Oh, Boo. Did I Just Buy a Haunted House?

With Halloween around the corner, decorations are popping up in yards and lining streets with their quaint spooky-ness. Children are designing their costumes and finalizing their trick-or-treat plans of attack. While the holiday is that of harmless fun, Halloween might not be such a treat for some homeowners who have an actual haunted property. How exactly should one go about decorating a house that has its own, real-life resident ghost?

In the “spirit” of the season (pun intended), and for a little bit of Halloween fun, I decided to research instances of investors who purchased a haunted house. Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, there are some haunting stories out there that provide some insight into how some investors deal with hauntings, community rumors, and superstition.

So, You Bought a Haunted House. What now?

Buyer beware, you’re in for a scare.

Some home sellers and investors worry that disclosing their property’s paranormal activity or morbid history may scare away potential buyers. So, what’s the rule on this? Do you have to disclose whether a house is haunted before it’s sold? The short answer: possibly.

Depending on the location of the home, and the specific housing laws in the area, sellers may or may not have to disclose whether a property comes with paranormal roommates. Most states in the U.S. require a disclosure form be filled out before the sale, which is a form the seller uses to list any potential physical defects. It’s worth mentioning that this also goes for “emotional” defects” that could impact and stigmatize a property. This, of course, includes any traumatic events in the property’s history such as suicides, murders, and, yes, paranormal activity.

Whether or not you must disclose anything and everything considered to be “defects” depends on the jurisdiction of the property, which also could vary the determination of what should be disclosed.

3 Bedrooms, 1.5 Bathrooms, 1 Ghost.

When selling a haunted house, does a ghost story make the house more valuable, or would buyers just be scared away? The truth is, many buyers are drawn to these homes. In fact, reports show that a significant percentage of homeowners are willing to purchasing a home that may-or-may-not have some ghoulish guests. According to the nationwide “Haunted Housing Report,” 62 percent of 1,400 respondents are open to buying a haunted home.

Hooligan hauntings.

shutterstock_30312298

Whether or not you choose to believe your property has any paranormal activity, beware the power of rumors.

Everyone loves a good ghost story, and some thrill-seekers could come knocking on your door, with or without your knowledge. A few curious folks who stop by hoping to sneak a peek at the paranormal might seem harmless at first, but it has the potential to turn into more than you bargained for. Vandalism and break-ins are a nuisance for owners of “haunted” properties that sit vacant for any span of time, and you could even receive the attention of local media. As word spreads, your house might end up receiving the attention of unwanted, unannounced, or unsavory visitors.

If it’s haunted, then flaunt it.

Granted, not everyone believes in the paranormal, but there are some who absolutely believe in such things. If you’re a believer who’s no scaredy cat and you’re thrilled to have a ghost in your house, then by all means, have fun.

Look up the history of your home, and learn about its past. If your life plays out similarly to Hollywood horror-heroes, perhaps you’ll solve a decades-old mystery and finally put a cursed spirit to rest. Who knows, maybe there’s a ghost of a chance your ghastly guest just wants to hang out for a spell. Nevertheless, it makes for a good story, right?

 

I ain’t afraid of no ghost.

So, you purchased an investment property that’s admittedly a little creepy, and you absolutely don’t believe ghost stories you’ve heard from the locals. Psychological researchers surmise that ghosts are simply a product of man-made psychosis, and, technically speaking, your property is considered a “psychologically impacted, or a stigmatized home.” This means, without proof, your house has only perceived problems, undoubtedly based on rumor.

A haunted reputation precedes your home, but what if you are certain that all the stories are simply not true? What if you simply wish to restore a historic home? You need to show the community that your property is, really, just an average, happy and ghost-free home. Is it possible to quell the rumors and change their minds?

Think of it this way: you can’t prove the unproven, but you can always lighten the mood. Take steps to rid the property of the dark stigma that surrounds it, and try hosting a few parties or open houses. This way you can show your friends and neighbors that your house isn’t the haunted horror they imagined.

Proud to be Ghost-Free!

If you’re truly desperate to disprove the paranormal claims surrounding your property, perhaps you should consider getting a professional to debunk the activity in your home, and earn its “Ghost-Free Certification.”

Yes, this is a real thing. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, after all. So, believe it or not, there is a market for scientific researchers who conduct paranormal investigations and provide this proof, or lack thereof, anyway. After a thorough investigation, the researcher will conclude there is no haunting. Then, congratulations, you’ll earn your official “Ghost-Free” certification. You can frame it if you’d like, perhaps displaying such documentation proudly on your wall will give guests or potential buyers some peace of mind.

 

Frightfully delightful!

Here’s the bottom line: you don’t have to believe in the paranormal to enjoy scary stories. Ghost tales are fun, but some property owners really do hear their fair share of bumps in the night. For them, Halloween is a year-round spookfest.

If you own a haunted property, and your safety is not at risk, perhaps you should embrace the history of your property. Everything has a story, and it’s likely that your property has an interesting one to tell. The downside, of course, being that you must tolerate occasional spectral mischief, and those thrill-seeking trespassers who, although they are very much alive, may haunt your house in a loitering manner.

A profitable ROI that’s more than just “witchful” thinking.

There’s no tricks here, only treats. New Western is all about giving you a head start on a fantastic profit. New Western’s investment properties are all pre-screened to provide a high ARV, and since our properties aren’t even made public on the MLS, you’ll have exclusive access to deep discounts before anyone else.

Don’t be haunted by regret, invest in a premium, off-market New Western investment property, and you’ll see a significant ROI. It all starts with a personalized property list, and you can get yours here! 

That’s the spirit!

Whether you’re looking for fun articles about homeownership, curious about the benefits of real estate, or looking to invest, subscribe to the blog! From ways to boost your ROI, rehab ideas for a boo-tiful property update, or advice to invest without going batty, the Investment Round Up Blog is a bewitching read for everything to do with REI.