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Old 03-15-2006, 01:54 AM
John Lakeman John Lakeman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006

Posts: 2
Default murder/suicide

I am appraising a property in Central Wisconsin that is the site of a murder suicide. Obviously there is a certain amount of stigma attached to it by the locals since it is not a secret. How much obsolescence should be assigned as a result? I have to come up with a value relatively soon. What is the solution if any?
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Old 03-15-2006, 02:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
State: Arizona
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 1,280

tough one....what does the market say?? Are there any similar situations you or local realtors can recall??? Go back as far in time as possible that you have good data on. Even if something occured 5 years ago you could extract a % hit from that if there is one. I have seen this in a city before, 10 doors down from me in Denver, and the home sold for full market value and normal marketing time....I would think something like that would affect marketing time more than sold price, people have real short memories...if its a real small town probably a different story. Good luck.
Old 03-15-2006, 07:29 AM
Terrel L. Shields's Avatar
Terrel L. Shields Terrel L. Shields is online now
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Springtown, AmeRica
State: Arkansas
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 40,726

stigma is time dependent. check out Bell's book on Detrimental influences
"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is much the same." Oscar Wilde
Old 03-15-2006, 08:51 AM
Mark K's Avatar
Mark K Mark K is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Central Indiana
State: Indiana
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 1,849

I appraised one nearby that was the site of a particularly nasty murder, grandkids (teenagers) killed grandma with a claw hammer, stole a few hundred bucks, and left the state. Kids were caught (driving Grandma's car, real rocket scientist material there), confessed.

House sat empty for a while, 6 mo. or so, and then was listed and sold at the low end of the adjusted range, about 30 DOM. Buyers knew house history, didn't care, liked the basement. Town of about 15K people. House price range was near the median for the area. That was about 5 years ago. House has since resold at market price.

I think what you'll have is a reduction in the pool of buyers. Some wouldn't even look at it, others said it didn't bother them.
Old 03-15-2006, 10:33 AM
Denis DeSaix Denis DeSaix is online now
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Northern California
State: California
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
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I agree with Terrel; I've heard Bell speak (he's excellent and has great stories!) and purchased the book. It was of great help for a litigation appraisal I did.

If you don't want to purchase the book and are a member of the Appraisal Institute, Bell has an article that is available on the AI Lum Library site that summarizes the book. It would be of help.

I would spend the $60 in buying the book; this assignment will pay for the book, and you can be the local expert the next time somethinig like this comes along!

Good luck.
Old 03-15-2006, 12:46 PM
Walter Kirk Walter Kirk is offline
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Audubon, N.J.
State: New Jersey
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 4,420

I know of one case where a well known local politician was murdered in his house. The property was purchased by the victim's son, the man's blood was still staining the walls when the appraisal was done. One man's stigma is another man's bargain.
Old 03-15-2006, 12:57 PM
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Kevin Mc Kevin Mc is offline
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Location: Metropolis
State: New York
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 9,638
Default I can help.....

I had the same scenario twice in 1985 and 1990. Site of a domestic fight gone bad. Boyfriend beat his girlfriend to death. Other one was a home robbery.At the time there was an article published in one of the trade journals that addressed the issue in detail. It broke down to a 25% negative adjustment. I attached the article with the appraisals but being as it was so long ago, I no longer have those reports. In a paired sales analysis it broke down almost exactly at that percentage so it was pretty reliable. Of course this was in NYC where stigmas are often overseen for the right price, not sure of the market you are dealing withurban,suburban or rural. Good Luck

Last edited by Kevin Mc : 03-15-2006 at 01:10 PM.
Old 03-15-2006, 03:35 PM
Hal Mann Hal Mann is offline
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Location: New York, NY
State: New York
Professional Status: Certified General Appraiser
Posts: 1,848
Default The quarterly stigma thread?

I have not seen any market data on the impact of murder/suicide stigmas, but I have to believe it isn't so much a value issue as it might be a marketing issue. Of course, marketing issues can indeed impact value. Some folks wouldn't care at all and others wouldn't take the property at any price.
Old 03-15-2006, 09:42 PM
Ray Miller's Avatar
Ray Miller Ray Miller is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Southwest Wisconsin
State: Wisconsin
Professional Status: Licensed Appraiser
Posts: 12,000

Has the property sold in the past? If so was it below the market at the time of each sale? How far in the past did this happen?


You will also need to take the ghost factor in to accout. All so the number of ghost and type of ghost.

HBU might be as an attraction instead of a single family home.
Old 03-15-2006, 10:10 PM
Kevin Mc's Avatar
Kevin Mc Kevin Mc is offline
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Location: Metropolis
State: New York
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
Posts: 9,638
Default Amityville Horror House.....

still sells significantly below market. Has transacted several times over the years and I believe it sold somewhere around 2002-2003 for $535K when comparable waterfront properties were selling in the $650-$700 range.
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