Would you buy a home knowing there was a death in the property?

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April 20 2011 - Powers
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Profile picture for sunnyview
What a story Debbie. All I can say is wow. I have been in houses that had really bad vibes that I later found out had some interesting history and couldn't wait to get out of, but I have been in other houses most notably the Winchester Mystery House and other supposedly haunted dwellings that I would have gladly stayed in alone at midnight watching a zombie movie.

I don't know what that is. I have had that happen with some people too. It's nothing they said or did, it was just bad. I know people can pick up on things that are not usually measured by science, but what those bad vibes really are is anyone's guess. I try to figure it out, but in the end I just listen to the signals and accept that the world is a mysterious place.
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April 27 2011
quick story - related to this......I went to show a home to an out of state transferee, who knew nothing about the area.......it was a luxury home, large property and very impressive looking............we pulled up, I got out of the car and went up the front steps  to ring the bell.........I turned to see that my buyer was still standing by the car on the circular drive............I asked why she was still there.........she answered that she "couldn't go into that house - she was getting a very bad feeling, and the vibe was so strong, she wanted to get back in the car quickly  and leave"!
I told the person who answered the door that my buyer didn;t feel well, and I wa sorry but we weren't coming in.

When I got back in the car, I told the buyer that this was the 3rd owner of the home........2 of the couples who had lived there had gotten divorced......1 husband had been disbarred and 1 wife had died in the home (peacefully) but her husband supposedly had been cheatng on her while she was dying! it was not  happy relationship.

There had been a lot of sadness and unhappiness in that home, and some how, some way, my buyer sensed it (she said this was something that happened to her often - I was a believer after that!)
The buyer had no way of knowing any of that.............makes you wonder.(I still get chills when I think back to it)
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April 26 2011
I bought my first home in 1976, knowing it was being sold because the husband had died following a long  illness .
It neither occured to me, or my husband, to ask...nor did we care... whether the gentleman  had passed away in a hospital, or in his own  bed at home.

So many people with terminal illnesses these days prefer to use Hospice and die peacefully in their own homes, surrounded by their family.

I would never let that keep me from buying a home.

My friend's husbad died suddenly late at night at home. I sold her home a year later, and no one cared or asked, even though it was known she was recently widowed, where he had died.
Other than an unusual or dramatic circumstance, I would have no problem buying a home......and I did........ where a death might have ocurred.

Besides, if you're buying from the 3rd or 4th owner.....would you really ask if any of the previous owners died there??
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April 26 2011

I personally wouldn't buy one.  Just a personal preference.

We have had a murder/suicide last year in our neighborhood of a prominent person.  Husband shot the wife then himself. The kids put the house for sale and it sold for market value within 60 days.

Texas law doesn't require you to disclose natural death or suicide or murder.  Only if the house was the cause of the death such as eletrocution etc. 

The listing of this home didn't include anything and now we have a new neighbor.  I wonder if they know.

Naima

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April 26 2011
I I would love to know how many agents go on a listing report and ask this question. Have you ever asked did someone die or hang themself in this property recently? How far does one have to go back? We had this discussion in class and for a discounted price.
How would an appraiser depriciate it's value? Is there a formula they use for homes in which people were murdered in? I think this question is interesting...It is not written in our seller's disclosure did someone die in this property...
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April 26 2011
It depends on the circumstances to determine if it would be an issue with me or my clients.
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April 26 2011

Personally will not buy that property, but if a client wants to purchase after knowing the facts then is fine with me.



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April 26 2011
Never. It would not be a happy place to raise a family.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for hpvanc
A death of natural causes would not bother me.  Death by violent crime, would depend on the circumstances.  I suspect I would not buy a house in the same neighborhood as the one Kevin did a BPO on.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for jenly

depends on the circumstances, but . . . a horrible, violent homicidal type death--absolutely not, no matter how much I loved the house.  And I would be really ticked off if the seller's didn't tell me.

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April 26 2011
Yes
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April 26 2011

This is a tough area for some. Some don't care at all and for others it may make all the difference in the world. Disclosure saves it all. If it is right and the buyer doesn't care then no problem, if there is anything that makes the buyer uncompfortable about it then move on to the next one. Finding out what kind of death might be something that could bring some peace as well. Good question.

