Sunday, 27 October 2013


It's the website that is allowing people to rest easy (or cause them even more sleepless nights!) by pinpointing which houses were the site of an American horror story.
One year in the making, is a new means of finding out if someone died in your home.

CEO Roy Condrey said he was inspired to create the site after a tenant renting a property of his in Columbia, South Carolina, informed him the place was inhabited by ghosts.
Under the impression there were laws in place to disclose a death in a residence, Condrey was shocked to find there weren't any.

Predominant US state laws only require the disclosure of violent deaths.
While the site is benefitting those who have long held the belief their house was haunted by pulling up relevant historical information, it is proving even more advantageous to homeowners or potential buyers.

It's much harder to sell a house at a premium price when a buyer knows something grisly has unfolded inside.
'It occurred to me that a service which told people who died in their homes before they moved in would be popular,' Condrey told the Houston Chronicle.

'It's harder to find things like this out than you think.' Texas, for example, is a non-disclosure state.
'Per the Texas Association of Realtors Seller’s Disclosure form it is not a requirement to disclose a non-violent death that occurred on the property,' said Houston real estate agent Danelle Reed.
'However, a violent death — like a murder — must be disclosed.'

According to Condrey, since sending the site live on June 1, he has had the most hits from people in Texas and California.

California residents, he says, are interested in the many famous murders and deaths in the state and the possibility that one may be linked to their house.
It costs $11.99 to submit a request.

Once a user logs on and enters an address, Condrey and his team of staff search through a multitude of sources to deliver information on previous owners and whether or not anyone met their demise inside the residence.

Some realtors are actively against because it costs them money on what is known as 'stigmatized' properties.
However Condrey maintains he is providing a legitimate public service.
One case might have been the story of Janet Milliken, who moved to Pensylvania with her two children from California following the death of her husband.
She bought a house for $610,000 but would later find out it was the site of a recent murder-suicide.

Still trying to deal with her own tragedy, Miliken was faced with also dealing with the people who would come by to gawk at her new home.
Milliken sued for fraud and misrepresentation, claiming the owners and real estate agents duped her. 

However the judge ruled against her, saying Pennsylvania state law does not require agents to disclose such events to buyers. 
She’s since appealed to the state Supreme Court.

The stigma of a death in a home, especially a violent killing, is a powerful one, especially for families.
'It would bother me if I knew someone died in my house,' Condrey said. 
'For instance, I couldn’t live in a house where there was a murder-suicide.'
A quiet death, Condrey says, would be easier for some to deal with.

Thousands of requests have been serviced since the site's launch, Condrey said.
Even realtors are using the site to better familiarize themselves with a client's property.
'Some people don’t have a problem with knowing someone died in their home,' says Condrey. 
'But when you remind them that this knowledge could affect their home values, they change their tune.'

Source: DailyMail

Thanks to Paul Chadwick

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