Halloween is here and my home in Vienna has two goblins terrorizing the family cat daily. I can't blame the previous owners for this problem, because these two goblins I brought with me when I moved, they are my daughters. This leaves the question, what about those home buyers who buy a house and later find out that a murder of an entire family took place 45 years ago in their newly acquired home? What about those Confederate Civil War ghosts that haunt homes in Old Town Manassas still hoping to win the war? Whose responsibility is it to disclose such stigmas to buyers in Northern VA? Let's not forget Caveat Emptor, or Buyer Beware in Northern VA, which should remind all buyers to get an agent.
A real estate agent or broker can make sure buyers are getting the correct disclosures and be a guide through the entire home buying and selling process. As a buyer it is customary for the sellers to pay all the commission, so get the help and check out Who Pays the Commission for further information.
Now on with the freak show: Be afraid … be very afraid … Well, that's if you believe in ghosts, demons, goblins, Jason or Michael Myers since the Commonwealth of Virginia does not require any disclosure of such stigmas when selling a home.
While you are trembling, let's include to this list violent crimes like murder, even if it was an entire family. There are several key reasons why these types of stigmatic disclosures in Northern Va are not required. The first and most important fact is that states and local governments do not recognize the existence of ghosts, haunting or spiritual beliefs along those lines. How can anyone disclose something that does not exist … or does it?
Another aspect is the separation of state and religion, the state does not recognize any religion or the belief of a soul and what happens to that soul upon death. Therefore the Virginia does not require the disclosure of the act of death or murder since it does not affect the bundle of rights an owner holds to a property. The only thing the Virginia may require on a piece of real estate is if the death or murder leaves bodily fluid or a skeleton... Oh yes, I said bodily fluid, are you scared now? This is required since it then becomes a biohazard or health hazard. This must be cleaned once the local authorities discover such health hazard, and once cleaned it is then no longer a hazard.
Speaking of haunting, the home in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C. from The Exorcist sold in 2003 for a whopping $2,025,000. (Pictured above) How scary would it be to watch the 1973 film The Exorcist in this home on Halloween? The question to ask is would that stop buyers from making an offer or actually demand a higher sales price? The view of the Potomac River and Francis Scott Key Bridge this home affords is worth a cool million alone, let's not forget location, location, location. Those home buyers who have at least 3 million and change and would consider this one if it came on the market would not need to worry since this home was only used for the film. The actual location of the exorcism has been debated for years and purported to have taken place in Cottage City, Maryland, but has been a closely guarded secret by those actually involved.
The home buying process can be scary for many reasons, make sure you are getting the right information. With so many aspects to purchasing a home it is a necessity to hire the best real estate broker who is looking out for you and your needs. Don't forget to do some research on your own, make sure you are not buying a house previously owned by Elton M. Jackson — Virginia's own serial killer.