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April 26 2011
yes
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Similarly, if it had radioactive drywall --->  Similarly, if it had radioactive *granite counter tops*
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April 26 2011
I subconsciously "know" what you mean. lol.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Well, certainly if if has high sulfur radioactive drywall, you would subconsciously "know".  Similarly, if it was infested with bugs or rodents, you would subconsciously know.  Similarly, if it had radioactive drywall, you would subconsciously know.  And if the wiring was "wrong" and creating heating, or arcing, or electromagnetic fields, you would subconsciously "know".  If the house had mold, you would subconsciously know.  If there was radon in the soil underneath the house, you would subconsciously know.

If it had spirits, you may or may not know as many people are not sensitive to those things.  But if there was a disturbed spirit in the place, it is not that hard to ask the spirit to leave, or to put the spirit at ease to remove the conflict.

Bacteria and viruses from spilled blood or decaying carcasses usually only survive a couple weeks on the outside without a host.  Of course, that was the problem with the "black plague", thieves entered way too soon and caught the "disease".

Rather than being "fearful", I'm much more inclined to be analytical, and use a systematic process of elimination approach to isolating any "uneasy" feeling and getting it addressed.

Even sharp edges on counter tops can be addressed, or threshold problems at entrances, or loose step boards.  But one can't address the problem if one isn't willing to even look.

I agree with David about usually not buying a house at the end of a T-intersection.  I've seen way too many cars go through the front windows. I've also seen some creative solutions for resolving some of these, but it doesn't always address the headlights, nor the traffic noise of acceleration, deceleration, and breaking.  The highest priority for me on a house selection is the noise level, and a huge factor for that is the traffic.
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April 26 2011
I actually think its more complicated than that,  I've seen beautifully staged and/or professionaly decorated houses, some in the multimillion dollar range, that I couldn't wait to get out of.  I couldn't pinpoint why-  it had nothing to do with not liking someone's choice of furniture or colors.  It was just a "feeling".
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April 26 2011
;) Another word for it is staging!
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April 26 2011
I do believe that houses have bad, good or neutral vibes.  I think we've all been in houses that we couldn't wait to get out of (which had nothing to do with odor or obvious turn offs) and other houses which just seem to emit a positive feeling.

I think light has a lot to do with it but there also may be some truth to the whole Feng Shui thing.
I would be curious to know if houses that have been "Feng Shuied" sell faster or for more money than similar or even identical houses that haven't.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for droopyd
Some people seek out houses where there have been grisly deaths (accidental or otherwise).

Or as Howard Devoto wrote: "Some people pay for what others pay to avoid."
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for James1029
As a buyer, I would buy a house that someone passed away in, but not one where someone was recently murdered.
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April 26 2011
Alot of house with bad "vibe" tends to be bad "Feng Shui", confusing floorplan, badly placed windows, lots of corner/turns, "blindspots", or other features that makes it uncomfortable to stay.

"Feng Shui" is kind of interesting, I do believe in it somewhat.

Mainly as the way to arrange ones furniture, rooms, opening, halls, orientation, selection of locations, etc... To achieve good lighting, warmth, flow, reduce clutter, beauty, reduce chance of accident (ie bumping one's hip into a badly placed counter top), etc...

If you look closely at topology and orientation to avoid, and then place yourself in a society/environment that is 200+ years in the past. It starts to make sense. (i.e. T intersection... imagine no light, no stop signs, no signal light. Carriages pulled by ox or horses with rudimentary brakes...) Some are outdated, but still makes some sense... (i.e. T intersection, headlights of cars shining into house on/off through the night can get irritating...)

A happy environment to live in and to wake up to each day, will help one's life.


Why unpeaceful death by others makes some people avoid the property? Because in the past in some countries, murders are commonly due to vendetta/fueds between clans or fractions. Even if a new owner were to post signs that they have nothing to do with the past owner, they still might end up getting "revenged" on. Because, a lot of "land rights/ownership" were family/clan based, so, if one lives there then one must be related to the enemy.

