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
It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items
It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items

Here’s where to find the sweet spot at the intersection of price and quality.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2020
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2020

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement
7 Reasons to Carry Mortgage Debt Into Retirement

It often makes financial sense to not pay off your mortgage before retiring.

View this page without ads

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

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon
9 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Shopping on Amazon

Are you losing money due to any of these missteps?

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.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?
Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Can a Twice-Divorced Woman Claim Social Security Survivors Benefits?

Understanding survivors benefits rules is the key to getting the most from your benefit.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation
These Are the 10 Worst Cars for Depreciation

Two types of vehicles are especially likely to see steep plunges in value.

Never Buy These 10 Things With Your Credit Card
Never Buy These 10 Things With Your Credit Card

Credit cards offer many conveniences and protections, but sometimes it’s simply smarter to keep the plastic tucked away.

13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s
10 Things I Always Buy at Trader Joe’s

From snacks to sweets to side dishes, stock your cart with these time-tested favorites on your next TJ’s run.

5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021
5 Ways Social Security Will Change in 2021

These adjustments will affect both workers and retirees in the new year.

11 ‘Disposable’ Items You Should Be Reusing
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores
8 Things You Should Buy at Restaurant Supply Stores

You don’t have to be a chef or a restaurant owner to shop here.

Stop Buying These 19 Things Online
Stop Buying These 19 Things Online

The internet has changed how we shop. But for some things, you’re still better off buying the old-fashioned way.

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.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

There are easy high-paying majors available in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required. We’re here to help you find easy degrees that pay well.

Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early
Cut These 11 Expenses Now If You Hope to Retire Early

Like the idea of financial independence? Part of the FIRE equation is cutting costs.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Food Supply

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing emergency food supply. Is your pantry well-prepared for emergencies? Knowing what to stock up on for emergencies can be a difficult task and we’re here to help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’
5 Secrets of Seniors Who Keep Their Minds ‘Young’

Here is why some seniors’ brains work as well as those of people who are decades younger.

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.