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.
There are a lot of things to consider when buying a property with a dark history. You need to consider the risk to its value. A death at a property, especially a violent death can lower its value by 25% or more than comparable homes and take it up to 50% longer to sell. Also the home could end up being a local tourist attraction where random curious people drive by to view the home and even at times approach you in the yard, take pictures of your house and even knock on your door. You may be comfortable with the house, but what about your spouse and children.
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. We feel that a buyer should know all facts about the home, before making the decision to make an offer to buy or sign a lease to rent. Our purpose is to simply 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?