It kind of gets "ingrained" to people from these cultures, even in our modern society.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
"It may come as a surprise, but some people believe that if a house/structure have a peaceful passing away of elder (that had a good life in the house) at age older than 60, it actually means that it will be good for some new owners."

I had heard that too. Houses do seem to hold emotions/events sometimes. Although I am not terribly superstitious, I would not a buy a house that had a "bad" vibe. It is hard to explain exactly what that feeling is, but in houses it is palpable. Bad fung shui, violent death, divorce ?
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April 26 2011
I have first hand experience selling a property that a son beheaded his mother in the kitchen and I can assure you it bothered everyone that took interest in this property.  Illinois Law states you do NOT have to disclose this to the potential buyer.  I felt very uncomfortable about this listing and to be honest took it before I knew what had occured as it was never disclosed to me either.
Eventually, it did sell to a nice young women that it didnt bother one way or the other.  Imagine that!
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April 26 2011
I would and I probably have.

You do not ask "...if there was a murder where blood was spattered all over the kitchen while the victim was cooking meth, which caused a fire that led to leaky plumbing that caused a huge mold problem," so I assume you just mean "a death". Like someone died peacefully in their sleep, or even took their own life without incident by overdosing on pills. I would not care unless for some reason the seller put a stigma on the property by releasing that info on the MLS or online, which can be seen by future superstitious buyers virtually forever.

I work in Arizona, where the law does not say you have to disclose a death in a home when you put it for sale. Which is a good thing, with a large percentage of the homes being sold by the banks, who usually would not be privy to that information in the first place.

Interestingly, though, Arizona law does dictate that you have to disclose if the home is haunted. Some buyers actually think that's a plus.
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April 26 2011
I recall reading somewhere that more than 50% of person to person communication is via visual cue/posture and tone. These are more or less processed subconciously (except for the ones that are popular and "known", which sometimes gets over analyzed).

Using email, text, posts etc... means that we are only communicating at 50% or less. So, very easy to cause misunderstanding or to read too much into another's comment.

For myself, there are a few areas where I am overtly sensitive/protective and will easily go into attack/defense mode. I try to balance that by reminding myself to not read into or care too much about what people say (and especially write via email, posts, text, etc...), as there can be more than 2 meanings to every word. Or I just sleep on it for a day or two before responding.



So, without reading too much into my answer:

No, I would not buy a house/structure with un-peaceful death. Because I am superstitious and a little afraid... kind of a mixture of too much ghost stories/movies when I was a kid and also because of the way I was raised.

It may come as a surprise, but some people believe that if a house/structure have a peaceful passing away of elder (that had a good life in the house) at age older than 60, it actually means that it will be good for some new owners. (Also the reason why this kind of buyer have a huge interest in the age and gender of the elder.)

For my clients, I respect what they want and filter accordingly. But, if a house has unpeaceful death and I know of it before hand, I will not go into it. (Yes, I will inform my client and they can get another agent for this kind of purchase.)

Because I will get creeped out and it makes me uncomfortable. Which will be counter to the life that I currently choose.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
I understand. I would see that stain as opportunity to negotiate not a deal killer. Other situations that take place at properties like meth labs and the like would bother me more since they are much harder to clean up than any biological remains.
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April 26 2011
The owner/landlord had done the cleanup and basically given the keys to the bank. There was no professional cleanup done yet, and when I saw the stains in the carpet I go the impression of what it was and so I called to find out. I'm not a big believer in the ghost thing, but I do believe wanting to be safe on my part isn't a crime. This house wasn't put on the market for months after I was there, and since the situation got this home in the bank's possession so fast they wanted a better idea of what they had.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
There are companies that will come on to clean up crime scenes. They are a bit more expensive than your normal housekeeper for obvious reasons, but they use biochemicals to break down stains etc.

Past the physical clean up, I suppose you have the possibility of ghosts if you believe in that. However, if every house that had a person die in it had a ghost there sure would be a lot of them around.
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April 26 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
Personally, a death in a house would interest me less than the neighbors that are there currently. Disclosure forms have a lot of info on them, but really no spot to disclose neighbor troubles besides "Other Disclosures".

Bad neighbors, crazy neighbors, neighbors with mean dogs would be more of a concern for me. Unlike a dead body, they never seem to move.
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April 26 2011
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