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The housing market is so tight, even haunted houses are desirable.

2 minute read

You know it’s a sellers’ market when more than half of Americans say they aren’t spooked by the notion of buying a haunted house.

For that matter, only 27 percent gave a firm “No” when it came to buying a home in which someone has died, according to a recent survey from Sadly, this survey didn’t look back at past years and compare, but real estate agents speculate that low inventory and high prices are overcoming superstitions.

The National Association of Realtors says the average house isn’t lingering on the market beyond 30 days — and in the hottest markets, it’s closer to 20. So why not give the paranormal properties a second look?

The key to unloading a haunted house is to push the perks. What would prompt buyers to pick a haunted home over one that isn’t?

  • 40 percent said price. They’ll buy a haunted house, but only at a discount.
  • 35 percent would require a better neighborhood.
  • 32 percent would require more square footage.
  • 29 percent would want extra bedrooms.

Some people (8 percent, to be exact) need no incentive to buy haunted.

Hot and cold spots? These are most readily shrugged off, with 48 percent of folks saying they could live with them. Strange noises register a close second in acceptable activity, with 45 percent of those surveyed willing to overlook them, followed by 35 percent who are OK with “strange feelings in a certain room.”

Not surprisingly, buyers get nervous with reports of furniture levitating or the feeling of being touched by something unseen. What is surprising: While this is the creepiest sort of haunting, it still wouldn’t deter one in five people.

That’s because about 4 in 10 of those surveyed say they’ve lived in a home they either believed was haunted…

  • 58 percent cited strange noises.
  • 51 percent revealed strange feelings in certain rooms.
  • 40 percent indicated objects moving or disappearing.

“Haunted houses are a popular attraction this time of year, but we wanted to see how many people would actually live in one,” says Sarah Staley, a housing expert who helped with the survey. “What we found may be a sign of today’s tight housing market, or for many living in a haunted house doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.”

Two haunted examples

This month, Zillow listed a Civil War-era estate for $730,000. The Pillars Estate in Albion, New York, comes complete with reports of mysterious footsteps, children’s voices and a piano that plays itself. The home has been the spot for tea parties and events in the grand ballroom, but the caretaker draws the line at spending the night.

The supposedly haunted “Howey Mansion” in Central Florida has five bedrooms in the house and another two in the garage apartment. Back in April, featured the 7,188-square-foot home among its Most Popular homes — The Haunted Edition.

Describing it as “a little less creepy” than its top pick (a run-down mansion in Illinois), it noted the Howey Mansion was in foreclosure and advertised for $480,000 — while also requiring about $1 million in renovations.

The vacant and vandalized 1925 structure, named after the man who founded the small town Howey-in-the-Hills, spent nine days on the market, drew 10 offers and, in the end, sold for more than listed, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Conclusion: Haunted houses aren’t small, and they aren’t cheap.

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About the Author

Michelle Bryan

Michelle Bryan

Before Michelle began writing about how to save money, she made money as a successful real estate investor and also worked as an Organic Foods reporter and opinion columnist. She is an expert in corporate brand management, so she understands how advertisers try to separate you from your money. Her work has appeared on sites as diverse as Forbes, NBC News, Huffington Post, Yahoo, GoBankingRates, U.S. News and World Report, City Pulse, Newsday, On Call and more… When she isn’t trying to get people out of debt, she’s trying to get them to travel frugal and eat organic and cheap – the Arizona State University journalism major writes passionately on the topic. She attended the prestigious Walter Cronkite School of Communication and Journalism with a major in Mass Communication and Media.

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