Happy Halloween, readers! In the spirit of the holiday (pun very much intended), I’ve got some spooky real estate information for you…
It’s a common misconception that real estate agents are required to disclose whether someone has died in a particular home, or whether it’s been the location of a crime. In some areas, that’s true, but not here in Massachusetts; if the agent is aware of it, he or she isn’t legally required to spill the beans. That being said, my personal rule of thumb is that if I know about a death, a crime, or something else notorious about the home you’re looking at, I will tell you about it. If it’s something that you’d want to know about, I’d rather have you hear it from me than from your new neighbors when they bring over a plate of cookies after you’ve moved in.
However, Realtors don’t know everything, and that’s where the Internet comes in. For a small fee, a website called DiedInHouse.com will search public records (such as death certificates, police records, and more) related to a particular address, so you can find out if anyone died in that home, or even if it’s been the site of any meth lab activity. I haven’t used it myself, so I can’t speak to its accuracy, but if you plan to use it, note that one article about it states that its data currently only goes back to the 1980s, and it only works for addresses in the United States. If you do try it out, please drop me a line and let me know what you thought! (Hat tip to my buddy Mike, who alerted me to the existence of this site.)