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Stigmatized Property Basics
How to Avoid Unexpectedly Buying a Haunted House—Because It Could Happen to You (realtor.com®, Oct. 16, 2022)
“A haunted house falls under the category of a stigmatized property,” says Bull. A stigmatized property is a home that may be displeasing to buyers for other reasons besides its physical condition.
“In many states, it’s not mandatory to disclose a stigma like a murder, suicide, or crime—or paranormal activity. You can check with a real estate attorney in your state for the rules,” she says.
Do You Have to Disclose a Death in a House? (realtor.com®, Oct. 10, 2022)
Death disclosure obligations vary from state-to-state and will differ depending on whether the death was peaceful or violent. Either way, agents should disclose a death if they are directly asked.Buying and Selling Stigmatized Property: An In-Depth Guide (Clever Real Estate, Dec. 2, 2020)
There are different types of stigmatized properties, such as those connected to a death, crime, or paranormal activity. Buyers may find affordable deals in stigmatized properties. Sellers may want to renovate or wait until the stigma lessens with time.
Stigma and Property Value
Does a “Haunting” Reduce a Home’s Value? (Experian, Oct. 2, 2022)
“Some stigmatized properties associated with dark histories may be available for 10% to 25% less than typical market value.”
1 In 3 Americans Would Live in a Haunted House (+ Other Stigmatized Property Stats) (The Zebra, Sep. 21, 2022)
- 2 in 3 Americans wouldn’t live in a home the previous owner believes is haunted
- 67% of Americans agree that sellers should disclose hauntings and other stigmas
- Women feel strongly that stigmas should be disclosed (73%)
House Isn’t Selling? Blame the Ghosts. (Vox, Oct. 26, 2021)
“Caring about ghosts in your home isn’t just for the superstitious, it’s for a market-conscious buyer as well. Even if just 10 percent of people would be uncomfortable buying a home where there are rumored to be ghosts, that reduces the value of the property, because it can reduce demand.”
Murder Brings Down Price of Some San Diego Homes (San Diego Reader, Aug. 18, 2021)
““The diminution in value is generally between fifteen and twenty percent, depending on various factors,” says Dr. Randall Bell, a real estate appraiser who has worked with a number of murder homes in the San Diego area. “I’ve seen murder properties sell at full value — generally smaller, less expensive homes — and I’ve seen properties where nobody will touch it, at least not for a considerable amount of time.””
The Externality of a Mortality Incident within an Apartment Building: Cases of Homicide, Suicide and Fire Deaths (Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Jan. 2020) E
“By carefully considering detailed regional fixed effects, the estimation results reveal that an incident of homicide occurring in an apartment unit lowers the rents of nearby units in the same building by approximately 10% immediately after the incident, but the impact is ameliorated gradually over time and disappears after approximately 7-8 years.”
Social Stigma and Asset Value (Southern Economic Journal, Jan. 2019) E
“Recent attempts by economists to identify and quantify the effect of social stigma on asset value have often been stymied by confounding mechanisms. I use the unique circumstances surrounding the 1999 Columbine Shooting to estimate the effect of social stigma on asset value. Using a difference-in-differences model with property fixed effects, I find the immediate effect of stigma from the Columbine Shooting is 5.7% of a property's value after one year. This implies a $13 million loss from property sales in the year 2000 alone. The results are robust to numerous specifications and synthetic control placebo tests. This suggests that social stigma plays a role in consumer preferences.”
Vacant and Abandoned Properties
Abandoned Property for Sale: How to Buy an Abandoned Home (realtor.com®, Jul. 25, 2022)
Abandoned homes may offer significant bargains, although many need extensive repairs. Do your research to find out if a home has any liens or tax problems before placing a bid. Where the law allows it, an abandoned property could present an attractive opportunity to the right buyer.How an Abandoned House in the Neighborhood Can Affect Your Property Values (RISMedia, Mar. 20, 2019)
“Abandoned houses can affect the property values of everyone else in the neighborhood. Talk to your neighbors about vacant properties and work together to identify ways to move the community in a positive direction.”
The Value of Reducing Vacancy (On Common Ground, Mar. 15, 2019)
“From Baltimore, Md., to Philadelphia, Pa., to Youngstown, Ohio, and beyond, public and private organizations are working to save abandoned properties from destruction and turning them into homes and neighborhoods where individuals and families want to live.”
Books, eBooks & Other Resources
Home Buyers' Checklist (eBook)
Homeowners' Legal Bible (eBook)
Investing in Fixer Uppers (eBook)
Books, Videos, Research Reports & More
As a member benefit, the following resources and more are available for loan through the NAR Library. Items will be mailed directly to you or made available for pickup at the REALTOR® Building in Chicago.Death and Disclosure: Legal Strategies for Dealing with Stigmatized Properties (October Research Corporation, 2007) HD 1341 R22d
An Examination of Stigmatized Housing in Ohio (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 2000) HD 1341 L32
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