The New York Times had an article a few days ago about buying stigmatized properties (Some Buyers Regret Not Asking: Anyone Die Here?) and elaborated upon by the folks over at Zillow (If these walls could talk…..). It concerned houses where people had died or been murdered and the possible existence of ghosts or bad ju-ju in the home.
Tonight on 20/20 they’re airing a segment How to Sell a House of Horrors — ‘Dr. Disaster’ Appraises Properties Where Chilling Crimes Occurred, about what happens when someone is killed, murdered or dies in a property. How much value does it lose? Will it ever sell? Apparently, if one holds on to it long enough, people forget. Nicole Simpson’s condo on Bundy, which sold just a few years after her murder for $590,000, $200K less than she paid for it, is now on the market for $1.8 million dollars. (The show also had a great piece on real estate flipping and falling prices in Florida — something our friends over at Seattle Bubble are going to love!)
The American Bar Association had a great article with a legal emphasis , Stigma Busters — A Primer on Selling Haunted Houses and Other Stigmatized Property. It used to be that sellers in Washington State were required to disclose a death in the home for sale. Now, the responsibility for investigation falls on the Buyers, as they have the opportunity to perform what’s called a “Neighborhood Review” where they can look into any past crimes, deaths or other disasters, traffic patterns, neighborhood noise, proximity to shopping and the like. Wanna see if there are any sex offenders in the neighborhood? King County Sex Offender Search.
Have you already bought a stigmatized house? Contact Heather Mack. She has an MA in Pastoral Studies from Seattle University and performs “House Blessings” to purify the home. You can call her at (206) 330-7158 or email her at HeatherAnnMack@Yahoo.com