Do you know your home's history? - New York News

Do you know your home's history?

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA -

Some renters and buyers consider more than location when picking a place to live, like a house's history. As FOX 5's Kaitlyn Pratt discovered, some properties come with a tragic past.

In real estate, the site of a gruesome event, or home of a notorious resident, is called a "stigmatized property."

One such property is the Fayette County estate of wrestler Chris Benoit, where he killed his wife and son before taking his own life in 2007.  Another family now lives in the home, which is estimated to be worth nearly a million dollars.

But what if you don't know anything about the previous resident or the home's grim history?

Sherry Hale said she heard from neighbors after she had signed a lease that her home was the site of a drug deal that turned into homicide.

"They got into an argument and they started shooting at each other," Hale said. "He opened up the door and died on the front porch."

The family stayed, but only used the side door, never the front.

Homeowner Crissy Alter said she was stunned to learn what happened inside her Covington home. A young couple was killed months before she purchased the property.

"Oh my gosh.  What have I got myself in to?" Alter said she thought.

The event was in the news, but not mentioned by the seller. Alter says she stayed and remodeled, but she doesn't get a lot of visitors.

"They are typically scared and they ask obvious questions: Have you seen any ghosts?  Do your cabinets open by themselves? Do you hear creaks and stuff," said Alter.

The murders haven't haunted her home. She's accepted the past.

FOX 5's Kaitlyn Pratt said she has personal experience with a property with a past. Her leasing agent revealed to her that there had been a death – natural causes -  in the apartment. However, the women she spoke with for this story said their real estate agents never told them what they were getting into.  So what is the Georgia law?

"Under Georgia law, you do not have to disclose it. It is not considered a physical defect," said Pam Ahern, of Area Atlanta Real Estate.

But what if the defect is psychological?

"If you feel that person you are selling the property to or leasing to would have second thoughts about buying it or leasing it because of this, it's better to get it out in the open now than to have someone try to sue you later," said Ahern.

Ahern says buying a home is a business decision, but it's also emotional.

"If you are sensitive to spirits or you think you don't want to live in a house where someone has died -- either of natural causes or a murder, you ask the owner or the landlord if someone has died or if they know anything about it. If they don't and if you really want to know, you go downtown and check the precinct records, the property address," said Ahern.

Sherry Hale said that when she moved to her next place, she made sure to ask about its history.

"Heck yeah I did," Hale said.

Stigmatized properties can be bargains if you accept their pasts.  If on the market for a long period of time, there may be room for negotiating a deal.

  • More Local NewsMore>>

  • Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Henry Co. teenager working on cancer cure

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:43 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:43:26 GMT
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
    A Henry County teenager is working on a cure for cancer.
  • Midtown neighbors meet with community leaders about crime

    Midtown neighbors meet with community leaders about crime

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:37 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:37:30 GMT
    Some people in the Midtown neighborhood are taking action to end crime in the Midtown community.
    Some people in the Midtown neighborhood are taking action to end crime in the Midtown community.
  • Governor to sign controversial gun bill into law

    Governor to sign controversial gun bill into law

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:13 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:13:44 GMT
    Governor Deal will sign the controversial HB60 into law in Ellijay on Wednesday afternoon.
    Governor Deal will sign the controversial HB60 into law in Ellijay on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:23 AM EDT2014-04-23 10:23:11 GMT
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
    A NYPD plan intended to better connect with the community seems to have backfired a bit. The police department asked its twitter followers to share pictures of themselves with New York City police officers using the hashtag "myNYPD." Some did share nice pictures, but others not so much.Some of the first pictures posted showed regular citizens standing with very friendly looking police officers.
  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
  • Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Hoax 'swatting' call sends dozens of cops to LI home

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:43:53 GMT
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
    Heavily armed police officers descended on a home in Long Beach, Long Island, Tuesday afternoon thinking they might find a grisly murder scene. Instead they found a terrified woman who had no clue what they were talking about and her teenaged son playing video games. "We received a phone call from a gentleman who stated he had just shot his mother and his brother," Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said. "Unfortunately, this is a terrible national problem for law enforcement."
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices