Murders and Suicides In Homes Need Not Be Disclosed to Buyers

DIedinhouse.com You Have the Right to Know!

Has Anyone Died in the House? You Have the Right to Know! Ask Your Agent for an Instant Diedinhouse.com Report!

 

On July 21, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held their previous decision that a murder/suicide inside a house does not constitute a material defect that had to be disclosed to a buyer. Read more: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Homebuyer Need Not Be Told of Murder http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brad-reid/pennsylvania-supreme-cour_b_5621880.html?utm_hp_ref=internet

I have a different perspective on the subject of stigmatized and psychologically impacted properties. Yes, I agree that there are a few people who would love to buy a house where a murder occurred or is allegedly haunted, but I am presuming that there are more people who would not be interested.

I believe that most people do not even think about the subject when buying a home because they are assuming that it is a law to disclose that information and that the Realtor would tell them.

Personally, I would be comfortable to purchase a home where a peaceful death occurred, but I also understand that there are people who would not be. Now, if someone died peacefully and was not found for months in the home, I would have some concerns. I also do not want to own a home where a sudden violent death, murder or suicide occurred, but again I understand that some people would not mind at all.

The purpose of Diedinhouse.com is to help people who care to know, find out if a death occurred at an address before they decide to buy or rent it.

The truth is, there are people who care to know, but in most states the laws do not require sellers and agents to disclose it.  Also, no legal action can be taken against them for not disclosing.  I wonder if there were no laws to disclose typical material facts (water leaks, cracked foundations, etc.), would the sellers and agents disclose it?

It is a fact that a lot of people care about this subject, they would want to know and knowing would impact their decision to buy or rent, I speak with them everyday.   After all, I came up with the idea because I learned after closing on a property that a previous owner died in the house while his wife died later in the hospital. I then found out that in my state it is not required by law to disclose that information and yes, I would not have bought the property if I knew beforehand.

I believe everyone has their own opinion on the matter.  Diedinhouse.com’s job is not to persuade you one way or the other on the subject, our purpose is to help you find out if a death occurred at an address, if you care to know.

Would you want to be made aware, so that you can make the best decision for yourself?

Roy Condrey

Founder/President

Diedinhouse.com

Who has previously lived in your house? Has anyone died there?

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Diedinhouse.com allows users to type in any valid U.S. address for it to instantly search millions of records to help determine if a death has occurred at that address. Because it is not a standard practice to document the address of a death, the report also includes previous residents and their vitality status; additional information to assist home renters, buyers, sellers and agents with researching a properties history.

Most states do not have a law to disclose that a property is stigmatized. Three state have law to disclose events within one to three years of the purchase date. 15 states have a law that only if the buyer asks and seller knows they are to disclose. The remaining 32 states have no law, therefore no legal action can be taken against anyone for deliberately not disclosing. Such as with Janet Milliken’s home in Pennsylvania or Brain Betts home in Maryland, both of these high profile stories involves the seller not disclosing that a murder and/or suicide occurred in the home.

I feel you should always disclose this information to allow the buyer to make an informed decision on one of the largest purchases of their lives.

If you are in the process of buying or renting a home would you ask your agent for a Diedinhouse.com report, purchase it yourself, or not worry about it at all?

Has someone died in your house? Are you sure?

On May 31, 2013, Simply Put Solutions, Inc. a software development company released the first of its kind, web-based application called Died in House ™ found at www.diedinhouse.com. Using a valid U.S. address, Died in House ™ instantly searches millions of records to determine if a death has occurred at that location. Because the address of death is not always documented, a Died in House ™ Report will also contain the names that are associated to the address and the vitality status of each name. The additional information saves customer’s time and money by reducing the amount of effort it would normally take to research the address history manually.

How would you know if someone has died in a house? Well if it is a new home then the answer is obvious, but how about in a used home? Most state law requires sellers to disclose defects such as “small leak”, but not death. There are a few states that require disclosure, but only if the buyer asks and the seller knows. California is one of the only states that currently have a law that requires the disclosure of a death that has occurred within three years prior to the sale of the property.

If you bought a house and later found out that someone had died in it, would that bother you? If no, is that because you are assuming that the person died peacefully. What if they were the victim of a brutal murder or they committed suicide?

In Susanna Kim’s ABCNews.com article she writes about a Pennsylvania woman who sued the seller and agent of her newly purchased home in 2012 for failing to disclose that a murder-suicide occurred in her home a few years earlier. Kim states, “The trial judge granted judgment in favor of the seller, saying state law does not require agents to disclose such events.” The article goes on to mention that state law requires sellers to disclose defects such as “small leak”, but not that a, “gunshot murder-suicide was committed within the home”. The women’s attorney made the point that, “Physical defects can be fixed, but the stigma of a horrific murder suicide will never go away.”

Can a death at a property impact its value? During the PA trial the buyer argued that, “the suicide/murder was a material defect and substantially impacted the value of the house”. In support of this claim, she cited the reports from two real estate appraisers retained by her. Both appraisers were of the opinion that the murder/suicide lowered the value of the property between ten and fifteen percent.”

To some buyers, a death in the house would be an insurmountable defect, but depending on the person and the situation a death associated to the property may be desired, especially, if the property is associated with a famous death or ghost story. For example, the JonBenet Ramsey house in Boulder, Colorado is notorious for being the location of the brutal murder of the 6-year old little girl. It initially sold for $650,000 to a group of investors. A year later it sold for over a million dollars. Another example is the Lizzy Borden house; it was the location of the famous axe murder back in 1892. It now is a famous Bed and Breakfast that can be rented out for $1500 per night.

Maybe you are afraid of ghosts? According to a recent FOX News poll over 1/3 of US citizens admit to believing in ghosts. That comes out to around 100 Million people. It leads me to wonder how many are just not admitting it. If you are a believer of the paranormal, would you be upset to find out that someone has previously died in your house? Would you have bought the house if that information was disclosed to you?

Died in House ™ does not guarantee to have all deaths that have occurred in or at a specific address; it is an informational use only type of service. They do have access to over 118 million records from various sources and that number continues to increase daily. DiedinHouse.com is merely a great tool to use to assist you with finding out if someone has died at a specific address. It is always recommended that before anyone purchases or rents a used home, to run a Died in House ™ Report, ask the seller if they are aware of any deaths, speak with neighbors, search the address online and check city and county records for any information related to the property.

Whether your state has a disclosure law or not, sellers should always disclose any pertinent information that could have an impact on the value of the home, including a death that has occurred at the property.

Thankfully, no matter how you may feel on the matter, property buyers, sellers and real estate professionals can now quickly get help at finding out if someone has possibly died at a specific address by using the Died in House ™ application available online at www.diedinhouse.com

Would it bother you if you found out that someone had died in your house?

First read, Homebuyer Appeals to Pa. Supreme Court on Her Home’s Bloody Past – ABC News -

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/homebuyer-appeals-pa-supreme-court-homes-bloody-past/story?id=18317135#.UawY6aPD-zl

Then answer the following questions at: http://www.diedinhouse.com/news?news=a2c35153-0191-44c7-87c1-381dc80bf37b