House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Steph

Posted by Sean on June 09, 2005 at 14:32:55:

bwahahahaha… Sorry, that’s funny.

House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Steph

Posted by Steph on June 09, 2005 at 09:46:19:

I ran across a house yesterday it’s a 3bd/2bth, in rough condition but appears to have new A/C unit. It’s been in Freddie Mac’s possession since January, 2005. I don’t know how long they hold their properties before they list them…I would think not long. Anyway, this place definitely fits the worse house on a good block scenario and it’s in a city that is experiencing more the the usual explosion in housing sales…it’s less than 1/4 mile from a freeway entrance…so of course my first thought is…What am I missing? Then I notice a sticker on the house from the police department saying they have marked the premises for evidence. So I figure …ok someone has died in this house…and I was right.

I found the death certicate for the owner on the county recorder website. So long lead in but here’s my question…Has anyone ever bought a house that a person died in? If so, are they hard to re-sell or rent? Someone mentioned to me the problem of odor. I know there are services to do cleaning for this type of thing…anyone know how much they run?

So here’s another creepy detail; The woman died of complications due to morbid obesity at age 55. Her brother lives in the same city…so my hope is she wasn’t in there for very long before she was discovered…ew.

Some command a premium. - Posted by Drew

Posted by Drew on June 09, 2005 at 18:24:28:

In old-town Alexandria, VA, the town actually coordinates and markets “ghost tours” where people take a walking tour of the city with a guide dressed in 18th Century clothes. They are taken to all the “haunted” historic homes (and a few public buildings) where notable people have died–and are still said to reside in a somewhat more…ah, ephemeral form. The tours are so popular they run both a northern route and a southern route through town. I’ve done both.

Anyway, a couple Realtors told me a few years ago that when one of the buildings on the tour comes up for sale, they command a premium due to their “notoriety.” No idea if this is really true, but they tell me it’s so.

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Kristine-CA

Posted by Kristine-CA on June 09, 2005 at 16:25:48:

I would venture to say that every house I have bought and sold has had
somebody die in it. Probably lots of people born in them too. Most
houses I deal with were built before 1950, back when dying and being
born at home was more common

But I’ve definitely bought properties where I knew that former owners
or relatives had died there recently. It’s just not a big deal. What’s a
big deal is disclosure laws relating to murder. But the kind of thing
you were seeing–the police investigation just doesn’t sound like that
big of a deal. Guess you should check local laws regarding
disclosures. Kristine

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Natalie-VA

Posted by Natalie-VA on June 09, 2005 at 14:21:25:

This may or may not be considered a “stigmatized” property. Usually properties are stigmatized if a murder or suicide took place in them. I’m not sure that dying of morbid obesity qualifies as stigmatized.

If so, some states require that this would have to be disclosed. It’s state specific, so check your local laws.

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Josh

Posted by Josh on June 09, 2005 at 13:35:08:

I bought a house 2 years ago that had been left in trust to a local church. Afterwards, I found out the lady had died in the house and had laid there for a week before she was discoverd. At first, I was sort of creeped out. Living in a small town where everyone knows everyone else’s business made the sale somewhat difficult. Many people wouldn’t even look at the house because of this fact, but soon enough I had a buyer for the property. I firmly believe that if you properly clean up a mess like this and do good quality rehabbing, the property should sell itself. As for the smell, the house had an unusual smell at first, but nothing that a fresh coat of paint and new carpet didn’t cover. Hope this helps!

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Matt H

Posted by Matt H on June 09, 2005 at 13:26:14:

My whacked out Social Studies teacher from HS had a guy from a clean-up service (like Jimmy the Wolf) come in and talk to the kids and show photos about what he does!

According to my friend in attendance, it was obvious the guy was disturbed from years of subjection to stuff like suicides/decomposition/emotional families/etc.

Apparently, the guy’s prices are high for his trauma cleanup service…I’d imagine there are a lot of costs we don’t typically think about (biohazard suits,disposal facilities,incinerators,etc).

My 2 cents…

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Tim

Posted by Tim on June 09, 2005 at 10:49:25:

I had a tenant die of a heart attack in one of my rentals. It was pretty bad, she was young(32), temps were in the 80’s & she wasn’t missed for 3 days. Anyway, I had the place rented out within a couple of weeks, even though I told prospective tenants the situation. Actually, I rented to the first person that I talked to that was qualified.

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Sean

Posted by Sean on June 09, 2005 at 09:55:41:


I work in neighborhoods where the typical home is 80-100 years old… people have likely died at some point in all of them.

I even have a murder house, where the husband literally snapped and stabbed his wife to death in front of their kids… I’ve never had an issue renting it, and since that one is a long term rental by the time I sell 10 or 20 years down the road I really don’t expect it to be a major issue. By then it will be old news…

Its a truly sad story, after hubby snapped on wife, kids went to live with her grandparents that lived just a few blocks away… then Hubby (who even though he killed their mother, was still their legal guardian) had them shipped off to live with his family in Texas… He’s now in jail, and will be for a long time, and 2 young kids who already had to deal with the fact their mother was dead at the hands of their father… then were relocated there entire lives and live with folks they didn’t really know…

Odor from a dead person is no more different than a dead anything else… fresh death does have a smell as the body decays… but once the fluids evaporate the smell disappates… You aren’t talking about locking corpses of pigs in a sealed car inside a shipping container for 3 months like they did on Mythbusters.

Re: Some command a premium. - Posted by Paisley

Posted by Paisley on June 10, 2005 at 05:49:54:

Excuse me for being blunt but-- What is the big deal about death in a house? (Not intended to be answered by poster but a question for society in general)

It is a natural process in the cycle of life. This may be a little off the subject but our culture just does not deal with it as well as other cultures.

Passing on doesnt have to be guesome,(of course unless it is a murder, obviously) or scary, or freaky to the point where we worry if death will decrease property value.

It should be a celebration of life. Instead of saying “Yea, Ms — died there” Why do we not say, “Ms — lived in that house for 30 years, raised her family, etc…She LOVED THIS HOUSE” No, instead, people have to talk about…“She was found on the…”

I’m glad that in my state WA we do not have to disclose anything about death, natural or unnatural.

At least that way the new owners arent weirded out by
how and where someone died. Its easier to let the deceased rest in peace.

Paisley WA

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Steph

Posted by Steph on June 09, 2005 at 14:36:41:

Thanks! I will definitely check first.


this is ridiculous… - Posted by Matt H

Posted by Matt H on June 09, 2005 at 13:31:52:

Look at the bottom bullet on this residential cleanup services page: !

Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Steph

Posted by Steph on June 09, 2005 at 11:03:14:

Thanks for the info. That sounds promising. It does make me wonder why it’s been sitting there for so long in such a hot market. I feel like I am missing something…of course I haven’t been inside it yet…so we’ll see.


Re: House of a dead person (kinda gross one) - Posted by Steph

Posted by Steph on June 09, 2005 at 10:42:14:

Interesting that you mention Mythbusters, I think that’s where the information about smell came from. I heard it from my girlfriend and I think she got it from Mythbusters.

Thanks for telling the story about the other family…I felt like I might be kind of freaky for going and looking this information up…then wondering about the details.

I am waiting on a call back from the listing agent. I will make sure I have my mask, air freshener and asthma inhaler ready…just in case. :slight_smile: