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Here’s how much a murder hurts a home’s value

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Everyone knows sex sells — but a grisly murder could knock millions off the value of your home.

A six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, red-brick colonial home in Washington, DC — one of the nation’s hottest housing markets — recently sold for a disappointing $2.6 million after being valued at almost $4.6 million, according to the Washington Post.

What’s more, it languished on the market for years.

It’s even stranger considering that the vice president lives just across the avenue in this posh neighborhood.

But, experts say that dead bodies are deal breakers for most buyers.

This home was where the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper were brutally murdered in 2014’s so-called “mansion murders.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, the stigma struggle is real. We know them as haunted houses. But, there’s a professional term –  “stigmatized properties” – realtors use to describe homes that have been “psychologically impacted” by crime, especially murder.

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police maintain a perimeter around the house on the 3200 block of Woodland Drive NW May 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Firefighters discovered the bodies of Savvas Savopoulos, 46, his wife Amy, 47, their 10-year-old son Philip, and the housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, 57, last Thursday afternoon when they responded to a fire at the house. Two Savopoulos daughters were away in boarding school at the time. Investigators have ruled the deaths homicides and say they could continue to collect evidence at the house for another week.
The Savopoulos’ DC home languished on the market for years after the family and their housekeeper were murdered in 2014.
Getty Images
The home just sold for $2 million less than expected.
The Savopoulos home just sold for $2 million less than expected.
AP

Still, in most states, agents aren’t required to inform sellers of previous deaths on the property. Thanks to the website DiedinHouse.com, however, it’s easy to unearth any unwanted skeletons.

For sellers, bad vibes often mean lower offers and a longer time spent trying to convince others that their home doesn’t come with resident ghosts. But for brave buyers, the fact a crime was committed in the home often means more bang for their buck.

Heck, it doesn’t even have to be a crime — just as long as someone dies on-site in a sensational manner.

For example, in 1999 the Los Angeles Times reported that the infamous “Heaven’s Gate” California mansion — located in an exclusive Rancho Santa Fe enclave — sold for a measly $668,000. Why didn’t it go for at least the $1.4 million the lot alone was valued at? There was one minor catch; 39 members of Marshall Applewhite’s cult committed suicide there.

Even if the price is right, and you don’t mind roommates, ask yourself this: are you really willing to live with the phantoms of religious fanatics waiting for a UFO to pick them up and take them to heaven?

Spoiler alert — the UFO never comes.



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