Dealing with Notorious Properties

By Elsie Dudukovich0 Comments

How would you know if a property was once the scene of a crime or other misfortune?

While some people find the true crime genre interesting or compelling, many people may not relish the idea of buying a property that was the site of a tragic event.  When a home, apartment, or other property has been the location of a murder, suicide, cult activity, notorious crime or other unsettling activity, that property is considered a stigmatized or psychologically impacted property. A property can also be considered stigmatized if the prior or current occupants hold the belief or it has developed a local reputation for being haunted or experiencing other paranormal activity.   

Not every state has laws requiring the disclosure of such events when a house is put on the market; it is considered to be part of your due diligence process. This prompted software engineer Roy Condrey to develop the website DiedInHouse as another resource for potential buyers to find out if a property was the scene of such an unfortunate event.

DiedInHouse, searches records for any listing and provides a report (for a fee) of the following information:
  • Has a death occurred?
  • Who died at that house?
  • When did the person die?
  • What was the cause of death?
  • List of Names Associated with the Address
  • Reported Meth activity, including labs, "dumpsites" or "chemical and glassware" seizures
  • Reported Fire Incidents Related to the Address
  • Number of Registered Sex Offenders Living in the Area and a List of Addresses
  • Property and Neighborhood Information
  • Hazardous Flood Zone Information
  • and more
Selling a Stigmatized House
What if you’ve identified that a house you’re selling has been labeled “haunted” or has a stigma attached to it? Try to list and sell it as if it was any other house and avoid seeking press attention, according to an article on the site HomeLight. It may also be necessary to consult with an attorney if there are any gray areas in disclosure laws in your state.

The article also features a map where you can view your state’s laws regarding disclosures of psychologically impacted or stigmatized houses.