Former meth house is homeowner’s “worst nightmare”

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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:


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  • roger

    Price and location it’s always a give a way , plus everyone knows went you’re about to buy a house you always check and ask around so you not fall in to this things , so hope you learned your lesson , just like buying a car same rules apply ;)

    • Becky

      Wow, aren’t you a lovely individual. I just looked up the house in question. I wouldn’t suspect a $90,000 house to be a meth lab. Look through the listing photos- they did a fantastic job of rehabbing it to cover the evidence that it was a freaking shithole cook house.

    • Crystal

      Way to keep it classy by blaming the VICTIMS. A simple search of the Kent County property tax records should show who the previous owner is. Wonder if their name is Roger?


      • Roger

        Ha ha …you wish ,I can see you’re not a home owner ,I’m of (2) and I did my research before I decided to say yes , the price and the area doesn’t mean anything it’s totally irrelevant , this world it’s not Pleasantville

    • Ricardo

      Roger.. Learn how to properly construct a sentence and learn how to spell and not sound like you just got off a boat. Then maybe try being considerate of what happened to this family.

    • christina

      I agree! Roger, to post such a condescending comment has made your complete ignorance, blatantly obvious. Clearly, you have never been done an injustice because your comment is completely void of human compassion. . . not to mention that you sound like a bitter, self absorbed human being, (and I use the term “human,” loosely.

  • Stunner

    I’d be shocked if they have no legal recourse. Seems like they should be able to lean on the environmental contamination disclosure being avoided. I’d sue in a heartbeat….what do they have to lose at this point. I’m sure a good attorney could make a convincing argument.

  • dk

    What ever.. they spray anhydrous ammonia all around my farm house in fields every year… …. unfortunately meth is bad where I live so I have rented a couple house that have been cooked in…. they where perfectly fine.. me and wife and three kids one with breathing problems already ..and been in it like three years and alll is great live our home!!

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