Neighbours in Örträsk, northern Sweden, were reportedly glad to see an influx of younger people in their neighbourhood, reported Sveriges Television (SVT).
While things moved along swimmingly at first, a long-forgotten smell wafted through the windows and into the noses of neighbours.
“It started to smell weird. It was a smell that I recognized from my youth,” said Gun Rehnman, a neighbour to one such abandoned house, to SVT.
It turned out that five rooms in the house had been dedicated to cannabis cultivating, and that a man in the family had been taking a masters course in gardening. Plastic sheets covered the windows and strong lights reportedly lit up the rooms.
Police took possession of the house on Sunday.
Local police have pointed to the low prices and relative remoteness of the abandoned houses as a reason the growers have flocked to the region.
“It’s really easy to buy these kinds of houses, and maybe because they’re so remote people think that they can do things undisturbed,” said Inga-Lena Jonasson of the Umeå police.
The trend has been strong lately, with a dozen similar cases having been reported in the past two years.