Sorry for the morbid subject, but are you moving into a house someone died in? Or have you just viewed a house that someone has just died in? As a result are you now asking can I buy and move into a house where someone has just died? Whilst this may be a bit of a taboo subject, death is a fact of life and needs to be discussed. So let’s take a look.
Good idea or not; buying and moving into a house someone died in? Unless you have necrophobia there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy and move into a house someone just died in. You might find it’s a way to grab yourself a bargain, as the research suggests that over a third of people wouldn’t buy a house where someone died. Which will affect the property’s value.
In truth I’ve never asked once of all the properties I bought whether someone has died in the property. As I write this article I am in the middle of buying a probate property. But even with this property, I haven’t asked if the owner died there.
For me it doesn’t matter, but for some it does. But I admit if I knew a murder was committed in the house (especially if it was extremely violent) I may pause for a moment. But the pause would mostly be with my investment head on. I’d be thinking about the onward sale and value in the future. I’d be questioning whether the market value would be affected by this event.
Should you buy a house that someone died in?
A good reason why you should buy a house someone died in is because the price will often be reduced because of the death. The sale price sometimes reflects the fact that not everyone will buy a house someone just died in.
That being said, many older houses of 50, 100 or 200 years old are bound to have had a death or two in them. Which means that in most cases you won’t even know whether or not some has died there. Where this is the case the price won’t be any different to any other house. Plus there’s no reason not to buy.
Most houses where an elderly person has recently died whilst living in the house will often need updating. It is for this reason the price will be reduced, rather than the fact that someone died in the house. However, if the death was as a result of murder or suicide, the price reduction will reflect this fact.
Would you buy a house for a cheaper price if someone had died there?
Over a third of people wouldn’t buy a house someone died in. But there’s a percentage of these people who would buy if the price is reduced. But for some there’s probably no price that would make up for the lack of peace they may have due to knowing a death occurred in the house. However, this decision may be affected by the way the person died.
There’s a world of difference between a sweet old lady or old gentleman passing away peacefully in their sleep in their home vs a brutal murder or a horrendous suicide in a house.
For example, have you seen or heard about the White House Farm murders? This is where a number of family members were shot and killed in their home in Essex. I can understand why some people may pause before buying a house where a crime of this nature has occurred.
But then again, the chance of this ever happening again in the same house are remote. The person who committed the crime will either be dead themselves or will have been arrested. So when you really think about it, why wouldn’t you buy a house for a cheaper price because someone died there? Even if the death was from unnatural causes?
The question is; at what price would the third of people who wouldn’t buy a house someone died in, buy the house. What if it was an absolute bargain? What if the house was being sold for just £1?
As homes are bought with emotion and feeling a death can affect these feelings about moving into a house someone died in
Sometimes when you view a house you’re not aware of why you like the house or if you don’t. You get a feeling, which can often happen before you’ve even entered the property. Women tend to be more sensitive to this type of feeling than men are.
I therefore suggest it’s possible that some people may pickup a bad feeling if someone has died in a house. This bad feeling may be picked up whether or not they’ve been told about a death.
This could be due to negative energy from what happened perhaps. This might be especially true if it were a violent murder or a suicide. Which brings me onto Feng Shui and buying a house someone died in.
Feng Shui and buying a house someone died in
According to some Feng Shui practitioners, when someone dies in a house this creates a stagnant or negative chi. To clear the negative chi from the room where it happened, it needs to be cleared of the furniture. For example, if this happened in a bedroom the bed and mattress should be replaced.
If the house is being sold, it’s very likely the furniture will be removed in any event. But if you are buying a house that’s being sold because the owner has died, and their belongings remain in the house, these should all be removed. That is of course if you believe in Feng Shui, which not everyone does.
Do you believe in ghosts and the after life as it may affect your decision to buy a house someone died in
Interestingly around 45% of Americans believe in ghosts and demons and 34% of brits believe in ghosts. Having this belief can and often does impact on the decision whether to move into a house someone died in.
If you believe in ghosts and demons, you may worry that the person who died may haunt the house. But if you don’t believe in ghosts and the after life you are less likely to be bothered by this.
Your decision on buying a house someone died in if you believe in ghost may be affected if you intend to live alone.
Will you want to live on your own in a house you know someone died in? Your imagination may run wild with you, especially at night when it’s dark. The slightest noise, creek or groan from the house will mean it’s the ghost of the dead person.
There are stories of people starting to experience strange happenings and feeling like they are being watch in houses where someone died. But more often than not this only starts to happen once they know someone died there.
This may result in asking a medium to come to the house to assess the spirits. Apparently sage works well to calm the spirits if you believe in this sort of thing.
My experience of ghosts in a house
I will admit that although I’m very sceptical about the existence of ghosts, I have experienced strange happenings. I lived with a partner in a house that was built in the 70’s. There was one time when I was in the kitchen and from nowhere stones suddenly hit the floor next to me. No one else was in the room and the outside door was closed.
The living room in this house was always cold and felt strange. But the kicker was when my partner’s parents stayed over once. When they came down in the morning they said they would never stay there again.
They explained how some very strange things happened in their bedroom that night they couldn’t explain. Let’s say a few things went bump in the night! They were ashen in the morning and extremely scared.
