Tips For Finding Out if Someone Died in a House
Searching for your ideal home can take time. Even when you think you’ve discovered the right house, it can be hiding secrets.
The older the home is, the more likely something has happened inside that could affect whether you want to buy or not.
Many folks want to know how to find out if someone died in a house. Discovering if death in a house took place isn’t always straightforward.
When you are looking through the property listings, the death history of a home isn’t going to be immediately apparent. But even though it’s a morbid thought, it’s something you’ll want to discover before buying the property.
You probably don’t want to have been living in your home for months before you find out about a horrifying secret.
It can be unsettling to hear unexplained noises or seen something out of the corner of your eye that isn’t there when you focus on it. Creaking floors or footsteps when there’s no one else in the home can be alarming.
Growing up as a kid, I lived in an older home. At times it made me uneasy when I would hear strange noises. There was no paranormal activity, but nonetheless, it got my attention.
If you don’t want to live in a haunted house, you wouldn’t be alone. But the question is how to find out if someone died in your house?
Relatively modern homes could even be hiding a secret. So finding out if someone has died in a home before you buy is a good idea. We’ll look at the things you can do to learn about the death history of a home.
House History: Deaths By Address Free
When you are concerned about the history of a house, the first step should be to ask your real estate agent for assistance. A buyer’s agent is there to help with any due diligence needed to make a sound decision.
They can assist with looking at public records for any material facts that would impact a home’s value. You can also do your own research by heading down to the local library.
You’ll be able to look at local newspapers and other news reports if you’re concerned. If a violent death took place on the property, you’d probably be able to find it.
Searching Online For Deaths
You can also go to a search engine like Google and start digging yourself. One of the more popular searches is death history of my house free. Let’s face it; people are fascinated by who died in a house. They want to know what happened in their house before they lived there.
It is possible to find house history deaths by address free online. A simple search of the address could uncover a story about someone dying in the home you want to buy. You’ll likely need only the street name and city to see any important information.
Use DiedinHouse.com to Find Deaths in Properties
The website DiedinHouse.com could help you quickly find an answer. One search will cost $11.99, with three searches costing $29.99 if you look at a few potential homes.
The site pulls data from police records, death certificates, and media reports to try to find something.
The Diedinhouse report will provide information on deaths and other essential data. Their reports will show the cause of death, whether murder, suicide or natural death.
Some protective buyers may not care about a natural death, while their feelings may differ for a non-natural death.
Many people have hospice care and pass away in their homes from natural causes.
The site will also provide information on whether there was meth activity or sex offenders.
Use HouseCreep to Find Place of Death Info
You can also try a site like HouseCreep.com, which uses crowdsourcing to build information. But unfortunately, it might not be that simple or free to find the death history of the home.
Housecreep states they are a top real estate website for finding stigmatized properties, including murder, haunted houses, drug labs, and other newsworthy properties. You can look up a place of death near you where murders and other crimes occurred.
Despite drawing data from these sources, they don’t guarantee they will find every death.
Use The United States Social Security Death Index
Another little-known way of researching the deaths of family members and others is the social security death index. It’s another of the online databases for researching deaths. The site’s information goes from 1962 until February 2014, so it is not as complete as other sources.
It’s one of the genealogy websites people use to find family history. They also have a finding US death records wiki page and a search feature for property records. They even have a search feature for old photos.
Talk to the Neighbors to Discover Deaths
Perhaps it doesn’t sound like the best thing to discuss the first time you speak to a neighbor, but they could be a good source of information about a home’s history.
While you probably don’t want to straight-up ask them if they know someone has died in the home, getting them talking about the house can get you to the answer anyway.
If the neighbor has lived in the home for a long time, they could be a wealth of information, not only about deaths in the home. They might tell you about other things you want to know before buying. Since they aren’t the person selling the property, there isn’t any reason for them to hold back details.
On the other hand, home sellers will be reluctant to volunteer information. Another method would be to find the previous property owner and ask them. Follow my tips for finding the names of previous owners.
Do Real Estate Agents Have to Disclose Death or Murders in a House?
It will be essential to find out the requirements. You can do this by speaking to a local real estate attorney.
Look at Seller Disclosure Forms
Some states have laws requiring the seller to disclose deaths in the home. But even these requirements are fairly limited.
There is a requirement to disclose any death in the home in California during the last three years. In Alaska and South Dakota, murders and suicides in the last year have to be in the seller disclosure form.
In my state of Massachusetts, there is no requirement to disclose a death in a home, even if it’s a serious crime. So, you can see death disclosure laws vary by location.
In the vast majority of states, a death property is not considered a material fact, and it’s not required to be disclosed.
Even if you aren’t in a state with this type of disclosure, you might try to get such information from the seller if you have some suspicions.
You might have heard something, or perhaps the seller disclosure left some gaps, and asking the seller might help you find out.
Further Research to Find Out if Someone Died in Your House
If you have tried these other methods but still haven’t found a satisfactory answer, there are still things you can do to research the property.
If you are interested in buying a really old house, you can check census records to tell you about the people who previously lived in the home. There are confidentiality rules that mean this information remains hidden for 72 years, but you can search old census records from as early as 1790 to the middle of the last century.
Even if you do this type of research, it isn’t necessarily going to tell you if someone’s died in the home. But the older the home is, the more likely it is that one or more people have died there.
It is estimated that one in five people die in their homes nowadays, and in the past, that figure was likely to be higher. In this case, you might be more concerned about violent deaths, and archives can be revealing for information like that news.
Your library might have digitized archives of historical newspapers, or you’ll be able to search microfilms. The local historical society could be another source of local newspaper archives. They might also be able to give you good advice on finding the property’s death history.
If nothing is uncovered, it will put your mind at ease, and you’ll also likely find out a lot of interesting stuff about the home and the local area in the process.
Does a Death in a Home Affect the Value?
One of the questions folks wonder is whether death can impact property values. There are many factors that influence as appraisal but death in a property isn’t usually one of them.
If a homicide has happened in a home, it will put off many people from wanting to live there. Murders in a house are a turnoff for many prospective home buyers. Even if a death occurred in the distant past, buyers might be concerned about being haunted.
Whether their concerns stem from personal experience or they have watched too many horror movies, it’s likely to negatively affect the price. Most potential buyers aren’t going to sweat a death from natural causes.
A violent murder or known haunted house could be a much different story affecting property value. For a certain percentage of buyers, it will be a deal-breaker.
Though it might not bother you, it could become an issue when you eventually sell the house. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to find out as much as possible about the home before you commit your money to buying.
Whether you are concerned about being haunted or you just think a death in the home is creepy, learning this information before you commit to purchasing the property is a good idea.
While it isn’t necessarily easy, and the seller probably isn’t legally required to disclose this information in most cases, the effort can help you find out if someone died in your house.
About the Author: The above Real Estate information on how to find out if someone died in your home was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for 35+ Years.
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