How To Avoid Buying a Haunted House: 7 Ways To Make Sure Your New Home Isn’t Super Spooky
You’ve seen it in films.
A happy family has just moved into their beautiful new home when the air suddenly becomes frosty, an unbearable stench fills the home, and photos seemingly jump off the shelf on their own.
It’s every homeowner’s nightmare to spend their hard-earned money on the house of their dreams — only to find out it’s haunted.
We’re here to help ensure you don’t mistakenly fall for misery manor. In this guide, we will share seven ways to learn how to avoid buying a haunted house.
And for those who don’t believe in the supernatural, keep reading to find out how these seven tips can help you uncover other unwelcome surprises in a home.
Table of Contents
- What Makes a House Haunted?
- 7 Ways To Avoid Buying a Haunted House
- Buying a “Haunted” House May Be a Way To Get a Good Deal
- PEGGY HOAG REAL ESTATE Will Work Tirelessly To Help You Find a Home You’re Comfortable In
What Makes a House Haunted?
Some homes just have bad energy.
You may not be able to put your finger on why, but you feel in your gut that you don’t want to be there.
Historic homes can be full of charm and character, especially those in the greater Portland area, but some can be downright creepy. You want to keep the original woodwork, not the original owners.
Some people genuinely believe that ghosts can live in a property, and the older it is, the more likely it is to have some history.
In 2019, there were more than 19,000 victims of homicide, and over 47,500 people died by suicide in the United States.
A house with a violent past can easily get a bad reputation. In real estate terms, a haunted house is classified as a stigmatized property. A stigmatized property is one that buyers may avoid for psychological reasons unrelated to its physical condition.
Types of stigma can include:
- Criminal stigma
- Debt stigma
- Minimal stigma
- Murder/suicide stigma
- Phenomena stigma; and
- Public stigma
If the public has dubbed the property haunted, you may find your home at the center of rumors — or even ghost tours.
7 Ways To Avoid Buying a Haunted House
#1: Be Aware of Disclosure Laws
Depending on the state, the seller may not be required to disclose a home’s dark history.
That means if someone has passed away in the home, peacefully or otherwise, the seller may not be required to disclose that information.
Some states require that only violent deaths are reported, and four states (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Minnesota) address supernatural phenomena and whether or not the psychological impact requires disclosing.
California has the most strict law, which states all deaths that occurred on the property in the last three years must be disclosed.
Regardless of your state’s laws, if you ask directly if a death has occurred in the home, the buyer or real estate agent may tell you what they know.
Even if state law doesn’t require disclosure if asked, many sellers understand there could be other repercussions for trying to hide information.
A serious buyer will probably hear rumors from neighbors, and the lack of transparency may cause them to back out of a purchase agreement.
So in this case, honesty is the best policy.
#2: Do Your Research
Since most states don’t require the seller to disclose a death on the property, it’s up to you to do your due diligence and at least perform a quick Google search.
An internet search can provide you with information about:
- Suicides; and
Newspaper clippings or the local library may provide information about the property’s history.
Some websites even allow you to search a property for records of known deaths.
You may even want to research the land the property was built on to see if it was the site of a former:
- Ancient burial grounds; or
Otherwise, you might find yourself in a real-life version of “Poltergeist.”
#3: Talk to the Neighbors
Neighbors can be your most treasured resource for information about a property you may be interested in, especially those who have lived nearby for a while.
People love to talk. If you’re home hunting in the greater Portland area, don’t be afraid to …
- Walk around the neighborhood
- Stop passers-by; and
- Knock on doors
… to see if there’s anything the locals would like to tell you about the home or the neighborhood –– good or bad.
#4: Check the Home’s History
Every home has a history.
A home’s buy and sell history may give you a little insight into what’s been happening behind its closed doors.
Is there a pattern of the home being bought and sold several times over the years?
Has the value of the home gone down for no apparent reason?
These may be clues that there could be hair-raising activities that are keeping people from settling in.
Additionally, check for an unusual amount of repairs on the property. There may be a supernatural cause or just a headache you want to avoid.
If something sticks out to you, don’t be afraid to ask. Sellers are required to divulge any information if asked directly.
Even the most unique, luxurious homes in Oregon and Washington have a little history.
The experienced real estate agents at PEGGY HOAG REAL ESTATE can help you find the answers you need no matter how uncanny the question.
PEGGY HOAG REAL ESTATE has closed over 2,100 home sales on some of the most magnificent homes in:
- The Columbia River Gorge
- Vancouver; and
- Portland areas
As the trusted realtor for luxury real estate throughout Oregon and Washington, we ensure the only chill you get in your home is the one cooling your wine cellar.
#5: Rent an EMF Detector
Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, we all have a gut feeling that tells us when something is “off.”
Some people are more in tune with the feeling, and others can be sensitive to high levels of electromagnetic energy.
High levels of electromagnetic radiation can cause:
- Uneasiness; and
These symptoms are also commonly reported when people believe they are in the presence of ghosts.
An electromagnetic field (EMF) detector is a device that can measure electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere.
These meters are said to be a great way to detect paranormal activity but beware of power lines and other electronics that can cause the readings to spike and render the EMF detector unreliable.
#6: Call a Ghostbuster or Have the House Cleansed
When the team famously asked, “Who ya gonna call?” in the 1984 film, “Ghostbusters,” it put ghost hunting in the minds of mainstream America.
But paranormal research dates back to the 19th century with the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) as the first group to conduct organized scholarly research to understand events commonly described as psychic or paranormal.
By 1952, husband-and-wife team Ed and Lorraine Warren founded the New England Society for Psychic Research and investigated the notorious paranormal case that inspired the book and film “The Amityville Horror.”
Today, there are more than 4,500 paranormal investigators across the United States to call.
Alternatively, if you’re the do-it-yourself kind, you can try to cleanse your new home of its bad energy using:
- White sage; or
- Other smoke-cleansing herbs
Use whatever spiritual ritual suits you to cleanse the home. It can feel like a completely different space.
#7: Bring in a Good Pest Control Company
If you’re hearing things that go bump in the night or are plagued by a foul smell, the unwanted guests in your home could be pests, not ghosts.
Rodents and other animals have a sneaky way of finding their way into homes, especially historic houses with attics and cellars.
Before you call in a priest, you may want to call pest control instead to inspect your home for any …
- Mice; or
… that could be the cause of your sleepless nights.
Buying a “Haunted” House May Be a Way To Get a Good Deal
If you’re still not bothered by having a spooky roommate or don’t believe in spirits, buying a house rumored to be haunted may be a way to save a little money.
With today’s rising mortgage rates, buyers are looking for a break, and you may be able to find a good deal on a great house that isn’t selling because of its reputation.
According to a 2021 survey, you’ll find less competition since only 46% of people said they’d be willing to live in creepy quarters — even if they can get the home at a discounted price.
PEGGY HOAG REAL ESTATE Will Work Tirelessly To Help You Find a Home You’re Comfortable In
With all the amenities at your fingertips, finding the perfect luxury property is our specialty at PEGGY HOAG REAL ESTATE.
We buy and sell unique niche market homes in the greater Portland area that exude positive energy and happy memories for you and your family for years to come.
So whether you’re looking for a historic mansion complete with charm and character (but without Casper), or you want to make sure your newly built house is on purified grounds, call PEGGY HOAG REAL ESTATE 503-906-1370.
We can make your dreams come true and keep the real estate nightmares at bay.