Would you buy a house where someone has been murdered?

Last saturday this was an item in the local newspaper. They interviewed a couple of people who are living in a house where someone (or more than one person) has been murdered. And what I found astonishing was the fact that Most of the people who bought the house didn’t have any problems with it. I’m not sure if I’d be so open minded about it.

While older houses always have a past that includes death of some sort I don’t care much about a house where someone has died of natural causes. We lived happily for 6 years in our home, where Jay’s grandmother had lived for 30 years. One day she fell down, couldn’t get up, nor could she call for help. My mother in law came on a hunch and found her, still alive (barely), on the floor. They called their GP, who called an ambulance. She was admitted to hospital and died the next day. And while she didn’t die in that house, I always viewed it as the house where she died. After Jay’s grandmother had passed away the house was rented out to a young girl (16) with a 4-year-old kid. She lived there for two years before she moved out. That’s when we moved in. Before that we lived in an apartment block which housed lots of elderly people. Many of whom died there. No problems whatsoever.

But when someone has been murdered there, or committed suicide, I’d think differently about. The idea of buying a house with such a history would definitely put me off. Even if it were sold way below the market value. Lots of those houses are going for way less than they’re worth. For instance the Ramsey house:

image source via Get My Homes Value

On December 26, 1996, JonBenét Ramsey was discovered missing after her mother Patsy Ramsey found a two-page ransom note on the kitchen staircase. After calling the police, an investigation eventually located JonBenét’s body in the family’s basement, covered in a white sheet with a nylon chord tied around her neck and duct tape over her mouth. Initially the main suspects were the Ramsey family, including JonBenét’s nine year-old brother Burke. However, the family was exonerated of the charges, but JonBenét’s killer has never been found — just like OJ’s case. After the murder and subsequent trial, the Ramsey family moved to Arizona, putting their Boulder, CO home up for sale. 10 years later, the house was up for sale again, and although it was estimated to be worth several million dollars, the asking price was only $1.7 million. All four previous owners were forced to sell the home at below market value. The property is “stigmatized. It’s always been stigmatized,” according to Joel Ripmaster, president of Colorado Landmark Realtors, which has had a detrimental affect on its value since JonBenét’s murder. The Ripmaster’s unfortunate last name probably doesn’t help either, but would have been totally badass for an executioner or vigilante crimefighter.

It sure looks like a lovely house, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Ever!

I remember a house in the town where I grew up that had such a past. It’s a rental property where 1 person was murdered by his ex, 2 committed suicide and the next 2 people who lived there were admitted to a mental institution. Coincidence? No, I don’t think it’s a coincidence. It sent cold shivers down my spine every time I went past that house. The same goes for a house close to my childhood home. My friend’s cousin lived there and when he hung himself they found him. They were visiting them and saw his shoes hanging in the stairwell. Ever since this happened a lot of people rented the house and moved out in only a couple of months. It’s now up for sale and despite the very low asking price it’s been on the market for more than 6 months. And I suspect it’ll be up for sale for much longer.

Would you ever want to live in a house with a past that includes murder or suicide? Do you live in such a house? I’d love to hear your opinion.

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