Helping Buyers and Sellers with North Texas Real-Estate

Selling or Buying a Haunted Home…

Ghost-edited-300x300On those certain nights, when the family is sound asleep and everything is still and quiet. I work alone in front of a computer, the wind outdoors blows fallen leaves, and clouds drift by a crescent moon. Those peaceful times when she makes herself known, the slight aroma of perfume, an unrecognizable noise, a whisper, a shadow perceived out of the corner of an eye or an insignificant touch on the back of a neck, never seen yet she is always present and she will be with this place until the end of time…

Selling a house is a strenuous process but what if you know your abode is haunted? Well in Texas, it is not necessary to disclose you have a ghost living in your hallways, however, can it add value?  The answer is sometimes…let me step back a little. If you own a fully restored Victorian home, then yes, maybe not monetarily but an intrinsic price. The paranormal is a popular subject in today’s culture as proven by the number of paranormal television shows such as “Ghost Hunters,” “My Ghost Story” and “A Haunting” just to name a few. As long as the spirit is friendly (think Casper) then there is a market of interested buyers who may find some charm knowing a hundred year old spirit roams the hallways. Condition, location, age, and square footage determine prices. The haunting may be appealing and distinguish the residence from the competition for the certain Buyer but actual market value is the determining factor. Be aware however, there is a distinction between the allures of an antique house with all the bumps and cold chills in the night and a stigmatized home.

A stigmatized home is a structure with a recent dark history such as a heinous crime, a suicide, or murder; it is a dark unseen stain, on an otherwise physically perfect structure. For example, who would want to purchase and inhabit a serial killer’s dwelling such as John Wayne Gacy’s small house in Des Plains, Illinois or Ted Bundy’s abode in Utah? Recent horrific events can and will turn off potential Buyers. In fact, sometimes the best idea is to level the structure and build a completely new house.  In Los Angeles, a couple bought Sharon Tate’s old dwelling, the location of the infamous Manson murders. The couple had the place demolished and built a brand new abode and they still live there today.  Oddly enough, however they paid the full price for the home. In this case, the Buyers were not buying the home; they were buying the property and the location. Some eastern cultures believe a suicide creates a bad energy that will stay with the house from owner to owner. They will steer clear from that listing limiting the number of potential Buyers.

It is possible to sell a stigmatized home however; the price must be lowered to fit the circumstances. In Texas, a Seller must disclose the fact of a murder or accident caused by property condition. A Seller is not legally bound to disclose a suicide, however, neighbors talk and depending on the Buyer this could cause trouble. The Buyer must always educate themselves before placing an offer on a home. If you are concerned about a past suicide, ask neighbors, do a Google search on the address on the property. For the Seller adjust your price accordingly. If the history is too dark, remove the structure and only sell the property. On the other hand, if stigmatized homes do not bother you, they can be quite a bargain.

Happy house hunting and I will see you down the road…if you dare.

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One response

  1. Reblogged this on boyd and williams your dfw realtors.

    December 17, 2013 at 5:06 pm

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