Haunted houses are a staple of Halloween festivities—some people go out of their way to make their houses look as spooky as possible, while others pay money to walk through properties that range from eerie to downright horrifying. However, most people aren’t too keen on the idea of living in a haunted house on a permanent basis. The reasons can range from superstition to foreseeing trouble selling it down the line.
So what qualifies a house as haunted? Well, usually some sort of tragic event has to take place inside, such as a murder or suicide, which gives it a bad reputation and the designation of ‘haunted house.’ Whether the house is actually haunted is up for debate, but the stigma of the label does affect market value, and there are actually legal precedents in place pertaining to how they’re handled in the real estate market.
Depending on the area, sellers may be legally required to disclose whether the house they’re selling is ‘haunted’ or not, including the details of why. This precedent was set after a 1991 lawsuit known as the Ghostbusters ruling, where a woman unknowingly purchased a haunted house and then sued the seller for not disclosing its haunted nature.
Additionally, haunted houses tend to attract thrill seekers and paranormal enthusiasts, some of whom are more than willing to trespass to vandalize or otherwise disrupt the property.
So if you come upon a house that’s selling for less than comparable houses in the area and doesn’t seem to have any defects that would explain why, it’s worth double checking with both the seller and neighbors whether the house is considered haunted or not. It’s not likely, but hey, better safe than sorry, right?
At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.
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