Stigmatized Home

The real estate industry no longer wants to use the term ‘stigmatized home’ ; they would like to convert it to a softer word by calling it a ‘distressed home’. 

I find that utterly ridiculous and insulting. Instead of taking care of industry issues they want to re-label the words to be more emotionally pleasing. Changing the word is NOT going to change the issues we are having with stigmatized homes. The truth of the matter is that the real estate industry needs training, understanding, compassion, and more importantly an open mind into the paranormal. 

A popular question you will hear from a majority of buyers when they find out someone died in a home is, “is it haunted”?  For that reason, real estate professionals must be educated enough to discuss the paranormal, spirits, and haunted if you are going to overcome the buyer’s question, “is it haunted”. 

Let me be very clear, to me a distressed home is a handyman special or a foreclosure. A stigmatized home means something happened in a house where I may not be comfortable living even though the house is perfectly habitable. 

What is a stigmatized home?

Within the real estate industry there is a term called Stigmatized Homes or Distress Properties. These are terms used to describe homes that may have an unfavourable quality but are not related to its physical condition. Throughout my site I will only refer to these unique properties as stigmatized homes. 

The psychologically traumatizing event doesn't directly affect the functionality or appearance of the home but may trigger a negative psychological effect on a potential buyer that would prevent them from buying the home.

This negative effect of the stigmatizing event may make it much harder to sell and could ultimately adversely affect its market value and the market value of the entire neighbourhood.

A stigmatized home is not only where a homicide or suicide took place. In fact, there are many examples where a home might be considered stigmatized such as:

  • Murder (mass murder) or suicide took place;
  • Notorious criminal or gang leader lived;
  • Well-known drug house stands;
  • A cult group performed sacrificial rituals; 
  • Grow-op existed;
  • House is reportedly known to be haunted;
  • A known criminal or pedophile lived in; 
  • Property is next to cemetery,
  • Group of sex-trade workers live or work;
  • Old burial ground exists;
  • Physical torture occurred;
  • Bodies were buried;

According to a research paper written by Patrick Gourley on November 6, 2015, "The costs of social stigma could be large. A non-rigorous estimate concluded that a house loses 10-15 percent of its value on average if someone is murdered on the property (Milford 2013)." 


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