Haunted Houses Don’t Spook All Home Buyers, Survey Says

published Oct 11, 2017
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Picture it: the house you’re looking at comes with three bedrooms, two baths, and a couple of ghosts. Is that a deal breaker? For some, not necessarily, according to a new survey released today by Realtor.com.

The company surveyed more than 1,000 online respondents and found that a third of them are open to living in a haunted house, with 25 percent in the maybe camp, and the remaining 42 percent saying definitely not.

Of course, there are levels of paranormal activity, and people were more open to some things than others:

48 percent of respondents open to living in a haunted house indicated they could tolerate cold or hot spots in their home. The next most acceptable activity was strange noises, at 45 percent, followed by strange feelings in certain rooms at 39 percent, and unexplained shadows at 35 percent. The least tolerable happenings included levitating objects and the feeling of being touched, both of which are acceptable to 20 percent of respondents.

In old homes, it’s more likely than not that someone has died in the property (though that doesn’t necessarily make it haunted). That sentiment was echoed by Chelsea Phillips, a Realtor with Keller Williams: “In downtown Savannah, the area I primarily work, homes are over 100 years old, so if someone has not died in them, then it is weird.”

“I have had several clients purchase or sell properties other would consider to be ‘haunted’,” Phillips said in an email. “Most recently I sold a property with a sordid history, even before the most recent owner had shot himself in the head in the master suite. My clients were a little freaked out at first, but the pros of the house outweighed their concerns. They have supposedly had several encounters since purchasing the property, but nothing too malignant.”

If that sounds unsavory, then perhaps a better deal might sway you. Realtor noted that respondents would choose a haunted house over a non-haunted one if: there was a price reduction (40 percent), it was in a better neighborhood (35 percent), had more square footage (32 percent), or more bedrooms (29 percent).

But for some, it’s a perk, as Phillips explains:

“Here we like a little history, a little soul, a little mystery, and a whole lot of charm. These things go hand-in-hand and we can’t have one without all the others. Here a haunted house is perhaps not the detriment that it would be elsewhere. I think how seriously you take a ‘haunted’ house should be strongly tied to what effect that it’s past would affect the resale price when and if those buyers had to sell. In my particular city, many would consider it more of a cool feature than a detriment.”

Would you buy a haunted house? Tell us in the comments.