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  • Writer's pictureJesse Ledbetter

Stigma and Home Values

Who wouldn't want to live in the "Murder House?!" I once got a car stuck in the mud breaking into the Penhurst Assylum, long before Ghost Hunters made it famous. I'm a firm "non-believer" and saw no ghosts, just really cool buildings, a tragic environment, a $300 towing bill, and a scowling security guard who let me off with a warning. Below I link two articles one the valuation impact on homes with a "stigma."

The National Association of Realtors defines stigmatized properties as those that have been "psychologically impacted" by murder or other crime, or by events "suspected to have occurred" - including "alleged hauntings."

The National Association of Realtors says, especially in the short-term, "violent crimes tend to have a strong negative impact on property values." Randall Bell, disaster specialist real estate appraiser, agrees. Bell regards the market’s aversion to crime scenes as temporary. For a time, the tragedy hammers the property’s value, making it impossible or difficult to sell. Bell recommends occupying the home or renting it out for two to five years.

Bell notes the Manson Murder house as evidence: "He brought up the Los Angeles house where Charles Manson’s followers killed actress Sharon Tate and four others in 1969. Tate didn’t own the house, Bell explains; she rented it. The owner moved in after the murders. Two decades later, the house sold at full market value."

A 2019 CBS News poll found that 43 percent of Americans said they believed "that the spirits of dead people can come back in certain places and situations." While polls show sharp division over many issues, ghosts are not one of them. A 2019 YouGov poll found 46% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats said they believed in ghosts. (Demons were more divisive, with 54% of Republicans saying they believed in them compared with 37% of Democrats.) Finally... something we can agree on. Its just sad that I don't agree...


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