When a stigma is attached to a home, it can affect its value. Rattling doorknobs or strange apparitions could very well scare away prospective buyers. But what’s scarier than these sorts of hauntings are the houses where scenes of gruesome crimes occurred or the residences of known serial killers. More often than not, stigmatized properties can be had at bargain price. Prices are truly “slashed”, so to speak, just to attract buyers or investors.
So, what features scare away property shoppers?
The presence of mischievous spirits puts off some people. But ghosts don’t completely lower the value of a home. Some, who like the bizarre, prefer a house with character or a certain ambiance. Evidence to this is that there are actually real estate agents and specific websites that focus on selling haunted properties. Moreover, a number of studies even prove that the price of a ghostly residence is just about 3% to 5% lower than regular houses. But the thing is that most eerie dwellings stay on listings for many months, even years, compared to the typical turnover which is about 3 months.
There are also many homes and structures that have been developed solely for their mysterious or creepy appeal. Some are open horror museums that are often visited by people who like the paranormal. Other scary hotels, bed and breakfast facilities, or inns, thrive on their repute as haunted houses. Examples are the Winchester House and even the White House. The house of Lizzie Borden may also be where she allegedly axed her parents; but the events happened so long ago and Borden was never convicted of the crime that people today no longer fear the house, which is now a popular bed and breakfast.
Scene of a Crime
These days, when a killing happened in a property, real estate agents or owners are actually required to disclose such events to likely buyers. A place where a shocking crime actually happened is, for many, a more frightening choice than living with ghosts. The Amityville House, for instance, was where Ronald DeFeo Jr. killed his parents and four siblings. After this, the subsequent residents, the Lutzes, bought the home but were driven away by specters and strange events just 28 days after moving in. Another very terrifying home is the Riddle House. Just reading about it is enough to raise one’s hackles. It was built in 1905 as a funeral parlor and this was where Joseph, a Riddle employee, hanged himself. Although hanging is not often categorized as a macabre crime and even if the incident happened more than a century ago, the Riddle house is allegedly haunted. Those who have lived in the house or have worked there have experienced financial difficulties and other problems. Others have gotten physical injuries from things that have been supposedly thrown or moved by bad spirits. The darkness that enveloped the Riddle House was such an enormous stigma that no one ever wanted to purchase the house again, even for a very low price. Later on, the house was moved to Yesteryear Village, where it continues to haunt people.
Aside from the paranormal, aspects that can greatly lower the value of properties include location. If a house is on a fault line, it’s more likely to be affected by earthquakes. This can prevent people from buying the house. This goes the same for residences on unstable foundation or those near industrial plants where land could be contaminated by chemicals.
A real estate expert, Claire Carson, aids in running the website, HawaiiRealEstate2Buy. She also worked in the Keller Williams Honolulu company for many years.