Whilst I’m not religious, I agreed when my partner suggested we get the local minister to come to the house. He kindly did so and we all three sat in the cold living room. As he blessed the house the room physically warmed and we all three experienced it.
In fact as I write these words the hairs on my back are standing up!! But I still cannot explain what happened.
This spooky incident happened relatively recently in the early 21st century. A doctor was responding to a call to help with a patient who had suffered a heart attack. On his way a patient asked him for directions on how to get out of the hospital and the doctor pointed him in the right direction.
When the doctor arrived with the patient he’d been called to, the man had already died. But the shocked doctor was horrified to see that the patient was the same man he had given directions to.The dead man walking story in a Glasgow Royal Infirmary – in the Glasgow Live
Whether or not you’re religious may affect your decision to buy a house someone died in
Being religious may affect your decision whether you buy and move into a house someone died in. I would imagine that if you are religious it wouldn’t affect you if someone died in the house.
But I’d be interested to have your thoughts and comments below on this point in you are religious. I would imagine you are likely to say a prayer or two for the deceased. But then if the house does have a bad feeling, you are more likely to call on the services of a church minister to bless the house. Or perhaps in bad cases to perform an exorcism.
Would you buy and move into a house where there’s been sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is an unfortunate occurrence that can happen to any parent with an infant. This is something that wouldn’t need to be disclosed by the vendor or the estate agent.
Whilst this is such a horrendous thing to happen to any parent, as no parent should see their children die, it isn’t so horrendous that it should stop someone from buying the house? If it did that would be sad.
Are houses someone died in cheaper to buy?
A recent death as a result of murder or by someone committing suicide can reduce its market value by up to 25%. But there’s no guarantee that a house someone died in is going to be cheaper. But on the basis that over a third of people wouldn’t buy a house knowing someone has died in it, the price is likely to be adversely affected.
For example, not many people take kindly to moving into a house where the last owner hanged themselves. With an event of this nature it’s likely to be in the news. Which means everyone will get to know about it.
But for a suicide death the estate agent is obliged to tell buyers in any event. This will immediately put some buyers off. Which will leave only those who don’t mind this left to buy the house. But they will expect to pay less for the house.
Is it bad luck to live in a house where someone died?
It’s only bad luck to live in a house where someone died if you believe that luck influences outside events. The reality is that it’s your perception of events that influences your behaviour and potentially the outcome. Research suggests that people who think of themselves as lucky actually are lucky. Which is because they are more willing to take advantage of opportunities.
If you are a superstitious person who believes in good luck and bad luck, you may believe the house is somehow affected.
For example, some people believe that if they see a single magpie they will experience some form of bad luck. Then if something bad happens this superstitious person they would put it down to seeing that magpie.
But then was it because they were expecting bad luck, and as a result, the event happened because of this. Which means the bad luck was self-fulfilling.
Do you have to disclose if someone died in a house?
The only reason an estate agent or the vendor must disclose someone died in a house is if they were murdered or committed suicide. Which is known as a “material Event“. The laws of disclosure of a death in a house will depend on the country you live in.
But then if you live in America, it may depend on which state you live in too. The time that’s elapsed since the death also has a bearing.
Which means vendors and estate agents don’t have to disclose to you if someone died of natural causes. This makes sense. There will be many older houses where at some point in its history someone may have died there. To ask someone selling a 100-year old home to speculate about who has or hasn’t died there is ridiculous.
How do you find out if someone has died in the house you’re buying and moving into
If you are really concerned whether someone has died in the house you’re buying, you can find this out in a number of ways. These include the following:
- Ask the estate agent. The estate agent doesn’t have to tell you unless there’s been a murder or suicide. But if you ask the question they should tell you if they know the answer.
- Ask the vendors. The estate agent may not know whether someone died in the house. In which case you could ask the vendors, who may not know either if it was in the distance past.
- Check local papers for stories. This may include deaths of known people in the area. But also, some local papers include obituaries of local deaths too. But this information may not disclose where they died.
- Check the internet. You can find all sorts of information on the internet. So if you can find this information anywhere, it’s going to be online.
- Look up the public records. There’s a whole load of information you can find from searching deeds, property records and death certificates. But the databases won’t list whether or not someone died in their own home. But the Wills and Probate data sets will give the place of death.
- Ask the neighbours. The surrounding neighbours may have known the person who died in the house.
But I suggest that ignorance is bliss. Don’t ask whether anyone died in the house and you’ll never know.
In conclusion to moving into a house someone died in
Remember that most old houses will have had a death at some point in its history. But at the end of the day, the dead cannot hurt you. There’s nothing to be frightened of when someone has died. This is something that’s going to happen to us all. It’s the living you need to be afraid of, not the dead!
Death and taxes are the only sure thing in life. As you’re reading this article from the house you live in, you may even find someone die there too. But to avoid the possibility of moving into a house someone has died in, your only option is to buy a new build property. But then how will you know whether anyone died on the land?
Please don’t forget to read this before you leave…
Please don’t forget to also read this article to discover how you could save £71,475 on your next mortgage if you sell your house and rent before buying again. As I said earlier, even I was amazed when I did the calculations!
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