Would you buy a property that comes with its previous owners?
With rising property prices and stiff competition, it’s no surprise that many home buyers will overlook the occasional flaw as long as the property ticks most of their boxes. After all, if you aren’t quick to make a decision and put in an offer, someone else will often swoop in and call dibs on your dream home.
Quality properties at a decent price are particularly hard to come by, so what would you do if you spotted a great bargain but it had a grisly past? Would you live in a house or flat that had been the scene of a murder, for example?
You don’t have to be a fan of American Horror story to be concerned. What may initially seem like the home of your dreams could turn into a nightmare once you hear the gory details.
A friend recently sent me a link to a property on Right Move that her estate agent had shown her. Someone had been murdered there and so it was really cheap compared to the other properties in the area. This particular crime happened just a few years ago, so I won’t go into details, but I know that I’d be reluctant to move in.
House of horrors
This isn’t the first time I’ve shown a morbid curiosity towards so-called murder houses. When I first started saving up for a home of my own I stumbled across the story of Dennis Nilsen.
While living in a lovely flat in London’s Muswell Hill, Nilsen lured his victims into his home and brutally murdered them. The sicko chopped his victims up before disposing of them down the toilet.
Nilsen was eventually caught out when his neighbours (and he himself – I know, WHAT?) complained about blocked drains. Sure enough, remains soon started to emerge and his sick crimes were revealed.
Priced at £300,000, it’s recently been up for sale at a much cheaper price than other properties in the area. (Isn’t it crazy that a one bed murder flat in London costs 3 times the price of a 3 bed non-murder house in Manchester?)
“BUYERS ARE KINDLY ASKED TO RESEARCH THE HISTORY OF THIS PROPERTY OR ENQUIRE WITH THE MARKETING AGENT PRIOR TO VIEWINGS.” The ad warns.
I can’t imagine the estate agent showing you round and saying “With space for a washing machine, this modern fully-fitted kitchen is where Nilsen boiled the skin from his victims’ limbs”
Nor could I imagine them saying: “This bathroom recently benefited from a brand new refit after Nilsen flushed countless victims’ body parts down the drain”
I don’t know about anyone else, but you could not pay me to live there! Imagine how freaked out you’d be if the toilet got blocked.
It was then that my morbid curiosity took over. It got me thinking about a really awful triple murder that happened in Manchester a few years ago. I was curious to know how badly the property’s value had been affected and whether or not anyone else had moved in since then.
I typed the details into Google and managed to find the road where it happened. I then spent far too long trying to figure out which house it was, based on news reports and clips of neighbours being interviewed. Weirdo alert. A hunt on Zoopla didn’t really deliver any concrete results, but this did make me wonder whether there are people who do what I just did all the time.
I wonder whether there are people who are so desperate for a bargain and so undeterred by a home’s bad history that they actively seek properties that are cheap due to the horror stories that lie within them.
It certainly would be a big risk, even for landlords who aren’t interested in living there themselves. They’d likely have to offer rock bottom rents in order to encourage quality tenants to move in.
But what exactly it is about murder houses that actually puts us off? I mean, even those that have no belief in ghosts whatsoever can turn down otherwise perfect properties after learning of a gruesome death. Sure, the place where you currently live may not have been the scene of a horrific crime, but it’s likely that people have died there anyway.
What do you think? Would you live in a murder house? Do you know of any particularly grisly properties near you? Let me know in the comments below.