Stigmatized Properties

Hi, its Richard Pearce from Guidestar realty. I wanted to talk about stigmatized properties. Quite often we will get into properties with one of three problems with them. The number one stigma is grow ops - marijauna grow ops operations. Its very difficult to renovate and get beyond the state these homes are in. The biggest problem you are going to have is that you have to disclose the fact that it was once a grow op when you go to sell the house - whether you have had the house for 6 months or 60 years - the obligation is still there. Its a big thing. A lot of people aren't interested in a property that was used to grow marijauna. They are worried it has mold in it. They are worried that biker gangs are going to come knocking at your door. Its a big problem and can result in a large loss of value to the property.

The second stigma is if someone was murdered or committed suicide on your property. Again you have to disclose that - even if you are a bank selling under power of sale.

The third disclosure is hauntings. Believe it or not I have to disclose if a property is reputedly haunted. And there are dire consequences for not doing it.

A funny story that I recount to my buyer clients occurred in the US, New York State, where a buyer bought a place and had serious issues once moved in. They couldn't sleep at night, and things were going bump in the night. Things got so bad that they had to move to a hotel. They talked to the neighbours and found out that this property was reputedly haunted - a well known fact in the area, but it was not disclosed to them once they bought the property. Well they decided to get a lawyer and they sued the previous owner. It went all the way to New York Supreme Court where they won $1.3 million dollars for loss of use of enjoyment of the house and health problems and that sort of thing. Now this set a precedent of course and everyone perked up when this happened. There was another buyer client in New York State who read this article and said hey wait a minute - I remember when we moved in the welcome wagon lady showed up with a basket of goodies and said did you know that the previous owner said she lived with a friendly ghost and its been in this house for many years - so they started thinking hmmm $1.3 million dollars here we go. So they went to court and sued the previous owner and it went all the way up to the supreme court where the judge asked them to stand up and they said we couldn't live in that house - loss of use and enjoyment and all these hassles and the judge asked the previous owner to stand up and tell her side of the story. She stood up and said your honour its true, I lived in this house with a friendly ghost for 18 years, we got along so well that when I left I took him with me. Case closed.