue a statement.
Heather and Brian are now looking for the best way to make their home a safe place to live. The estimated cost is $20,000 and they're hoping for help from the public using Gofundme.
They'll need walls torn out, furniture replaced and other big-ticket items.
Heather and Brian are in the process of building a fence to keep meth users familiar with their residence; out of the home once known as a meth house.
To help Brian and Heather, click the following link for their Gofundme efforts: