Pennsylvania Homeowner Sues Seller Over Homes Bloody Past

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posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 11:34 AM
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PA Homeowner Sues Seller Over Homes Bloody Past


A Pennsylvania woman has appealed to the state Supreme Court in her suit against a home seller and real estate agent who failed to disclose that a murder-suicide had taken place in the home she purchased.

When Janet Milliken, 59, moved from California after her husband died, she had hoped to start a new life with her two teenage children in Pennsylvania near her family.

She bought a home in Thornton, Pa., for $610,000 in June 2007. She learned a few weeks after she moved in from a next-door neighbor that a murder-suicide had occurred the year before in her home.

She sued the seller and the real estate agent for fraud and misrepresentation, saying they made a "deliberate choice not to disclose the home's recent past," according to a court document.


I definately side with the buyer of the home on this one. She bought a home that had a murder-suicide in it, but she wasn't informed of this by the seller or the real estate agent.

1 - It is a market-value killer to buy a 'death' property. Obviously this info was kept from her so that the price of the property would stay high.

2 - The paranormal aspect ... ghosts hang around where violent deaths took place.

When we move and buy new houses we ALWAYS ask about deaths in the house .. natural or suicide or murder. I wouldn't ever buy a suicide or murder home. Not a chance. So far, all the houses I've ever lived in have been haunted, but at least they haven't been upset murdered people ghosts ....

I thought all the states in this country had disclosure laws about murders in homes that were being sold??




posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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I would have cameras all over that house and if something paranormal started happening, I'd be taking it to court with me. But I agree, I thought it was mandatory to notify the buyer of deaths or paranormal activity?



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 12:08 PM
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I am a real estate agent in Florida and the law says that is not something that has to be disclosed. If that was disclosed, the property would probably never sell. I am not sure what the law is in Pennsylvania, but the real estate laws are pretty standard from state to state I would expect. There are several things that do not have to be disclosed, such as someone that lived on the property had certain diseases, etc. The best thing someone can do to protect themselves is to do a canvas around the neighborhood where they are considering buying and talk to the folks that have lived there about what they know about the property. That way you can find out anything that may not be disclosed by the real estate agent or owner. The neighbors are not under any restrictions about what they tell you.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 12:13 PM
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reply to post by DarknStormy
 


Not in all states. It's simply too subjective. Material defects however HAVE to be disclosed. Like a crack in the structure. A murder/suicide in a home doesn't compromise the structural integrity of the home. Living on a fault line however does, which is why agents have to disclose facts such as those.

As far as this case is concerned, I don't think we'll ever see a uniform civil code saying that real estate agents HAVE to disclose that information. They should just to appease a buyer who might take issue with it though. It's just good business.

www.legalzoom.com...




posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 12:30 PM
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It really should not matter what happened in the past at a house. I am on the seller's side on this one. If the lady was concerned about an issue like this she should have asked around before buying the house. Some people get freaked out over irrelevant things.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 12:54 PM
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Well this PA homeowner would not be suing; I'd get busy filming Paranormal Lancaster Activity part 1, and sell it to the highest bidder. Even if they only bid $20, I'd still be $20 richer and would have had myself an exciting winter weekend!



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 03:49 PM
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It's not a matter of paranormal. It's a matter of not disclosing something that affects the value of the house. If you are about to buy a house that was "once owned by Nicole Kidman," the price goes up, or the Chrysler 300 "once owned by Obama." The price goes up. Why shouldn't this issue be disclosed?

Well, we've had testimony by two real estate agents above that such is the case, so I have to accept their expertise--even though i disagree--and there's also the fact that this woman is appealing to thre state Supreme Court, meaning her initial try and subsequent lower-court appeals have failed. It seems unlikely the Supreme Court would reverse this time.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 03:59 PM
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I can really appreciate both sides of this, but I ultimately side with the seller. The buyer needs to do the work before buying a house - if a nasty past is a concern for a particular buyer, they need to look into it. I am sure if they had asked directly, it would have been disclosed. It would definitely creep me out to find out something awful happened in the house I bought, I can understand why they are trying to find a way out now.

But I feel for the sellers. Imagine having a tragedy in your own family - a murder or suicide or both... Your world is completed devastated...and then to not be able to sell your house and face financial ruin as a result on TOP of the grief is just pouring salt into the wound. Such a law would really be kicking people when they were down, I would think.

If you are able to meet and talk with a few neighbors before buying a new house (which is always a good idea anyway, to get a better feel for the neighborhood... although I think it is rarely done) that can prevent a situation like this from happening to a buyer.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 04:03 PM
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Who pays that much for a house in pennsylvania? Must be a massive property or gigantic house on some body of water.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by onequestion
Who pays that much for a house in pennsylvania? Must be a massive property or gigantic house on some body of water.


Right. Looks like she bought at the peak of the boom. The previous owners paid a little over $400K and stayed 6 months. They fliipped the house for a tidy profit of $200K. After the current owner bought the market tanked. She has to be underwater on the deal. If she "wins" then she slides from beneath a deal that was financially detrimental. Perhaps that's an underlying issue here.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by FlyersFan
 

Are they obligated to tell? Chances are that if you buy an old house someone died in it a some time. My house is almost 100 years old built in 1914 and I am pretty sure that during that time someone must have died here. I do know that if you believe that a house is haunted you must tell the buyer. Silly huh?



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by jrod
 


What exactly is irrelevant about a murder suicide? Thats pretty serious stuff there. You need to thaw.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 08:33 PM
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reply to post by trixieKitten
 


There aren't any murder suicides in Lancaster. The Amish are too forgiving for that kind of thing. And suicide is a sin to them as with most Christians.



posted on Jan, 29 2013 @ 08:44 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


Very astute ! I think you are on to something. Back in the day the Lutz family claimed the house in Amityville was haunted because they got in over their heads. The property was undervalued as it was in a great neighborhood on a canal and south of Main street ( it means something in the area) but the Defeo family had been murdered in the house and so it really was a bargin. The Lutzs were not well off and soon found out that they could not afford the house and that is when they started telling that story. I grew up in the area. (Babylon, also south of main street) The house is a beautiful dutch colonial but oddly sits sideways on the property with the front door facing the neighboring house instead of the street. You can see it on google maps. Its on Oak street in Amityville NY. On the left side of the street going south on Oak from Main street. It sits on a canal that leads to the great south bay. Most of the houses south of main have water in their back yards. High dollar properties. The Lutzs wound up loosing the house to foreclosure in less than a year after buying it.



posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 08:27 AM
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Originally posted by schuyler

Originally posted by onequestion
Who pays that much for a house in pennsylvania? Must be a massive property or gigantic house on some body of water.


Right. Looks like she bought at the peak of the boom. The previous owners paid a little over $400K and stayed 6 months. They fliipped the house for a tidy profit of $200K. After the current owner bought the market tanked. She has to be underwater on the deal. If she "wins" then she slides from beneath a deal that was financially detrimental. Perhaps that's an underlying issue here.



Oooooooh. This all makes a lot more sense now. Thank you for clarifying. I can see in a house-flip situation how the seller might easily "forget" to mention he house's past. And that the buyer is now in over her head and probably looking for a financial reason to bail. I mean, it's rather convenient that it took this long for her to find out the history of the house - now that the housing market is at such a low.

Don't get me started on the whole "housing crisis" thing. I drives me nuts how so many people (not everyone, mind you - but MANY) take such little persona responsibly and bought houses that they KNEW they couldn't afford. They take out the biggest mortgage they are approved for, its just baffling. Shame on the banks for that too, but really... come on... I remember banks offering me TWICE the mortgage that I wanted, trying to get me to buy a bigger house at the peak before the crash. Why does it feel like I was in the minority in saying "no" to the banks? I knew the monthly payment I was comfortable with - not the MAXIMUM monthly payment I could possibly afford. It's gotta be a combination of blind optimism (I'll be making more money by the time my mortgage balloons) and straight up human greed. OK... I'd better end my rant... this is really one of the few situations that drives me up the wall, although I never really talk about it in public because I know people are hurting from bad choices/circumstances and they don't need me in my reasonably priced and sized house shaking my head. LOL!
edit on 30-1-2013 by VegHead because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by karen61560
reply to post by schuyler
 


Very astute ! I think you are on to something. Back in the day the Lutz family claimed the house in Amityville was haunted because they got in over their heads. The property was undervalued as it was in a great neighborhood on a canal and south of Main street ( it means something in the area) but the Defeo family had been murdered in the house and so it really was a bargin. The Lutzs were not well off and soon found out that they could not afford the house and that is when they started telling that story. I grew up in the area. (Babylon, also south of main street) The house is a beautiful dutch colonial but oddly sits sideways on the property with the front door facing the neighboring house instead of the street. You can see it on google maps. Its on Oak street in Amityville NY. On the left side of the street going south on Oak from Main street. It sits on a canal that leads to the great south bay. Most of the houses south of main have water in their back yards. High dollar properties. The Lutzs wound up loosing the house to foreclosure in less than a year after buying it.



Oh wow! I didn't know that part of the story on the Amityville house. How interesting... very good parallel to this story. Thanks for bringing that up - excellent point!



posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by karen61560
reply to post by schuyler
 


Very astute ! I think you are on to something. Back in the day the Lutz family claimed the house in Amityville was haunted because they got in over their heads. The property was undervalued as it was in a great neighborhood on a canal and south of Main street ( it means something in the area) but the Defeo family had been murdered in the house and so it really was a bargin. The Lutzs were not well off and soon found out that they could not afford the house and that is when they started telling that story. I grew up in the area. (Babylon, also south of main street) The house is a beautiful dutch colonial but oddly sits sideways on the property with the front door facing the neighboring house instead of the street. You can see it on google maps. Its on Oak street in Amityville NY. On the left side of the street going south on Oak from Main street. It sits on a canal that leads to the great south bay. Most of the houses south of main have water in their back yards. High dollar properties. The Lutzs wound up loosing the house to foreclosure in less than a year after buying it.


Hey Karen, I know a buddy of mine that worked in the house, it's not haunted lol, and didn't Lutz say on his deathbed that it was a hoax?
By the way, I grew up in the area too, Bayshore/Brentwood here



posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 09:51 AM
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I can understand both sides here. I figured something like this would not have to be disclosed, but it's certainly something I would like to know. I would just ask around the neighbors, that's prob the best idea.



posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by DarknStormy
I thought it was mandatory to notify the buyer of deaths or paranormal activity?

I thought so too. Apparently not.

When we look for new houses to live in, we make it a point to ask the questions and state very clearly that we want no part of any murder and/or suicide homes. We make sure to ask at each house we visit while we are looking. That way .. if we find out in the future that the home we purchase has a bloody past .. we have something to take to court ...



posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by jrod
It really should not matter what happened in the past at a house.

That's YOUR feelings .. however, it DOES matter.

If the lady was concerned about an issue like this she should have asked around before buying the house.

Most people I know who are out buying houses will tell the real estate agent that they want no part of a house with a bloody past. The real estate agent should tell the truth about the history of a house.

Some people get freaked out over irrelevant things.

It's not irrelevant. Having a bloody history effects the value of the home. And on a spiritual note .. many haunted houses are that way because of a violent death. I'd want no part of a suicide home or a murder home. Chances are .. the angry ghosts of those who died violently are still around.

It is VERY relevant to MANY of us.





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