It might be fun to see how scared people are when you share stories of paranormal activity in your home, but the fun stops once it affects your property's market value. Haunted houses, hospital sites, abandoned buildings, and other properties that have a violent history (owners committing suicide, a house owned by a serial killer or violent criminal, etc.) fall under the stigmatized properties category -- wherein a property that is not really physically defective loses its value due to the psychological and emotional stress it brings to the buyer. Because it is difficult to sell, these properties (even if they are located in accessible areas, or possess beautiful architecture or design) have less demand and difficult-to-appreciate values.
Tips for homeowners
Profiting from your property might take a lot longer than usual, but it is not impossible. Here are some tips that you might want to follow:
Seek the help of paranormal experts. While this may be a ridiculous idea for skeptical owners, it might actually help in selling the property. Filipino developers have actually engaged some paranormal groups to "cleanse" or "cure" the bad spirits and energies in lots that have been used as sites for hospitals and other areas where many people died.
Invest in renovation. Branding developments can actually add value to a property. Invest in renovations and in improving the site to help improve the property's reputation.
Capitalize on the property's reputation for tourism. If all else fails, you can develop the property into a horror house. Work with travel agents or firms and incorporate the property into a paranormal tour. Have it featured in TV shows and news to entice ghostbusters and thrill seekers to visit the place.
Tips for buyers
Don't let a good deal fool you. Some deals are just too good to be true, so before you jump into an agreement, follow the next step.
Perform due diligence. Unlike in other countries, the Philippines does not have a law that requires homeowners to disclose the history of crimes or deaths in a property. Most information may be found through word-of-mouth or by checking historical data. Be sure to conduct full research on a property before making a purchase.
Not all stigmatized properties are unlivable. Just because a property is rumored to be haunted, it doesn't mean that it is unlivable. Many people are occupying stigmatized properties, such as the Sutcliffes who own the house featured in the blockbuster hit "The Conjuring." Even the Malacañang Palace, home to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, is rumored to be haunted by former presidents who lived there, including Pres. Manuel Quezon and Manuel Roxas. So if you encounter a good deal on a house with a history of ghost haunting, you might want to think twice before refusing make an offer.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Xchange.