Haunted Properties: Valuable Real Estate or Tough Sells?

27 Oct

It depends. Selling a haunted property can be easy or very difficult. First, the seller has to feel comfortable in disclosing to prospective buyers that they have residents who go bump in the night. Many are not, fearful of devaluing their property. That’s a legitimate concern. But certain kinds of real estate, like Bed & Breakfasts, often find that a ghost or two is actually good for business.

Second, a distinction has to be made between “stigmatized” and “haunted” buildings. Stigmatized buildings have a bad reputation that most people know about, and is usually the result of a murder or some other heinous crime committed there. But that does not mean the place is haunted, unless the victim is still hanging around as a ghostly tenant.

The following are not stigmatized properties, but are some of the allegedly haunted properties that are currently for sale in Colorado . . .

 

LoganCtyHospThe old Logan County Hospital–Sterling, Colorado. 

I currently have this piece of Sterling history listed for sale for only $80,000! For more information about the real estate, click here. To find out about its supernatural past, click here  (if you dare).


The Bross Hotel–Paonia, Colorado

Back when the Light in the Dark Paranormal team was just myself and my wife Adrian, we investigated this fine old B&B. Located in the Western Slope
 BrossHotelmountain town of Paonia, it is available for $689,000, including the building and the business. Mother Bross supposedly still tucks in her guests at night. Trouble is, she died quite some time ago.

Watch Part 1 of the video we produced on the investigation below.
For Part 2, click here.



 

The Tarabino Inn- Trinidad, Coloardo

tarabinoinnThis wonderful building is for sale for $675,000, and includes both the real estate and the bed & breakfast operation. Its a thriving business frequented by many out of state tourists and business travelers. It is also alleged to have a ghost or two. Click here for some scary background.

Contact Us above for more information if you are interested in buying. I am a real estate broker who specializes in haunted property!


A Story of a Stigmatized Home

Most everyone knows the story of OJ Simpson. Years ago in California, he was accused, arrested, and tried for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman. Found not guilty, nicolecondohe was set free only to be found guilty for a different crime a few years later.

This case and the stigmatization of the home where the murder occurred illustrate some important points about such places. The condo was eventually sold far under market value, which is typically the case with stigmas resulting from homicides and other terrible crimes. But the more interesting question is this: is it haunted? I am unaware of any paranormal investigations having been done there. Haunted or not, one might think that any future buyer might want to know about the unsolved murder just in case Nicole’s ghost was still hanging around. What if that buyer was stuck in an elevator in Siberia for the last twenty years, and didn’t know O.J. Simpson from Santa Claus?

Under Colorado real estate law, a seller or his or her broker is not required to disclose a murder or suicide to a prospective buyer without the seller’s consent. If the seller does not provide it, then the buyer is left to find out on her own, even though the broker may know every detail. The broker is under a gag order!

But California is different. In that state, details that you do not need to disclose include whether a prior occupant had Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), or whether someone died on the property as long as the death occurred more than three years before the current potential buyer’s purchase offer. If however, a potential buyer asks you a question about any deaths on your property, you must still truthfully answer even if the answer involves an occurrence more than three years in the past. (See, California Civil Code Sect. 1710.2.)

If someone wanted to buy Nicole’s former condo today,  its “don’t ask/don’t tell”, since the murder of OJ’s ex-wife and her friend happened more than three years ago. But if a buyer asked if anyone died on the property, the broker would be compelled to say something like, “Oh, now that you mention it, yeah. Some guy named OJ allegedly killed his wife here a while back.” Honest disclosure. If the buyer happened to believe in earthbound spirits who still hang around trying to remedy an injustice, he may conclude that poor Nicole may want someone to know who really killed her, whether it was OJ or someone else. The buyer might be grateful for the disclosure of not only a homicide, but a potential haunting.

Over one third of Americans believe in ghosts and hauntings (source: Gallup polls). Whether you believe in these things or not, enough average citizens do, and courts across the country discuss the phenomena as if it was real.


MY PROFESSIONAL ADVICE TO BUYERS: ALWAYS ASK THE SELLER IF ANYONE HAD DIED IN THE HOUSE . . .


The seller’s broker may not know, or be prohibited from telling you even if he did (as in Colorado). So ask the seller directly. You still may not get a truthful answer, but even if the seller revealed that someone did, the place may be just fine if it was a natural death. The home hospice movement facilitates the passing of people in their own homes, and this will be even more commonplace in the future. But if the answer is “yes,” your follow-up question should be a little more pointed. Ask if the death was from a murder or suicide. Depending on your state, the next answer (or lack of one) could determine your future peace-of-mind in that house.

BTW: in case you haven’t noticed, Halloween is right around the corner. Visit my annually recurring post on the subject, where you’ll learn more about how ghosts affect real estate sales long after the trick or treating is over.


How might a ghost help sell a haunted house?
Click Here to find out!


Paul Hill is the co-founder of Light in the Dark Paranormal,
and he has a brand new ebook: 
LANES END
A Journey Into the Paranormal 

Its now available! Read excerpts from the book

Lanes End Cover

Copyright 2015, Paul Hill
All Rights Reserved

For ALL Light in the Dark Paranormal postings
(most recent at top), visit our home blog:

http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.wordpress.com
Visit our website:  http://www.lightinthedarkparanormal.com

 All posts on this blog are written and owned by Paul Hill.

 

 

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4 Responses to “Haunted Properties: Valuable Real Estate or Tough Sells?”

  1. Gatekeeper October 27, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    I know in some states the law is full disclosure of a building history include any crimes, death or any alleged hauntings.

    Like

    • Paul Hill October 27, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

      Gatekeeper: that’s correct. You might be interested in the infamous “Ghostbusters Ruling” from the NY Supreme Court back in the 90’s…”Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254 (N.Y. App. Div. 1991), commonly known as the Ghostbusters ruling, is a case in the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, that held that a house, which the owner had previously advertised to the public as haunted by ghosts, was legally haunted for the purpose of an action for rescission…” Google the topic for numerous links to the subject.

      Like

  2. Bill Kast October 27, 2015 at 6:53 pm #

    Gee whiz, Ruthie’s brother T.C. died at the bottom of the stairway in our house on Arkansas place that we (&you, mr. broker) sold a few years back.  Were we obligated to disclose this fact?  Not according to what I just read, since it was death by natural causes, not murder or suicide.  I’m just sayin…

    Like

    • Paul Hill October 27, 2015 at 7:40 pm #

      Hey Bill…Unlike other states, in Colorado you’re not req’d to disclose any death in your home when selling, and your broker can’t either without your consent. But more and more buyers are asking the question: “did anybody ever die in your house?” Whether natural causes or otherwise, you can respond with “I don’t have to answer that,” or the ever popular (especially with politicians) “I have no recollection of that.” You could well be lying, but the buyer can’t come after you for that if he/she found out otherwise. Of course there’s a big difference between death from natural causes in a home and a homicide or suicide. The former does not necessarily generate a ghost, whereas the latter may very well do so. Either way, in Colorado, its “buyer beware!”

      Like

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