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HELP, stigmatized property?

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jwand125

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
As I was waiting for the realtor to arrive at the subject property which is a transfer and vacant. The neighbor chatted with me and said that a guy killed his wife in that house and then commit suicide. The most recent occupant lived there 7 years and then bank repo. And realtor has a buyer and thats where I come in. It must have been at least seven years ago. when mentioned to realtor she said she recently found that out, I dont think buyer knows? Market time only 30 days and it hasnt gone from owner to owner. How should I handle this?

thanks
 

Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
You might want to read the other thread about stigmatized houses. You know, if you knew the history of all of the homes in the neighborhood, you might find other homes where someone died, or killed someone, or committed suicide. Dying is part of living, whether it occurs naturally or unnaturally.

Any time you want to make an adjustment for something out of the ordinary, such as location, stigma, etc., if it were me, I would want to back it up with facts - such as other homes that sold for less because someone killed someone else in it 7 years ago.

Since it is important to the neighbor, I would tell the Realtor that she should tell the buyer, but that you have no way of proving that it adversely affects the marketability of the house. In this case, it certainly becomes the Realtor's responsiblity to tell the buyer, but you have to "prove" any adversity, in my opinion.
 

Rich Heyn

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Even if your analysis determines that there is no stigma, I'd still disclose the fact in your report. If the buyer is not told about the event and finds out later, there is always the chance of you being dragged into the lawsuit against the Realtor. Just make sure you have your facts in order -- something more reliable than the neighbor's comments. Otherwise, if the deal falls apart because of incorrect information in your report, you could be held liable by the seller and the Realtor.

Nothing like being between the rock and the hard place. If you think this one is bad, what do you do when you know there is a registered sex offender next door to your subject?

Rich Heyn
 

Judy Whitehead (Florida)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Wow, I never thought of that! I guess we'd better start watching the postings on the internet to make sure we know. It's possible the homeowner would not tell you1
 

Rich Heyn

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Judy:

I'm not so sure that you want to check internet databases for sex offenders.

There is a lengthly discussion that goes along with this and I'm out the door right now so I'll have to get back to this later. Might be interesting to see if any others have thoughts on this.

It comes out of a seminar I developed on "Avoiding Liablity." Always have a lot of fun with this one in class.

More later.

Rich Heyn
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
I'm not so sure that you want to check internet databases for sex offenders.

I am VERY sure that I will NOT be doing that... for example say I DID check on the day the order was assigned, and someone registered next door 3 mintues later... 8O and theres my name signed on something that syas 'no bad guys live in area!?!?!?'

NOT MY JOB. Bad idea, don't go there and unh-UH!

just my $.02
 

Rich Heyn

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Lee Ann:

As usual, your $.02 is right on the money. You really don't want to warranty that no bad guys are around. Additionally, if you happen to find a proximate pervert and mention it in the report, what then? Perhaps the deal blows up and maybe the seller is looking for someone to sue.

There may be a way to CYA here, at least a little. Want to take a guess?

By the way, are you the same Lee Ann from KS who was in a manufactured housing seminar I taught in Seattle a few years ago?

Rich Heyn
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
:lol: :lol: :lol: Uh oh, you remember me :lol: :lol: :lol:

Yes Rich I am.

Am also now living in that example I challenged you with.

You were so very politely dis-believeing :p I almost dragged you on the plane and brought you home to see it.

I had hoped to clarify exactly how one identified a residence which was say a 32 x 52 box, with no marriage line, a high quality interior floor plan that says 'site built' and possessing single piece 32 foot wood floor joists (not TJI, not jointed in any way) 8O

I was deeply shaken when I walked into my Aunt & Uncles new home (fully cognisant that it had been built some 165 miles away across a state line) and saw not a single piece of evidence that would tip me off to the fact it arrived by truck, saving the quad mud tracks left by the tires :!: I was prepared to be polite, not SCARED!

No HUD tags, no stickers, no identifying label in the elec box, under the sink, nothing! And since it had the straightest prettiest single piece wood floor joists I had seen in a while, nothing in the basement to clue a simple or even a suspicious appraiser!! GLEEP! Attached mudroom/breezeway and garage of same realtively high quality exterior materials were later installed (by me...) further decreasing the likelyhood of anyone being able to identify the thing.

Can you say potential Lii - a - bil- iii - Teee?!?!?

Stil haven't got a clue how to catch this type, but ask a whole lot more questions if appraising anything that looks remotely like it! Most built by that company have no wiring beneath (potential clue), however if the happy homeowner finshes the basement or does home wiring of any kind, then what? Look for mud tracks :idea: ?!?!?!!! If something like this is moved in dry season, I'm done for :!: :roll: ).

My current modus operandi is to state that anything suspicious is a box/potential modular, state that I found no evidence to conclusively determine either site or modular, co. records don't tell and subject to a full title search to be performed to prove it ISN'T! Market doesn't care and yada yada YA! So have you run across any more of these since?
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
The only clue an appraiser will have in the future here in Arizona that the subject is a modular home built by Redman/Genesis will be the crawl space. Won't likely be a basement and the marriage line won't be visible in the 18" crawl, unless the appraiser crawls all around under the home on hands and tummy in the crawl space. And between tarantulas, black widow spiders, rattlesnakes, scorpions, mice with bubonic plague, etc not too many appraisers will go pass the access opening. Site built homes are built on concrete slabs in Arizona. Only older homes have crawl spaces. There will not be a tag or any identifying marks anywhere outside or inside the home. They will put their state inspection tag on a rafter in the attic near an exterior wall where only a mouse would be able to see it. The only clue might be that the builder is Genisis on the building permit, but that won't be a dependable source because the building permit departments wants to know the contractor that will do all the site preparation and installation, not the name of the factory where it came from. The buyer will only have a bill of sale (which is not public record) for the home.

And to add to the confusion for site built homes with basements, if it is finished the assessor's office, the owner, the realtor and the buying public call them two story homes. There is not any information in any public record about the square footage for each level. Unless you are in Graham and Greenlee Counties (my two counties), they measure each level and sketch each level on the property record cards. But the larger counties only report the total livable area whether it is below or above grade.
 
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