The Murder Factor: What Homicide Does to Home Values

Photo (cc) by [puamelia]

Murder homes look like any other home once the crime scene tape is removed and the property is cleaned up. But despite a sparkly clean appearance, murders can kill home values.

According to consumer comparison website finder.com, the U.S. housing market loses $2.3 billion annually because of homicides. A murder doesn’t just affect the price of the home where it occurred, it can also lower the value of neighboring houses.

Research from the University of Technology Sydney found that housing prices within 0.2 miles of a murder house take a 4.4 percent hit in the year following a homicide.

“Not only are people creeped out by the thought that someone has been killed, a murder creates a perception that the area is generally less safe and has a higher crime rate,” finder.com explained.

Houses where murders or other gruesome crimes or events occur are known as “stigmatized properties.” In addition to taking a hit in value, stigmatized properties typically stay on the market for 45 percent longer than comparable houses, according to HGTV.

“Buying a house is a business transaction, but it’s also emotional,” Frank Harrison, a property appraiser based in Woodstock, Illinois, told HGTV. “You may find a home you like, but then you’re told someone died there. If an old man dies in his sleep, you might not think that’s so awful. But if it was a child, or a suicide, that might cause you to reconsider.”

Nicole Brown Simpson’s condo in Los Angeles, where she and her friend Ronald Goldman were infamously slain in 1994, sat on the market for two years before it finally sold for $590,000, which was $200,000 below market value.

In one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., where the average home is valued at $6 million, a stately brick mansion recently sold for $3.25 million, The Washington Post reports.

It was a bargain price, but the house came with a horrific bloody history. In May, the Woodley Park home was the site of a quadruple killing that left its owners, Savvas and Amy Savopoulos, dead, along with their 10-year-old son, Philip, and their housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, according to the Post. The house also sustained significant damage from a fire that was set after the crime.

Still, it sold, and less than six months after the gruesome crime occurred.

Click here to see how much murder has affected property market values in your home state.

Real estate agents in many states don’t have to disclose whether a murder has occurred at a home unless a potential buyer asks. According to LegalMatch, even in states where murders are required to be disclosed to buyers, there is often a time limit for disclosure.

“For example, California only requires that the deaths be disclosed if they took place within the last three years,” LegalMatch explains.

Would you purchase a home where a murder occurred? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Small Appliances You Don’t Need — and What to Use Instead
7 Small Appliances You Don’t Need — and What to Use Instead

Here’s how to get the job done without blowing money — or losing counter space.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales
7 Things You Should Buy at Estate Sales

Here’s what an experienced estate sale shopper considers a great find.

7 Ways Anyone Can Cut Their Health Care Costs
7 Ways Anyone Can Cut Their Health Care Costs

Here’s how to lower your medical expenses without skimping on care.

5 Renovations That Can Impact Your Home Insurance
5 Renovations That Can Impact Your Home Insurance

Home improvements can affect your home insurance policy for the better, the worse or both.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target

No store can specialize in everything. For some purchases, it’s smart to shop elsewhere.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores
8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores

For one expert, these secondhand bargains stand out from the rest.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees
20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees

Retirees can dial back the intensity of work while continuing to bring in a paycheck.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report
8 Types of Companies That Check Your Credit Report

Federal law lets these entities peek at your credit — regardless of whether you’re borrowing money.

11 Foods That Can Keep for Years
11 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.